Southfields MP's update on her work over the summer
I know a lot of residents have been having a well-earned break and it has also been a bit quieter as Parliament has been in recess, but as ever I've been out and about following up on local issues and having my regular surgeries.
Working in Putney, Roehampton and Southfields
In August, I had a busy month working on local issues raised by residents with me, including:
• Wrote around 800 letters or emails to constituents about their concerns.
• Held my constituency MP surgeries at libraries to meet with local residents to discuss their concerns. If you would like to book an appointment for a future MP surgery, do get in touch with my office.
District Line Signalling Update
Earlier this month, I met with TfL at Earls Court Underground station to see the control room and get an update on District Line signalling. As you can see from the background in the photo above, this is a system that does also need to get updated. It’s nowhere near as old as our local gas mains but does need modernising. The work has already begun on the District Line which will steadily see the network renewed on our stretch starting next year. In the meantime the other parts of the main District Line are already getting completed and we should start to see the benefits of a more reliable, bigger capacity District Line as more parts of the network are done.
JobCentre Plus meeting
I had a very helpful meeting with our local JobCentre Plus and Department for Work and Pension officials to discuss the progress JobCentre Plus is making in helping local people get connected with the new jobs coming into Wandsworth, and also to specifically discuss how we can make the most of jobs coming both through the new Ram Quarter site in central Wandsworth and also the forthcoming regeneration project in Roehampton. I’m very determined to make sure that local residents are as well placed as possible and get the support they need to be able to get into the new roles created by this investment. I’ve agreed with the DWP that I’ll be getting in touch with employers coming into our local area to ask them to really work with us to give job and career opportunities to local people who perhaps have found it hard to get them in the past.
Wandsworth Borough Council becomes first Social Mobility Pledge Local Authority Employer
It was great to meet up with Cllr Rory O’Broin, new Wandsworth Borough Council Cabinet member for economic development, skills and employment. We’ve talked about how we can work together on the Social Mobility Pledge and really make our local community across Wandsworth somewhere that businesses and our council help to spread more opportunities to more young people.
Meeting with South London young people on National Citizens Service
The National Citizens Service is a scheme that does a great job of bringing young people together, often from very different backgrounds, over the summer to help them learn new skills, develop and meet a wider group of their peers. I met with The Challenge, our local provider, who were having sessions based out of the university wing of St George’s Hospital. They told me they’d got a lot out of being on NCS and also had some great ideas about how to improve it, not least on wanting it to help them do their first CV, give them interview skills, and help them draft a personal statement they might need for university. Another key ask was the chance to hear from companies about careers and opportunities and I was able to talk to them about what I’m doing on the Social Mobility Pledge.
I hope that this update gives you a brief snapshot of some of the things I am working on as our local Member of Parliament. As ever, if you would like to contact me or raise an issue, than please get in touch and I will do the best I can to help. You can email me on email@example.com, write to me at 3 Summerstown, SW17 0BQ or call my office on 0208 946 4557. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook to see all my latest updates.
Putney High Street and a Green Wall at the Odeon
At the end of last month I met with Nicola Grant, the Manager of Positively Putney, the Putney Business Improvement District (BID), to get an update on how the BID was doing in its second year and its plans going forward. They have some exciting things planned and are particularly going to focus on smartening up Putney High Street, whether cleaning up the pavements, painting railings and investing in more plants and foliage.
Alongside that, a package of improvements has been announced by Wandsworth Council which will improve traffic flow and reduce pollution and make the area safer and more pedestrian friendly, which should help make Putney a more appealing place to have a business and shop. It’s obviously a fantastic and unique location, having the River Thames on our doorstep and we need to make the most of that. The first phase of the overall plan will begin shortly and will see £640,000 invested in the area to improve junctions, narrow roads to increase pavement space, plant trees, improve cycle parking, etc. You can read the full report here. Local Thamesfield councillors and I are also working together to find additional funding for further phases, including from City Hall.
Finally, I regularly receive suggestions that the Odeon would be a perfect place to have a green wall, which would not only help the appearance of the high street, but would also help improve the air quality. The Odeon has indicated it would be willing to consider a green wall if we could show public support for the idea, so there is also a petition available here. If you could sign up or email me to add your support we can hopefully improve a pretty dull and uninspiring wall!
Following the bank holiday weekend this month, I received a number of messages from residents and businesses about emergency gas works on the junction of Replingham Road and Wimbledon Park Road. People were concerned that they hadn't received any notice of the works and didn't know how long they were going to continue for.
I’ve rapidly learnt about gas networks but the gist of the problem is the following. All of our homes have a small gas pipe coming into it that feeds our cooker, central heating etc. That pipe is fed by a bigger gas pipe in the road, which is fed by an ever bigger pipe on a bigger road which is then fed by a “main” gas pipe from a main road. That “main” pipe is BIG - in fact if you look into the hole at the top of Replingham Road that feeds gas to Southfields, you can actually take a look. Its the Southfields BIG pipe that someone could smell gas leaking from last week. So it’s being fixed - and asap. Fortunately it can be done whilst keeping everyone's gas supplies still running.
I followed up with SGN and arranged an on site meeting this week to see how the works were progressing. The works will be ongoing for six weeks. There were already upgrade works planned for October so SGN has brought those forward to also get on with at the same time, so they don't have to come back for another six week period later this year.
What are the upgrade works? Well, all these gas pipes were mostly laid by the Victorians, so they’ve done us proud but need updating - that’s the other work that was already planned to happen along Augustus Road....another one of the BIG pipes.
A local drop-in session has been arranged for local businesses and residents to discuss the works with SGN on Tuesday, 4 September at the Olive Garden from 9-11am. The project team can also be reached on 01689 881564 between 8am and 4pm Monday to Friday or anytime on 0800 912 1700 if there are any specific enquiries. Of course, you can let me know too if there are problems and I’ll get them chased up.
September 10, 2018