Though we had the Easter break, it has still been a very busy month with constituency work and local elections coming up. As always, it has been great to be out and about working with other local residents on issues that matter to our community, so 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 April, I had a busy month working on local issues raised by residents with me, including:
- Wrote over 1100 letters or emails to constituents about their concerns.
- Had over 70 meetings in my role as MP during the time Parliament was sitting and outside of the Easter break.
- 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.
- Met with our local police chief, the Wandsworth Borough Commander to discuss the recent action being taken to tackle moped crime and the increase in violent crime in London.
- Worked on finding a new location for the Danebury Avenue Wandsworth Mind shop.
- Visited the Back Up Trust, a fantastic local charity that helps young people with spinal cord injuries.
- Spoke at the Sutton Trust Best in Class Conference on education reforms and social mobility.
- Joined Southfields Grid Residents at St Barnabus Church for their Spring Tea Party which was a fantastic afternoon enjoyed by all of us who went to it.
- Attended the Southfields Business Forum AGM with local councillors Guy Humphries, Terry Walsh and Kim Caddy to discuss the ideas for investing in improving the centre of Southfields including the need to maintain parking for residents using local shops.
- Discussed Higher Education issues with the Vice Chancellor of Kingston University.
- Attended the Southfields Academy International Evening.
- Supported the Gressenhall Road Ahmadiyya mosque open day for local residents.
- Visited the Political Cartoon Gallery in Putney to see the new exhibit on political cartoons from the Evening Standard.
- Held a coffee morning at St Michael's Church in Southfields to meet up with local residents and West Hill Conservative council candidates Alison Rodwell, who attends St Michael's, Salvatore Murtas and Robert Hughes.
- Was briefed by the Minister for Justice, Rory Stewart, about the review into the Warboys hearing, given the local residents affected by this.
Working in Westminster
As a local Member of Parliament, this month in Westminster I have:
- Spoke to the Speaker's Trust about their organisation getting involved with the Social Mobility Pledge.
- Asked parliamentary questions and spoke in debates on the Syrian chemical weapon attack earlier in the month here.
- Joined the knife crime discussion held at City Hall to represent local concerns on crime.
- Met with the organisers of London Pride to discuss how I can support this year's event.
- Attended the unveiling of the Millicent Fawcett statue in Parliament Square, the first statue of a woman to be located in the square.
- Met with the new Chief Executive of international development charity Restless Development to talk about the importance of young people getting involved with international aid projects.
- Successfully seen a number of major companies including Marks & Spencer, Vodafone and the John Lewis Partnership sign up to the Social Mobility Pledge.
Meeting with Borough Commander and City Hall about increase in violent crime
This month I had an important meeting with the Borough Commander, Peter Laverick, regarding our local concerns about moped crime in Wandsworth, the associated violent crime, and London more broadly.
I also attended a Violent Crime Summit at City Hall held by the Mayor of London, the Head of the Metropolitan Police and the Home Secretary, to discuss what action is being taken to cut violent crime. I think what Londoners really want to see is not just some talking but more action that can make a difference in keeping communities safe day to day. We heard a lot about strategy, but I know for a lot of us we are really worried about the upswing in violent crime - knife crime in particular. I'd like to see more practical steps such as petrol stations refusing to serve moped riders who will not remove their helmet and consideration on whether we should even target mopeds with pillion riders whilst we work to reduce moped and knife crime.
The Mayor has announced a further £15 million for the police to specifically tackle knife crime and the Government has produced a Serious Violence Strategy which is backed with £40 million in Home Office funding.
Southfields Post Office Consultation
As many will know, alongside local councillors and the Southfields Business Forum, our community has been campaigning for the best part of three years to find a new location for the Southfields Post Office as the current location is due to be redeveloped. Last year I met Paula Vennells, the Chief Executive of the Post Office, because I was concerned progress was too slow and since then I've been working with Southfields Councillors Guy Humphries, Terry Walsh and Kim Caddy to make sure a site was finally identified.
The good news is that the Post Office has now finally found a new Post Office location which would see it move to Food and Wine on Replingham Road. The Post Office has launched a consultation on the proposal and I think it is important that our community responds to it so that we can ensure that this proposal includes all the services residents and businesses in Southfields needs. For example, whilst it’s great that the Post Office will be open for more hours, it doesn’t include at the moment a service to allow local businesses to get change when they need it, which is very important to our small businesses, particularly after the closure of NatWest bank.
The consultation runs until 16th May and you can view and respond to the consultation here: https://www.postofficeviews.co.uk/national-consultation-team/southfields-sw19-6nz-054001/ . If you could flag up the issue of local businesses that would really help, and do let me know any concerns you may have and I will feed them back in my own consultation response.
Roehampton Mind Charity Shop
A number of Roehampton residents have been in touch with me concerned about the closure of the Mind charity shop in Roehampton on Danebury Avenue. It's in preparation for work on the Alton Estate investment and regeneration, and the site has plans to be used by the local NHS for services including health check ups for several weeks initially. However, the shop is really valued by our local community so I am keen to see if there is any way we can enable it to still have a site for the future.
I have been in regularly contact with Wandsworth Borough Council and Wandsworth Mind themselves about whether and how we can ideally work on relocating the shop very close by. Wandsworth Mind has already agreed to end its lease, so that's why I am working with the shop to try to find a new location in Roehampton. I'm also handing in a petition to the council to show the level of support there is locally for the shop - if you've signed it, thanks for supporting the shop.
Roehampton Playing Fields Update
At the end of last month, I chaired the first meeting of the Roehampton Playing Fields Community Trust with local residents and stakeholders including schools, to discuss the future of the playing fields at the top of Dover House Road. The Trust is a group of local residents who are developing a plan for the playing fields to enable them to be invested in and more fully used by our local community and schools.
Over the coming months the Trust will continue to get views from across our community. I'm going to keep working with the Trust as I think it's a great idea to see our local community more in the lead on how the playing fields are used. If you're a West Putney or Roehampton resident and interested staying in touch with what's happening on the playing fields then let me know or you can get in touch with the Trust at www.roehamptonplayingfields.org.
Social Mobility Pledge Update
There has been a huge number of businesses that have signed up to the Social Mobility Pledge this month including the John Lewis Partnership, Vodafone, and Marks and Spencers. I've contacted a number of local businesses to get them to sign up as well so we can really work together in Putney to create opportunities for young people, no matter their background. Get more information on the pledge 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.
Copyright © 2018 Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, All rights reserved.