October has been a very busy month and I hope this e-newsletter provides you with a brief update on some of the things I've been working on locally, plus there's a new Heathrow consultation which is important to have our say on. 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 October, I had a busy month working on local issues raised by residents with me. I:
- Wrote over 800 letters and emails in my role as a constituency MP in order to follow up on residents’ concerns. So far this year I have responded to nearly 6000 new constituent enquiries and have written nearly 10,000 letters and emails to follow up on concerns that residents have raised.
- Had over 180 meetings this month in my local and ministerial role.
- Held weekly constituency 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.
- Met with Putney Business Improvement District Manager, Nicola Grant, to discuss the priorities of businesses in Putney Town Centre and along Putney High Street.
- Attended the Wandsworth DigiTech Conference at Wandsworth Town Hall to see the fantastic work and ideas of tech entrepreneurs in our area.
- Chaired a Tideway Tunnel Community Liaison Working Group Meeting for the King George's Park site to discuss upcoming construction.
- Followed up Roehampton Regeneration workshops and discussed the ideas and concerns residents have about plans for the Alton Estate and met with planners from Wandsworth Council to get a further update on the project.
- Spoke at the Southfields Triangle Residents' Association Annual General Meeting.
- Visited sixth form students from Ark Academy and Putney High School at Ark Academy.
- Met with the Leader of Wandsworth Council, Ravi Gonvindia, to discuss a range of issues including Putney High Street, air quality and improving Southfields Village centre.
- Met with representatives from South Western Railway to discuss contigency plans in the event of industrial action by the RMT.
- Went to Putney Station with Network Rail representatives to discuss the next steps for a second entrance on Oxford Road.
- Visited St Michael's Primary School to hear about future plans for the school and followed up concerns about road safety around the school.
- Went along to see a great performance by Southfields' Theatre Group of Sense and Sensibility at St Barnabas Church.
- Joined Thamesfield Council Candidate John Locker for a coffee morning to hear from Thamesfield residents about the issues that matter to them.
- Met a local resident to discuss plans to begin and expand a basketball academy in the area to get girls involved with sport.
- Held a public meeting with local councillors and Sainsbury's in relation to the development plans for their site in Southfields.
Working for Westminster
As a local Member of Parliament, this month in Westminster I have
- Taught a Patchwork Foundation Masterclass to young leaders interested in politics and Government.
- Helped launch 'Your story, our history' film from the Women's Interfaith Network.
- Won the Politician of the Year Award at the Pink News Awards.
- Hosted a work experience student from the Social Mobility Foundation.
- Received an update on proposed constituency boundary changes. Following a consultation last year, the Boundary Commission has now published revised proposals that would see Roehampton and Putney Heath moved to the Wimbledon constituency and Fairfield and Earlsfield wards added to the Putney constituency. To see the proposals and make comments please visit the Boundary Commission's website.
Putney High Street Improvements
This month I had several meetings to push forward projects to improve Putney High Street and the surrounding areas.
As most local residents will be aware, Putney High Street is one of the most polluted streets in the UK. I have been working with TfL, the Mayor's office and Wandsworth Borough Council for a number of years on ways the air quality in our area can be improved, and it's good news that these initiatives have shown significant positive results, with Putney High Street exceeding EU hourly nitrogen dioxide limits six times from February to June compared to 742 times during the same period last year. However, there is still a long way to go.
Any breaches at all are still unacceptable, so this month I met with the Leader of Wandsworth Council, Ravi Govindia, to discuss what more can be done to further improve our local air quality. The Council is looking at improving traffic flow on the High Street and how we can make it better for pedestrians to use, while also looking at solutions including green walls and photo-catalytic paint in order to continue to improve our air and make Putney High Street a safe and pleasant place to work, shop and eat.
I have also had several meetings with Wandsworth Borough Council, Network Rail and South Western trains about getting a second entrance at Putney Station on Oxford Road. I think this is vital in order to connect East Putney Station with Putney Station and improve journey times for local commuters. Network Rail have undertaken to develop the plans and I will continue to keep residents updated as this progresses.
I had several meetings this month on the regeneration of the Alton Estate in Roehampton. The plans for the regeneration have now had feedback from residents through recent workshops which were held to get a better understanding of what people want to see for the area. It's essential that extra facilities are part of the regeneration, such as a new and bigger library, a new GP and health service, better youth activities, and an improved overall environment.
I understand that there will shortly be a more formal 30 day consultation process on the plans before a planning application is submitted and that, if approved, work will begin in October next year. I will ensure that residents are aware of when this consultation process begins because I think it is vital that as many people respond as possible to help inform what the best version of the regeneration will be for the whole community.
Road Safety on Putney Hill
Following an increase of letters and emails about road safety concerns in Putney, I leafletted the roads around Putney Hill to ask what residents thought could be improved.
Residents have indicated that they are concerned about traffic congestion and safety on Putney Hill as it leads into Putney High Street and the junction with Upper Richmond Road. Putney Hill has become increasingly congested with traffic and this has also put pressure on the busy junction with Upper Richmond Road. Further issues raised have included crossing times for the junction at Putney High Street and Upper Richmond Road and difficulties for pedestrians crossing a congested Putney Hill on the stretch around Cambalt Road and St John's Avenue, as well as opposite Carlton Drive.
I have followed up this matter with Transport for London and also Wandsworth Borough Council. The good news is that they have now begun a study to look at road safety in the immediate area to see what can be done to improve things. I have asked residents for their views to feed into this study and while I've had a great response so far, please do get in touch if you have any views and I'd be happy to pass them on.
Further Consultation on Aircraft Noise and Heathrow Expansion - Closing 19 December
The Transport Secretary has announced a further period of consultation on Heathrow expansion following updated evidence that has been released that revises long term aviation forecasts, passenger numbers and GDP figures. Local people will know that these are issues that we have highlighted previously to both the Airports Commission originally and also the DfT.
The National Policy Framework has had to be redrafted and this consultation will run until 19 December. It is very important that our community responds. The new reports again show that Heathrow's proposals will have a negative effect on both air and noise pollution with less time for respite than our current eight hours - these are all issues that already have a huge impact on our quality of life locally.
You can respond online to the consultation here and I will also be responding as local MP. If you'd like to be kept up to date with what I am doing on this issue, please let me know and I will add you to my Heathrow interest group so that you can receive regular updates.
I also wanted to provide an update on the Prime Minister's statement on the ongoing discussions surrounding the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, which I know is a hugely important issue to us all locally.
This month the Prime Minister sought to give strong assurances on the rights of EU Citizens and wrote an open letter to all EU Citizens living in the UK to assure them that the Government is committed to maintaining their rights as part of our negotiation. This is a priority for the Government and I believe our position and the European Union’s position on this issue is close and I am hopeful for a deal on this aspect.
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 email@example.com, 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 © 2017 Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, All rights reserved.