About Tesco in Southfields, local post office closures and more
It’s been a very busy couple of months both in Parliament in my new Cabinet role and locally in Putney, Roehampton & Southfields. Alongside the Thames Tunnel consultation I’ve been working on issues such as our local Post Offices and our river taxi service. I’ve also met up with the local police and healthcare providers, read on for an update....
Thames Tunnel - Government Safeguards Carnwath Road Site
The Department for Communities and Local Government has now issued a safeguarding directive on the Carnwath Road site which will protect the site for the use of the Thames Tunnel project, should Thames Water choose this site for the main drive shaft. Whilst this doesn’t influence Thames Water’s decision on which site to take forward it does mean this site cannot be developed on whilst Thames Water makes that decision. You can find out more here and I’ll keep you updated with any more news.
Overall, the Thames Tunnel phase 2 consultation closed in February and residents did a great job supporting Thames Water’s decision to use a brownfield site instead of the greenfield site at Barn Elms for the main drive shaft and raising our concerns about the Combine Sewer Overflow proposals at Putney Bridge Foreshore, King George’s Park and West Putney. I also responded to the consultation as our local MP incorporating all the comments and views I've had from local residents over the past few months, which you can view on my website www.justinegreening.co.uk on the campaigns page.
Thames Water will be considering all the responses over the next few months. The next step will be when Thames Water publicise the proposed planning consent application in mid 2012, which will incorporate any changes Thames Water make as a result of this second consultation.
Tesco in Southfields
Following the sale of the Grid Inn pub in Southfields, I arranged for local residents’ association representatives to meet with Tesco managers in Parliament to raise our local concerns. Southfields has a very special sense of community, with great independent shops and businesses, and it’s why it is such a popular place to live. Most residents I’ve spoken with agree that having choice about where we shop is good but not if it's at the expense of other local businesses. I am continuing to work with our local community and with Tesco to ensure that we have a supermarket that adds to our community and other local businesses rather than the opposite. I am also arranging a meeting for businesses and shopkeepers in Southfields – if your business is interested in coming along, email me on email@example.com.
Putney’s River Taxi Service
Lots of residents use the river taxi from Putney Pier both to commute to work as well as for leisure. It’s a great way to travel and I have been working hard to make sure this service continues following the Thames River Taxi's decision to end the service from Putney to Blackfriars last year. TfL has appointed an interim operator to run the service for 6 months, whilst they work with potential operators to agree a long term contract.
A couple of weeks ago, I met the TfL river services team with your local Councillors and London Assembly Member, Richard Tracey, to discuss this. I made it clear that residents want to see an operator in place that can provide a regular, reliable, and affordable service to make travelling by river a real alternative to the train, tube or driving.
Putney & Southfields Post Offices
Following the suspension of the Putney Post Office relocation consultation, I met with Post Office managers and Thamesfield Cllr Jim Maddan in Parliament to raise our concerns. The Post Office will keep operating from the current site at 214 Upper Richmond Road, whilst the Post Office Ltd is working with the postmaster to find a new location. The good news is that the Post Office has said the new post office will be a modernised branch and I am pressing them to longer opening hours and offer improved services for small businesses, which would be a real imrovement. I will continue to work with Councillor Maddan to press Post Office Ltd to make sure we see our post office relocated to a suitable central site in Putney that offers better services to residents and businesses.
A number of residents have also been in touch with me about Southfields Post Office on Wimbledon Park Road following a recent planning proposal that was submitted for the site. I am already following this up with Post Office Ltd and the building's owners. I have also met with the local postmaster. The current lease does last until 2014, but if the Post Office relocates in the meantime, I am working with local councillors and Post Office managers to ensure a new location in Southfields is found. The Post Office have been clear with both myself and Council Leader Ravi Govindia that they do want to keep a post office in Southfields. Again, I hope there will be an opportunity to see if we can have longer opening hours and better facilities for small businesses.
I’ll keep you updated with developments on both of these Post Offices. I know how important they are for residents and businesses.
Putney Police and London Probation Trust
I recently met with the new Inspector of Putney Police, Inspector Keith Gardner, to discuss local crime concerns and individual concerns raised with me by other residents. I also visited our local probation trust office to meet with offender managers and Senior Probation Officers to talk about their work reducing reoffending and keeping Wandsworth safe. The Wandsworth team work very hard supporting offenders and is one of the best in London for reducing re-offending rates.
Careers Development Group
Recently I visited a charity, Careers Development Group (CDG) in Wandsworth to hear how they are helping long term unemployed people and ex-offenders back to work. The CDG is one of the London organisations delivering the Government’s Work Programme. It was great to hear about some of the initiatives they are running to help people who have often been out of work for some time. Alongside that they also have a volunteer scheme, where CDG have recruited over 100 volunteers to help provide support and mentoring to people looking for employment – it can be as much or as little time as people have. If you are interested in being a CDG volunteer you can find out more on their website www.cdguk.org or contact the Customer Support Centre on 0300 247 2500.
Out & about
Over the last few weeks I’ve also done another career mentoring session at Elliott School with local business people, met with Matthew Fox, Chief Executive for Viridian Housing, and Miles Scott, new Chief Executive of St Georges Health Care Trust to discuss some constituents’ cases from my MP surgery. I also met with pupils from Ashcroft Technology Academy and Saint John Bosco College who I arranged to be able to come into Parliament to see how parliament works and find out more about my role as their local MP. It was fantastic having them visit and I hope they enjoyed their visit as much as I did.
If you ever need my help as our local MP do always get in touch - you can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org , come to my MP surgery by giving my office a call on 020 8946 4557, or write to me at the House of Commons, Westminster, SW1A 0AA.
Justine Greening MP
March 20, 2012