THIS week another important sector has reopened for business in West Dorset, with holiday parks and campsites welcoming visitors once again. This is an important milestone in our economic recovery, saving thousands of livelihoods and protecting long-standing family businesses. On Monday morning, I met up with three generations of the Whitfield and Stamper family, owners of East Fleet Farm Touring Park, on the day that their park reopened for business – it was good to see holidaymakers arriving and to talk to some of them about why they love visiting West Dorset so much.

I’m pleased my intervention over many weeks, lobbying Government, and liaising with the British Holiday and Home Parks Association, has helped save more than a million overnight holiday park stays which were at risk of collapse. The value of tourism, which employs 28,000 in the county, is set at more than £1 billion each year in Dorset and visitors support many of the places to visit and shop which we take for granted will be there for us all year round.

In Westminster I’ve spoken to the HM Australian High Commissioner in support of a trade deal with the UK and a conference call with other Commonwealth countries to see how we can help them post-coronavirus. I also spoke with Liz Truss, International Trade Secretary, sharing insights from my time working abroad. I received her absolute commitment that any future US trade deal would not have chlorinated chicken on the table. She also assures me that we are moving forward at pace with trade deals, which is good to hear.

Lastly, following my question in the House of Commons last week to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport), I’m pleased we can expect a review of the Government’s public messaging on transport, improving viability for our own local bus and rail services.