Last week marked the return to Parliament. It’s still not quite business as usual thanks to the Covid restrictions placed on the estate, but we are slowly getting there.

My meetings in Westminster this week have been largely about recovery. On Wednesday a group of new MPs met with the PM and Chancellor to discuss what that would look like and to promote our ideas.

It was clear that the environment was very much on the Prime Minister’s mind as he talked about opportunities to invest and grow.

From my very first speech in the Commons I’ve argued that the Cumbrian coast is uniquely placed to be at the centre of a green industrial revolution, and so hearing the PM focus on this area was very welcome.

Last week the government launched a call for evidence on marine energy. It sounds innocuous, but it comes after months of lobbying and is now an opportunity to promote tidal and other energy streams as being part of the UK’s energy mix.

The argument for tidal energy is well rehearsed and I shall not repeat it now, but if we ever hope to get close to an answer on a barrage across Morecambe Bay this is the time.

On the theme of recovery, I met with our local hospital trust this week to discuss how they are managing Covid, preparing for winter flu, and trying to restore services to normal.

It’s a hugely difficult task but their optimism was contagious.

I also met with the University of Cumbria earlier this week to start the ball rolling on a program of events to debate the future of adult social care in Cumbria. Coronavirus has demonstrated the strengths and weaknesses of the current fragmented system.

Government has pledged to act, but I want to ensure that we have a Cumbrian voice at the table and leading the debate.

Two important schemes also launched this week which should assist Furness’ recovery.

The first is the Green Homes Grant. This provides homeowners and landlords the ability to make their homes warmer and more energy efficient. By completing a short survey online, they will get a personalised energy plan showing where improvements can be made, whether to insulation, glazing or heating.

Funding is available for up to £5,000 of the works for most households, with lower income households potentially entitled to as much as £10,000 of their costs covered.

The second scheme is the new KickStart scheme - designed to create jobs for young people.

It will fund six-month work placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit and is designed to help the 700,000 young people set to enter the job market this year. Each KickStart job will be fully funded by the government with them paying 100 per cent of the minimum wage, NI and pension contributions for 25 hours a week. £1,500 is also available for employers to set up support and training for KickStart placements.

I encourage local employers to look at the details of the scheme and see if you can participate.

Of course, recovery means much more than just this.

With schools returning, more people have been going back to work. Tied with a continual easing of restrictions, the local lockdowns elsewhere remind us of the need to remain vigilant.

It is crucially important to follow the guidance to wash your hands thoroughly, observe social distancing and follow the rules. The combination of social distancing, test and trace and local action creates a system in which we all have a responsibility to act.

A number of constituents have contacted me about the availability of local testing recently.

I’ve raised this with the Health Secretary personally and can confirm that mobile testing units will be returning shortly. In the interim, Furness General also has testing capacity, so please call my office if you get stuck.

Thanks to everyone’s efforts there have been a very few cases of Covid identified in the community recently and the local director of Public Health is reassured that the track and trace system is doing its job at preventing the spread. Nonetheless, our watchword should be caution.

Stay safe and look out for one another.