Local MP is having a busy summer in Wandsworth
Justine’s Diary June – July 2011
The last few weeks have been incredibly busy in Parliament and locally. I’ve been doing a lot of work with residents on the Thames Tunnel, but I’ve also been working hard on a number of other issues including the redevelopment of the Kings Head site and getting more trains on our District Line, as well as visiting some of our local schools and taking part in Dragons Den on our local National Citizen Scheme so read on for an update….
Residents meeting on the Kings Head redevelopment
Last week I held a public meeting with the Chief Executive of Young's Brewery, Steven Goodyear and the Roehampton Trust to discuss Young’s proposals for the Kings Head site in Roehampton which has been derelict for a number of years. Young’s showed local residents their plans for the redeveloped Kings Head which is to be a community pub for the whole of Roehampton where people can relax. It was fantastic to see so much support from the residents for the proposals and it was helpful for Young’s to hear directly from local people about what they would like from a new Kings Head pub. One suggestion from a resident on how to make the most of the site's history and heritage should help Young’s retain more of the character of the original building. I'll continue to work with residents and Young’s. Work starts on the pub next spring and it is planned to be open in the autumn. If you’re a local resident and would like to be kept in touch with Young’s progress on developing the site let me know.
Getting extra primary school places has been a real concern locally. A number of primary schools have already increased the size of their intake and last month I met with Paul Robinson, Director of Children’s Service for Wandsworth Council, to talk through the proposals for a potential new primary school on the old Putney Hospital site. I’ve also visited a number of our local schools over the summer term to catch up on some of the great work pupils and teachers are doing. Last month I visited John Paul II to meet some Year 10 students who have been representing Wandsworth in the Young Entrepreneurs Competition. The students set up a fantastic company called ‘The Readables’ selling products that encourage young children to read and gave an excellent presentation. Earlier this month, I went to Our Lady Queen of Heaven RC School to speak to some Year 6 pupils. We had a really interesting discussion and the pupils quizzed me over what it is like to be an MP. I’ve also had meetings with the Head Teachers of Riversdale Primary School, Elliott School and Southfields Community College to get an update on some the projects the schools are working on.
Getting extra trains on the District Line
Many of us get very frustrated seeing the virtually empty Olympia trains roll in and out of Earls Court every day when our Wimbledon branch tubes are so packed. For some time, I’ve been pressing London Underground to better match tube capacity with where it is needed. London Underground has now consulted on rerouting some of the Olympia trains to the Wimbledon line. It would mean extra morning peak time trains on our stretch of the line from December this year and also improve reliability for passengers.
A fortnight ago local volunteers and I were out leafleting at East Putney and Southfields stations encouraging commuters to have their say. I received some great responses from commuters which I have passed on to London Underground, who will announce the results of the consultation later in the summer. If you ever have any concerns about our local District Line service do email me at email@example.com and I will follow it up.
Thames Tunnel - Barn Elms fun day & rally
Residents will know that we organised the Barn Elms fun day & rally the other weekend to demonstrate against the playing fields being used to build the Thames Tunnel. Despite the very wet weather, we had a great crowd, with lots of local residents and local celebrities including Lawrence Dallaglio and actresses Patricia Hodge and Caroline Langrishe. It was a really good chance to show our support for Barn Elms and how important the area is to our community.
At our latest Thames Tunnel Working Group meeting I invited Commander David Phillips RN, Harbour Master (Upper) for Port of London Authority along with Thames Water so we could get the PLA’s advice on some of the river risks associated with the sites at Barn Elms and Putney Bridge. I also invited along some of the potential independent experts to talk to the group about what sort of advice they could provide us with. I’m taking this forward with Thames Water now and I hope to have some experts working with us over the summer ready for phase 2 consultation later in September.
If you would like to be kept up to date with the Thames Tunnel issue or if you would like to join our working group please do get in touch with me.
Local National Citizen Service – Dragons Den
Last week I took part in our local National Citizen Service, a national initiative to encourage young people to make a difference in their local areas. As part of the programme, teams of local young people from Wandsworth, Merton and Sutton have been challenged to design and do a Dragons Den style pitch for a community project supporting a local charity that they will carry out over four weekends in September. I was asked to be one of the dragons on the panel, which was a real experience. I was really impressed with some of the ideas and the professionalism with how they were presented. It will be great to see some of these initiatives in action helping our local community.
Out & About
Roehampton University is one of a few universities involved in the prestigious American Fulbright scholars programme and it was great to show some of the scholars around Parliament a few weeks ago. It was also great to see them at the recent Putney Society debate on the Big Society, where we had a really good discussion about people getting involved with the local community. Earlier in the month I met with the local manager of Jobcentre Plus and also with the Chief Executive of St George’s Hospital. Finally, I went to the first Sutherland Grove and Area Residents Association lunch and rounders on St Michael’s school playing fields, which was a fantastic afternoon enjoyed by everyone.
Like lots of people I’m taking a couple of weeks of holiday in August but as ever if you need my help do get in touch with me either by email at 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
July 29, 2011