The murder of Sarah Everard in London, while she was walking home, has shocked the whole nation. Let me be clear, women should be able to walk through a park at night without fear of attack or worse, and the grim reality that Sarah was killed by a serving member of the Metropolitan Police has highlighted what a terrible case this is. Many constituents have expressed their dismay at these events in London, and I will feed this back to the Home Secretary. Although these events took place up country, and we are lucky to live in a part of the country where crime rates are low, it brings home that we must stay vigilant and protect our loved ones. Our local Devon & Cornwall Police Force do a fantastic job of ensuring the safety of our community and I will continue to support them as they support North Cornwall.
I am very pleased that we have announced the launch of the Turing Scheme to deliver global study and work opportunities that are targeted towards disadvantaged students. This exciting new scheme will offer British students even more opportunity than the Erasmus programme. As we emerge from the pandemic and look to build an increasingly global Britain, we are committed to providing students with work and study opportunities across the world. The Turing Scheme is backed by £110 million, to open more opportunities for international education and travel to all students, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds who were less likely to benefit from the previous EU scheme. International opportunities are a key part of our world-renowned education sector and by extending our reach across the world, we are enabling more young people than ever before to benefit and succeed. I look forward to seeing many students from North Cornwall take part over the coming years.
The Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced a new fund to increase tree planting and natural regeneration in local communities. The Local Authority Treescapes Fund (LATF) is part of the Government’s Nature for Climate Fund and will directly contribute to achieving tree planting targets. This fund is aimed at establishing more trees in non-woodland settings such as in riverbanks, hedgerows, parklands, urban areas, beside roads and footpaths, in copses and shelterbelts, including neglected, disused, and vacant community spaces. The fund will help the nation build back greener from the pandemic and will target landscapes that have been neglected in the past, ecologically damaged or affected by tree diseases like ash dieback. Applications will be accepted from unitary and top tier local authorities in England. Local authorities are strongly encouraged to work with other organisations, NGOs, community groups and private individuals to deliver tree planting and natural regenerations. £2.7 million will be available this year and it is expected that up to 50 grants worth £50,000 to £300,000 will be available. The fund will open in early April and more information on the application process will be updated when available.