It has been a very busy time in Parliament with the Budget and locally there has been lots going on with the launch of the Thames Tunnel working group and London Underground’s announcement of more trains on the District Line, so read on for an update.
Thames Tunnel Working Group & River Clean up
We have had the first meeting of the Thames Tunnel working group I have set up to look at getting a better Thames Tunnel solution for us locally. One of the first things we did was arrange the group into subgroups looking at each of the preferred sites locally - Barn Elms, Putney Bridge Foreshore and King Georges’ Park - and discussed what type of independent expert advice we need. I am really pleased that lots of local people have got involved with the group. We will be meeting regularly over the next couple of months so if you are interested in being a part of the working group please do get in touch with me.
I also met with Thames Water senior management, who have looked again at the tunnelling strategy for the main drive shaft and confirmed they are looking at a Brownfield site at Carnwath Road Riverside as an alternative to Barn Elms, which is great news. Aside from the alternative to the Barn Elms site, Thames Water is also looking at how the ventilation column and maintenance structures at the Putney Bridge Foreshore & King Georges’ Park sites can made smaller and be put out of sight or underground. I’ll make sure I keep the pressure on Thames Water to get the right Thames Tunnel outcome on behalf of our community.
It was also great to see so many residents out on Putney Foreshore at the river clean up organised by Thames21 earlier in March. Well over 100 residents got involved to clear the foreshore of rubbish and scrap metal, and I hope we’ll be able to arrange another one soon. If you would like to find out more information about the environmental work Thames21 do, check out their website www.thames21.org.uk.
New trains for the District Line
I recently met with Mike Brown, Managing Director of London Underground, to raise the issue of capacity on the District Line and to hear about how TfL’s underground upgrade plans will improve the commute for us locally.
Local residents will know that we managed to get some extra tubes in the morning rush hour in 2006 and in 2009 with the extension of the Circle line, but if you use the tube like I do to get to work you know it is still very crowded. So I am really pleased that London Underground is going to do a third increase with 5 more morning peak time trains on the Wimbledon branch. Once the proposals are agreed, we should have the extra trains in place locally by December this year, which will be great.
At my meeting with Mr Brown he also confirmed plans for introducing 80 new longer, wider, air-conditioned trains on the District Line from 2013, which will see further improvements to our stretch of the line and increase capacity by 24%. In the meantime, I’ll continue working hard to ensure the District Line upgrade plans stay on track.
Talking to Southfields Community College students about knife crime
Earlier this month I met up with Southfields Community College students, who have done a project on knife crime and how the police’s stop & search policy affects young people. It was a really good chance to hear from the students about how they felt the stop & search policy worked and what things they would like to see changed. It was also very helpful to get their more general views on crime in the borough.
Earlier in the day I had also met up with David Musker, Chief Superintendent Borough Commander, so I’ll be able to update him at our next meeting on the students’ views and ideas on stop & search and knife crime.
Out and about
As a newly appointed governor at Elliott School, it was great to attend the first meeting of Elliott School’s Governing body the other week. I’ve met with the residents involved in the Southfield Plaza proposal, a community cinema at the old Riley’s snooker hall. Last weekend I also met up with the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability and went along to a fantastic performance by Wandsworth Symphony Orchestra at St Mary's Church in Putney.
Don’t forget if you ever need my help do get in touch with me either by email at email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> or by writing to me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA. Also, if you want to come along to my weekly MP surgery please give my office a call on 020 8946 4557 to find out where my next surgery is - I'll do my best to help.
Justine Greening MP
April 8th, 2011