Politically Speaking: By Andrea Jenkyns, MP for Morley and Outwood
Shortage of lorry drivers needs addressing
This week the British weather finally remembered it was summer, and I hope you have enjoyed the sunshine and blue skies!
Although we may enjoy being out in the sun, it is worth remembering that our pets cannot always manage well in this climate and this is something pet owners should be aware of as sadly it could end in heartbreak.
As residents will know I am an animal lover and passionate animal welfare advocate, I also have two dogs of my own.
When walking your dogs on summer days like these remember to do so in the morning or evening when it is cooler, to reduce the risk of heatstroke and burnt paws.
Dogs lose heat through panting, and can only sweat through their paws so are at high risk of getting heatstroke.
Remember to provide constant access to shaded areas and ensure there is cold, clean water available.
Unfortunately, every year residents contact me concerned about dogs in cars on hot days.
We can all do our bit to raise awareness that heatstroke can kill, so we must ensure pets are not left in vehicles, caravans or conservatories.
Further, it is beneficial to know the signs of heatstroke. If your dog is panting heavily, drooling excessively, drowsy, uncoordinated – and in some cases vomiting – contact a vet immediately.
Recently, I have visited a number of schools across Morley and Outwood to discuss a wide range of topics with teachers and pupils alike.
I really enjoyed my visit to Stanley Grove Primary School where I answered a variety of questions from Year 6 pupils on education, democracy, animal rights, and football!
I was very impressed with the students’ knowledge of important issues, and I was blown away when they showed me their incredible work on wildlife protection and environmental awareness.
I saw their allotment area and all the wildlife conservation efforts that goes on there and it is fantastic to know our local young people are getting such a well-rounded education.
Finally, last week I discussed haulage with industry leaders to discuss how things are going for their business. My dad was a lorry driver, and I know how important this industry is to putting fuel in our cars, food on the supermarket shelves, and clean water – through water treatment chemicals - into our taps.
There is currently a shortage of HGV drivers due to a mix of market pressures, in particular due to Covid as the pandemic forced the cancellation of over 30,000 driving tests which has led to an imbalance when people leave or retire from the profession. Additionally, some foreign drivers left the UK when lockdowns began to be implemented, and have not yet returned. I discussed the shortage of drivers at length and looked into the potential solutions to help keep this industry afloat.
I am taking this back to colleagues in Westminster and will ensure they are aware of both the problem and the proposed solutions. Additionally, I have invited representatives from the HGV industry to host a stall at my upcoming jobs’ fair in September.
As always, if you are a resident of Morley and Outwood and have an issue, question, or concern, please do not hesitate to contact me via email: [email protected]