Sunny News, Airports Commission, Thames Development and more
Following the election, Parliament is now back and in full swing, as is my work locally as your MP.
I‘m also proud to be able to continue my work as Secretary of State for International Development - it's a crucial year as the world is set to agree new global poverty targets and I’m looking forward to playing my part in getting the best possible new set of development goals.
We are getting close to the time when the Airports Commission will finally set out its recommendations which is likely to be before the end of this month. Their last consultation was on air quality, launched the day after the General Election. For the first time it confirms that both Heathrow proposals would appear to mean that the southern runway (the one over our local area) would have mixed mode use, meaning all day flights over South West London and extra noise. Given a recent Supreme Court ruling on improving air quality, it would seem totally counter-productive for the Airports Commission to recommend the option of a Heathrow third runway that is the most polluting of all three options, whether generally or in relation to the extra number of homes suffering worse air pollution. I will continue to keep you updated on any news and in the meantime you may be interested to have a look at my recent response to the Airports Commission air quality consultation.
I joined other Southfields residents a couple of weekends ago to show support for Sunny News on Wimbledon Park Road. Sunny News, run by Sunny & Jamie Patel, is in danger of closing due to an application from the landlord to turn the shop into a residential property. Sunny News has been part of the community since it opened in 1987 and has provided a fantastic service to local residents over the last 28 years. Local residents are rallying around Sunny, and so many of them have told me of the many times where he and his wife have gone above and beyond what is expected of them to help out their neighbours. A successful application has now meant that Sunny News is listed as an Asset of Community Value and I wrote in to add my support to the application. The next step is the decision on the planning application which will go to committee on the 18 th June 2015.
I have also responded to the Supplementary Planning Document consultation for the Roehampton regeneration proposals. I wanted to make sure my response reflected the views that have been shared with me by local residents throughout the process. You can view the consultation and its comments on the Council’s website. Some of the key points I raised in my response include the need to ensure that the regeneration has different sorts of new homes built that mean people can settle in the area for the longer term. I also want to see the centre of Roehampton - the shops and businesses on both sides of Roehampton Lane - doing well and creating new jobs. I am going to work with our local Jobcentre Plus to try to make sure that we get help for local unemployed people to give them the best opportunity to get the new jobs that will hopefully come into Roehampton. I've also been clear that we need to ensure that Roehampton keeps its library and gym provision.
About the Thames
Finally, a third consultation - I have been invited to take part in a consultation by the Port of London Authority on a project to develop a vision for the tidal Thames. The PLA wants to hear how local people want to see the river used in the future and how the Thames could be developed for trade, travel, leisure and sport, as well as any thoughts on improving the river environment itself. If you have any ideas, do let me know so I can make sure they are part of my own submission to the consultation. I have also set up an online survey for residents to give their views. It only takes 5 minutes.
Out and about
I recently dropped in at the Paddock School café in Roehampton which is a school for children aged 11- 19 with severe learning difficulties. The café aims to provide work experience for its older students within the protective environment of the school. They learn a number of skills including working the till, taking orders from and serving customers, and even making the food that is sold in the café. It is open to the public 2 days a week, on Wednesdays from 10 am until 12 pm and on Thursdays from 10 am until 2 pm. It’s a lovely cafe that is a fantastic idea, so do stop off there if you are in the area.
Local Roehampton based rugby club Rosslyn Park FC has finally got its much needed refurbishment underway to update its facilities. The club is also replacing its grass pitch and training area with an all-weather pitch for year round use which will hopefully be finished by the start of the new season in September. With help from the juniors, I visited the club recently to dig up a piece of the old turf, to hopefully keep alive in my small back garden as a little bit of sporting history.
In the meantime, the Southfields Triangle residents’ street party in Pulborough Road had perfect weather for a great afternoon. We had Sacred Heart primary school from Roehampton in Parliament for a tour earlier this week and I really enjoyed meeting all the children.
Finally, two weeks ago, I visited Nepal to see first hand how our UK aid is helping survivors of the recent earthquake on the ground. I met families who have lost just about everything, but the aid we are sending means that NGOs and UN agencies like UNICEF can help people cope, whilst homes can get rebuilt. A lot of the initial humanitarian supplies were there as part of an aid project the UK was working on with Nepal to help them prepare for a possible disaster like an earthquake, so we had aid supplies already in position, blood banks set up and communities trained in first aid, amongst other things. Britain is leading the rebuilding of thousands of hospitals in Nepal to get health services up and running and to make sure vulnerable groups like girls and women are protected. The resilience of the Nepalese people is amazing and the British people have played their part by donating more than £50 million to the DEC appeal.
I feel very privileged to have been elected to serve the people of Putney, Roehampton and Southfields for a third term as your MP. I can assure you that I will continue to listen to local residents and to represent you on the issues that are important to us. As always, I hold surgeries every week around the constituency so if you have an issue you’d like to raise with me do get in touch. You can contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, write to me at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA or give my office a call on 020 8946 4557.
Justine Greening MP
July 1, 2015