This month has been as ever very busy both locally and in Parliament.
Scroll down and you can read how we took a big step closer to getting a second entrance at Putney Station to relieve congestion and join it up with East Putney tube station better - I had the Secretary of State for Transport visit Putney Station to look at our plans and he's said there is a strong case to develop them formally now, which is very encouraging.
Separately, this week, the Chancellor specifically referenced my work raising Putney High Street issues in the Budget as he announced a £675m fund in response to help high streets - I'll be working with our council to make sure we get some of that investment locally.
After introducing the Creditworthiness Assessment Bill into the House of Commons at the end of last month, I'm stepping up work to help people renting have those payments build up a better credit score to be able to access more affordable credit.
Lots of community events have been happening in and around Putney, Southfields and Roehampton that I've been involved in too, so read on for a fuller update. If you'd like to get involved in a project or campaign I'm working on or have any local concerns I can help out with, let me know.
Working in Putney, Roehampton and Southfields
In October, I had a busy month getting out and about, working on local issues raised by residents with me, including:
- Wrote over 700 letters or emails to constituents about their concerns.
- Had nearly 100 meetings in my role as MP.
- Organised on site visit from the Transport Secretary and Cllr Ravi Govindia at Putney Station to discuss plans for a second entrance and what his Department can do to support the project.
- Chaired a Community Liaison Working Group meeting to get an update on the Tideway project at Putney foreshore.
- Hosted two coffee mornings for people to come along to hear an update on what I've been working on and to hear views from other local residents on local and national issues.
- Held a local residents meeting to discuss concerns about a new development proposed for Wandsworth Riverside. I've requested a meeting with the developers to raise these issues directly.
- Joined the Ahmadiyya Muslim Elder's Association to help launch and support their Poppy Appeal which is running at local tube stations and doing a fantastic job raising money.
- Opened the 'Green the Grid' Planting day in Southfields - loads of our trees now look a lot better including one outside my own home.
- Following meeting with local bus drivers at Putney Bus Garage, I visited the Go Ahead Bus Station in Waterloo to learn more their entirely electric fleet, how it is helping bring down air pollution in Putney and discuss how electric buses could be rolled out more broadly across London.
- Went along to the Wandsworth Arts Open House weekend to see all the fantastic work by the very talented local artists we have in our community. It's a brilliant couple of weekends to see lots of local art and support our local artists.
- Met with Nando's, whose headquarters are right here in Putney to discuss the employment they have locally and how they are investing in staff development.
- Attended the Roehampton Garden Society AGM as President of the RGS - it was great to see all the fantastic prizes for the allotments produce, whether flowers or vegetables.
- Viewed the Brexitometer in Putney High Street to see the response of what local residents think about supporting a vote on a final Brexit deal - I support allowing people a final say and having a second referendum.
Working in Westminster
As your local Member of Parliament, this month in Westminster I have:
- Spoke in debates and asked Parliamentary questions on:
- EU Exit Negotiations and the EU Customs Union
- Organ Donation
- The Creditworthiness Assessment Bill
- The reform of civil partnerships
- You can see all my contributions here.
- Mentored a group of young girls on the London Eye as part of the International Day of the Girl and encouraged girls to get involved in politics.
- Became a Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility to work cross-party with MPs to find solutions to Britain's social mobility challenge.
- Met with a constituent, Natalia, in Parliament who won the International Fund for Animal Welfare's Animal Action Award for community work helping injured animals.
- Attended the DfE Opportunity Area Reception which celebrated the first year of work of the Opportunity Areas that I established across the country whilst I was Secretary of State.
- Hosted a roundtable and had meetings with businesses such as BP, GSK, Penguin and Adidas and the London Business School on committing to the Social Mobility Pledge.
- Met with Equifax to discuss how to implement the Creditworthiness Assessment Bill I am working on getting through Parliament.
- Met with Police Minister Nick Hurd to discuss London policing challenges and resourcing for our local area and Wandsworth.
- Attended the Stroke Association Reception in Parliament and discussed their plans on a national stroke action plan as part of the extra planned £20bn NHS investment.
- Hosted the Industry and Parliamentary Trust's discussion on social mobility.
Putney High Street
This week the Chancellor announced in his Budget that he would make £675m funding available to improve High Streets like Putney High Street, which he specifically mentioned in his speech following the discussions I've had with him about the challenges local shops face. There was also an announcement about cutting business rates for many small and independent shops.
I’ve been pressing the Chancellor to take clear action to support Putney High Street, alongside our other shopping areas like Southfields Village and Roehampton High Street and Danebury Avenue, in the Budget. Our Council is already investing in upgrading Putney High Street including measures to improve it for pedestrians and cut air pollution. I hope that local investment from this £675m Future High Streets Fund can now help to unlock the next stage of improvements that Putney High Street needs, working with the council and Business Improvement District. That includes potentially improving the stretch of Putney High Street by Putney Bridge and around St Mary’s Church. I’m also interested in seeing how Roehampton High Street and Southfields Village might also be able to benefit from the Fund and will be discussing that with our local council as well.
It’s welcome that extra support announced through the Budget via the business rates system means that bills will be cut by a third for retail properties with a rateable value below £51,000 for 2 years from April 2019. Although there is more to be done to support many bigger businesses, this will help some of our smaller, independent local shops, pubs and restaurants across Putney, Roehampton and Southfields, which I know as local residents we all hugely value.
Putney Station 2nd entrance
Along with Council Leader Ravi Govindia, earlier this month I met the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, at Putney Station to discuss our plans for a second entrance at Putney Station and how it would work in practice. It can help alleviate congestion and make a better interchange with East Putney station.
The Transport Secretary has agreed there is a strong case to take the project forward which is very encouraging. He will ask Network Rail to now formally assess the development work for the new entrance and I will continue to press the case for this project alongside our local council.
Creditworthiness Bill Update
I asked a Prime Ministers Question on getting Government support for the Creditworthiness Assessment Bill and have spoken to both Treasury and Housing Ministers. It would mean that renters would have those monthly payments build up their credit history and be able to access more affordable credit, including for a mortgage. I am now working to ensure we can have a proper strategy in place to implement the Bill if I can get the Commons stage passed.
Resident's meeting on new riverside development
This month I met with a group of residents who were very concerned about the new Hollybrook development along Wandsworth Riverside. There are lots of concerns not only on the design and proximity of the building to other residents nearby, but also the impact on already stretched transport links in Wandsworth. Following the meeting, I'm working with with our local councillors and press the developers to produce a better proposal.
Stroke Association Reception
This month in Parliament I attended the Stroke Association's Parliamentary Reception. Like many families, I’ve lost a close family member due to a stroke. Prevention is key and it is so important for people to know the warning signs to help take care of themselves and get medical help as early as possible.
In Putney, over a thousand people locally have experienced a stroke in the last year, and the Stroke Association provides a stroke recovery service locally to provide support for stroke survivors and their families. If you need their help and want to get in touch with them they can be contacted on 0303 3033 100.
In terms of making sure we have the local healthcare provision we need, it is so important that people remember to register with a GP wherever they are living. In Putney, we have a high number of renters who may see themselves as fit and healthy and only living here temporarily, but if you're one of those people, it’s still really important to register with a local GP so that the NHS and organisations get the most accurate data on what health issues there are in different areas to better determine spending priorities and prevention campaigns. Also, you'll be able to get medical help much more easily when you need it. Learn more about how to register with a GP 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, then 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, Instagram and Facebook to see all my latest updates.
Justine Greening MP | 3 Summerstown, London, SW17 0BQ United Kingdom