JANUARY 2022: News from the Metro Mayor Dan Norris
New Year heralds a greener future
THERE is still much uncertainty about the worrying Omicron covid variant spreading among our communities.
It remains hugely important to take up booster jabs when offered them, and to continue to wear masks in shops and on public transport.
Here in the West of England I am proud we have led the country in this sensible approach since last summer and I believe it has saved countless lives locally.
In the best traditions of our wonderful region and nation, let’s continue to look out for each other in 2022.
January is a time to make plans and New Year’s resolutions but, importantly, also a time for us to think about our own well-being.
This month is ‘National Walk Your Dog month.’ If your dog is anything like my working cocker spaniel, Angel, they will implore you for long walks on at least a daily basis!
It’s a great way of getting exercise, fresh air and doing something that’s really good for our mental health.
Across the West of England there are some fantastic forests, woodland and open spaces to go for walks – my personal favourites being around the beautiful rail viaducts in both Winterbourne and Pensford.
On the subject of green spaces, I was delighted that the flagship £50 million Green Recovery Fund that I pledged in my manifesto was finally voted through in December – and without any strings attached. This was my green promise to you in last May’s election and it is key to our region meeting our ambitious target of net-zero by 2030.
It’s going to deliver key projects like retrofitting homes to make them more energy efficient, installing more charging points for electric cars and creating biodiversity schemes to help bees and other pollinators.
So my New Year’s resolution to you is to continue to be the strong champion our region needs and deserves – from backing our world-class food and drink producers, to our creative industries and our thriving tech and aerospace sectors.
I want to deliver a public transport network that our region can be really proud of, and to that end I was delighted to launch half-hourly rail services between Severn Beach and Temple Meads, and am proud to promise there are more transport improvements across our region further down the track this year.
So whether you’re doing dry January, ‘Veganuary’ or taking up a new hobby, I wish you and your loved ones a very safe January and 2022.