Including the redevelopment of the Sainsbury's site in Southfields
Raised the Pride flag along with Cllr Ravi Govindia and Cllr John Locker and the Wandsworth LGBTQ+ forum above Wandsworth Town Hall
As many of you know, this month has been an exceptionally busy one in Parliament as we debate and vote on the Prime Minister's proposed Brexit strategy, the "Chequers Deal". Locally, I've met with a number of residents to discuss Brexit, and have also been busy attending local events and responding to emails. While Parliament is now in recess, I'm still around to help, so if you ever have anything you'd like to discuss with me as a local MP then do get in touch.
Working in Putney, Roehampton and Southfields
In July, I had a busy month working on local issues raised by residents with me, including:
• Wrote over 1850 letters or emails to constituents about their concerns. I also sent out an update on my position on a referendum on the final Brexit deal to around 8,000 residents.
• Had over 76 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.
• As part of the Putney Plastics Pledge, had a breakfast event with Councillor Steffi Sutters and Putney Business Improvement District businesses, alongside environmental charity Hubbub, to discuss steps we will take locally on reducing plastics in our community.
• Chaired a Thames Tideway residents meeting keeping us up to date on the King George's Park site of the tunneling project, and tackling any local concerns or queries over the project. If you are ever have concerns with the Thames Tideway project, get in touch with the Tideway team or come along to one of our meetings.
• Raised the Pride flag along with Cllr Ravi Govindia and Cllr John Locker and the Wandsworth LGBTQ+ forum above Wandsworth Town Hall to celebrate this year’s Pride month.
• Held a community meeting on Roehampton Playing Fields to discuss the next steps of the Community Trust and its work with local schools and residents developing a business plan.
• Met with Nicola Grant, the Putney Business Improvement District Manager, to discuss the Putney Plastics Pledge and a number of proposals by the Council and BID to help improve our shopping and business environment on Putney High Street.
• Developed plans with the Met Police to have local residents workshops in Putney on scam prevention. The workshops have led to a fourfold reduction in this sort of crime in Richmond and Twickenham, particularly amongst the elderly.
Working in Westminster
As your local Member of Parliament, this month in Westminster I have:
• Spoke out on my view that the public should get a final say on the Brexit deal through a referendum.
• Asked parliamentary questions and spoke in debates on Heathrow Airport expansion, the Government's LGBT Action Plan, a Second Entrance at Putney Station and leaving the EU. You can see my contributions here.
• Hosted local students for work experience.
• Joined a roundtable meeting organised by Victoria Prentis MP to discuss policy ideas for reducing plastic use and consumption and increased recycling at a national level.
• Attended a Pride reception at No 10 Downing Street.
Dr Sian Job & Justin Greening MP
• Successfully, nominated Dr Sian Job of Wandsworth GPs for a NHS at 70 Parliamentary Award. Dr Job won the national award for best project to improve GP practices engagement with the public, being selected ahead of other fantastic NHS projects across the country. Dr Job does fantastic work ensuring our local GP practices in Wandsworth are able to help the whole of our diverse community that they serve.
• Joined Wandsworth's Young's brewery at the Annual Beer Awards in Parliament.
• Met with several MPs across parties to discuss how they can worth with me on the Social Mobility Pledge and joined Sir David Evennett MP to discuss the pledge with L&Q Housing based in his local constituency and one of the latest organisations to sign up.
• Met with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to discuss our local views on improving High Streets for local businesses to thrive. I was following up a local case of a small but growing business that has found it hard to open new shops elsewhere in London because of an overly bureaucractic approach from other local authorities.
• Held a roundtable with representatives from Acuris Global, Nottingham Trent University, Bright Blue and Allen & Overy to discuss the Social Mobility Pledge and to hear from them about their experiences working to improve social mobility.
Second Entrance at Putney Station
Earlier this year I met with Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to get his support for the plan to get a second entrance at Putney station. The meeting was a positive discussion and this month I asked a parliamentary question in Transport Questions and the Secretary of State has confirmed that he has asked Department officials to look at what support his Department could give to what he considers a "quick win". You can see my Parliamentary Question here.
Wandsworth Council already supports the proposal and is willing to help financially back it, and I think it is now time to lobby Network Rail for funding and support so we can go ahead with the second entrance proposal on Oxford Road. It will drastically improve the connectivity between East Putney station and Putney station, and also reduce congestion and journey times. I’ve started a petition to show the level of local support for the campaign, so you can help by signing the petition here.
Redevelopment of Sainsbury's site in Southfields
As many Southfields residents will know for a number of years the old petrol site next to Sainsbury's in Southfields has sat empty waiting for redevelopment. Along with Southfields councillors, I have long pushed Sainbury's to get on with renovating the site while also making sure the new site has space for deliveries which currently happen on the road and cause traffic congestion and pollution.
Earlier this month, Sainsbury's wrote to let us know that plans and permissions had finally been received and work has now begun to decommission the old petrol station where there will soon be a new, larger Sainsbury's store. Work will take place from 8am-6pm on weekdays and 8am-1pm on Saturday's, but if you have any concerns about the work the site manager Graham Duffy can be contacted on Graham.Duffy@basebuildservices.com or on 07917 633 243.
A final say on Brexit
As you will know, this month I announced my support for a referendum on the final approach to Brexit.
I believe that the Prime Minister's Chequer's Agreement is unworkable and represents the worst of all worlds, leaving us neither in nor out of the EU. With Parliament deadlocked, the only solution left is to take the final Brexit decision away from the backroom deals we’ve seen in recent months and give it back to the people to decide.
This shouldn’t be a divisive, binary choice. Two years on, the practical Brexit options are now clear and the public should be asked to choose between the three paths facing our country – the PM’s final negotiated Brexit deal, staying in the EU, or a clean Brexit break and leaving with no deal. And crucially, I have argued the referendum should give the public a first and second preference vote so that even if someone’s first choice is the least popular and drops out, they will still have cast a vote between the remaining two options, allowing a consensus to finally be found. It’s how we’ve elect our London Mayor for nearly 20 years, so is tried and tested.
I recognise that many people will feel that we had the EU referendum vote and should get on with it, but the difficult reality is that Parliament is at an impasse and for every proposal, there is a blocking group of MPs who will vote against it. I think people therefore have to break the impasse and vote for the way forward that they want. I have spent a lot of time trying to think through what is the right thing to do for our country and for our community. However I cast my vote in any “meaningful” deal, I know that I will disenfranchise many local voters who may hold a different view, which I think is unacceptable on something as important to the future of our country as Brexit. I want everyone’s voices locally to be heard and to count every bit at the ballot box as much as my own as a local MP. You can see my Times article 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
August 2, 2018