Out and about with the local MP
It has been another busy month newly on the backbenches. It has been really fantastic being out and about in the community and I'm starting some new local projects so as ever, if you are ever interested in getting involved with any of the projects I am working on, do get in touch.
Working in Putney, Roehampton and Southfields
In February, I had a busy month working on local issues raised by residents with me, including:
• Wrote over 1500 letters or emails to constituents about their concerns.
• Had 116 meetings in my role as MP
• Held my weekly 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 - if you can’t make it do give me a call and I can make sure someone else can come along.
• Discussed proposals for Southfields' Village Centre with Cllr Kim Caddy and raised concerns brought to me by businesses regarding a reduction in parking spaces.
• Visited Heathmere Primary School.
• Opened Putney's Oasis Charity Shop (above) on the Upper Richmond Road.
• Listened to local residents' concerns about traffic at the Lytton Grove Open House Residents' Meeting.
• Attended the Thamesfield Safer Neighbourhood Meeting to discuss moped crime and thefts from vehicles with residents and local police.
• Viewed proposals at the Heathrow Public Consultation at the Community Church and raised local concerns about aircraft noise and night flights.
• Hosted a Thames Tideway Community Liaison Working Group Meeting on the King George's Park site.
• Met with the Friends of Wimbledon Park to discuss how we can work with Merton Council to clean up Wimbledon Park lake and protect existing wildlife.
• Visited Vesta Rowing Club.
• Spoke to the Wandsworth Older People's Forum and heard from residents on a range of issues from social care to technology.
• Opened the Get Set Go 3! Event with Wandsworth's Parent/Carer Forum.
Working in Westminster
As a local Member of Parliament, this month in Westminster I have:
• Asked parliamentary questions and spoken in debates on:
o Women's Suffrage Centenary.
o Higher Education consultation.
o Heathrow Airport expansion.
• You can see my questions, interventions and contributions here.
• Joined my fellow Parliamentarians to celebrate 100 years since women were given the right to vote.
• I was in Whitehall three times this month to see the analysis that has been done in government that is now being made available to MPs on the UK's exit from the European Union as I believe there is a need for an evidence informed approach, one that is politically sustainable and demands broad consensus.
• Held meetings with a number of charities and organisations including:
o London First
o Speakers for Schools
o Restless Development
o The Sutton Trust
o The Careers and Enterprise Company
Heathrow Airport I held a public consultationon proposals earlier this month at the Community Church on Werter Road. My concerns with this proposal, which I raised at the time, are that there is still no information on possible future flight paths and our period of respite with no planes overhead is also likely to be reduced to just four or five hours a day. Heathrow Airport also wants to bring forward the start of normal operating hours to 5.30am every day.
It is important that people respond to the consultation here or by email or write to Freepost LHR Expansion Consultation. The closing date is Wednesday 28 March. Whilst this is the latest in many Heathrow airport expansion consultations we have had over the years, the reality is that the case for expanding Heathrow is now very weak so we should now make sure we keep up our local campaign.
Putney Plastic Pledge - Public Meeting on 10 March at 10am at St Mary's Church
Following meetings with local schools, my Thames Tunnel Community Liaison Working Group, and other residents, I'm launching a new campaign on plastics in our local area called the Putney Plastic Pledge, about cutting down our usage locally.
I have written out to local schools and businesses on how to get involved and am holding a public meeting on the 10th of March at St Mary's Church to hear people's ideas. I will also be holding a cleanup of the Putney Foreshore after the Boat Race and have written to the Boat Race organisers and Young's Pubs on how we can work together to keep our section of the Thames free from plastics.
Get in touch if you'd like to get involved - please see contact details below.
Higher Education Review
This month the Government launched its Higher Education Review. I was the first person in my family to have the chance to go to university. I know how much it transformed my prospects and, in many ways, my life, so for me like so many others, making sure the system works for the students in it now really matters.
In practice, you can amend the current system, perhaps by reintroducing maintenance grants and tackling punitive interest rates, or make more fundamental changes. For this, ideally there needs to be a broad consensus.
A broader reform could bring real sustainability to higher education financing if the Government is prepared to think for the long term. It would involve reworking the parts of the current system that don’t work, but also keeping the sensible elements that do work. I have proposed a potential reform which would see graduates paying into a Higher Education Fund in order to ensure a future world-class education for university students. You can see my entire blog on the issue here and more information on the review is available here.
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.
March 2, 2018