SIOBHAN BAILLIE: Giffords Circus helps put Stroud on the map

The Stroud MP’s weekly column.

Last week was my daughter’s first birthday and we celebrated with a most magical morning at Giffords Circus.

This local, national and international institution based at Fennells Farm is open again and I would encourage everybody to go see the Covid-secure Hooley show.

My little one was transfixed by the fairies, horses, Tweedy the Clown and all the performers. To be honest, I was too! It was great to visit a traditional village green circus.

I know how hard this family-run and traditional business founded by Nell and Toti Gifford has worked to keep going through the pandemic crisis too.

It has received government support and I think such a fantastic cultural asset here in Stroud is worth every penny. It helps put Stroud on the map, it employs local people and it adds a great deal to the English summer whatever the weather.

There was very encouraging news over the weekend about the Indian Covid variant when experts said our main vaccines – Oxford and Pfizer – are effective against it, especially after two doses. New variants remain the biggest threat to the easing of restrictions on 21st June and we must remain cautious and ensure everyone gets them. Over 60 million doses have now been administered, with 37.9 million people receiving at least one jab. More than 22.6 million people in the UK have been vaccinated with both doses to gove strongest possible protection.

This week the Environment Bill returns to Parliament. This legislation aims to ensure that the environment is at the heart of all policy-making and that the Government is held to account if it fails to uphold its environmental duties.

It is the first piece of major environmental legislation in 20 years and it is overdue. I think leaving the EU has given the country a chance to radically improve environmental policy.

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