I wanted to send you an update on some of my activities so far this year. It starts with Parliament and moves on to constituency news. Most of the items have links to further information, should you wish to read more.
If you would like more information on any of these issues, please feel free to get in touch by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org I do not have email addresses for all of my constituents, so please do send this on to any interested friends or neighbours, and ask them to email me if they would like to be included on the list. I will never pass on email addresses to 3rd parties.
But first, thank you for the support I received locally for my London mayoral campaign. My campaign won almost one million votes across the capital, more than Ken Livingstone did in three of his four mayoral elections. Sadly it wasn’t enough, and of course I was disappointed that I will not be able to deliver on a manifesto that I was proud of – a plan to make London the cleanest and greenest city in the world, to keep our city moving and growing, a plan to keep our city safe by backing the police and investing in steering kids away from crime. I wish our new Mayor, Sadiq Khan, well as he sets out to build on the successes we’ve seen under Boris Johnson.
Finally, I hope you are able to enjoy the summer holidays.
Very best wishes,
MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston
Stopping Heathrow expansion remains a top priority. I continue to coordinate the Coalition Against Heathrow Expansion which I set up at the end of last year. The group includes Members of Parliament, Leaders of Local Councils and numerous NGOs. The Government has indicated that it will make a decision on airport expansion in the autumn. Having forced Government to delay a likely green light for Heathrow expansion at the end of last year, and to subject Heathrow’s third runway to a strict pollution test, I am doing all I can to ensure that test is properly applied, and to steer the Government in the right direction. Among other things, I am coordinating a series of questions from MPs of all parties for Ministers to answer, and ensuring the Government is fully aware of the legal challenges it will face if it makes the wrong decision. For an overview of this issue please visit LINK.
SECURING KEW GARDENS BUDGET
I coordinated the campaign in Parliament to protect Kew Garden’s budget by securing £2.3m of Government funding. This was after the Government announced that funding for Kew would be cut by £1.5m each year. This sum thankfully exceeded Kew’s hopes and has enabled them to plan ahead whilst bringing a lasting benefit to the gardens. I have had further reassurances from Ministers as to the protection of Kew’s long term funding going forward. Kew is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been a world-class centre for botanic research for more than 250 years. It has seven million plant specimens, attracts two million visitors a year and it is hard to exaggerate its importance to the world’s scientific community. The proposed cut to annual funding would have resulted in the loss of a sixth of the institution’s staff, mostly in scientific areas.
The 2015 Conservative Party manifesto included a commitment to establish a network of giant marine reserves in partnership with our overseas territories. That pledge followed a campaign I coordinated in Parliament and with NGOs (see LINK), and amounts to the single biggest conservation measure of any Government, ever. I am working with MPs from all parties to ensure the Government honours that commitment in full.
ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT SELECT COMMITTEE
As a member of the Environmental Audit Select Committee, I have taken part in Inquiries on a wide range of issues including: Airport Expansion, Microplastics, Sustainability in the Treasury, Diesel Emissions and Air Quality, Assessment of EU/UK Environmental Policy, Soil Health, The Government’s Approach To Sustainable Development, Flooding: Cooperation Across Government, Sustainability in the Department for Transport, Flooding: Cooperation Across Government. Read more HERE.
SCHOOL VISITS AND WORK EXPERIENCE
I encourage as many local schools as possible to visit Parliament, have a tour and take part in a Q+A with me about politics and Parliament. I have hosted more than 60 Q&A sessions for schools and local groups in Parliament. It is a hugely rewarding experience for young pupils and I strongly encourage all our local schools to take advantage of the scheme.
I have written to Ministers on behalf of constituents about a great many issues, including: The Psychoactive Substances Act - snares - trophy hunting - neonicotinoids - the dog meat trade - the National Wildlife Crime Unit - the ivory trade - air quality - medical cannabis - CETA - junior doctor contracts - Syrian refugees - immigration - Saudi arms sales - housing - zero carbon homes - fracking - solar energy - diesel farms - student loans - early years provision - EBACC - education funding - academies - support for nurseries - Emergency First Aid Education Bill - HS2 - Afghan interpreters - legal aid - overseas aid - Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership- Ugandan illegal ivory trade – energy costs – beer duty freeze - Bahrain human rights – offender rehabilitation - The Land Registry - homelessness - UK involvement in rendition and torture - local democracy - support for local libraries – corporate tax dodging - Finance Bill - women’s pensions - guide dogs - sight loss – the steel industry - Trade Union Bill - Sunday Trading - violence against women - Freedom of Information Act - Free School Meals (Automatic Registration of Eligible Children) Bill - Israel and Palestine - children in poverty – the local government pension scheme consultation - the BBC - the Welfare & Reform Bill - State Pension Age - human rights in Saudi Arabia - flooding and dredging – abuse of personal data - Investigatory Powers Bill.
I have participated in debates on a variety of issues since my last email update. Links to some of them can be found below: EU Referendum: Energy and Environment
EU Nationals in the Uk
Housing and Planning Bill— Payments to Secretary of State
Airports Commission: Final Report
Housing and Planning Bill
Tamils Rights: Sri Lanka
London Black Cabs
Home Department: Paris Terrorist Attacks
To see more of my contributions in Parliament since I became an MP, click HERE
EARLY DAY MOTIONS
I have proposed, seconded and signed 221 EDMs since becoming an MP. See this LINK for a list
WRITTEN QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS
I have put over 1,400 written questions to Ministers on a wide variety of issues. The most recent written questions include:
Read more HERE
RICHMOND AND NORTH KINGSTON NEWS
HEATHROW THE WRONG CHOICE
I sent the following letter [HERE] to constituents asking for support lobbying our new Prime Minister Theresa May on Heathrow. Many hundreds responded by writing to the PM and Secretary of State for Transport, and if you haven’t yet done so, please do! We are in the final straight and need to apply maximum pressure.
The Missing People charity invited me back to their national office, based in the constituency, to meet their team and to show me some of the new services the charity now offers. Missing People is the only charity in the UK dedicated to bringing missing children and adults back together with their families. They offer a lifeline to the 250,000 people who run away and go missing each year in the UK. Read more HERE
KINGSTON COMMUNITY FURNITURE
I officially opened the first retail outlet for Kingston Community Furniture, a charity which recycles unwanted furniture in order to furnish the homes of disadvantaged households in the Kingston area. KCF was established in 2005 and became part of Staywell (formerly Age Concern Kingston) in 2013. Read more HERE
MAJOR ROADWORKS IN PETERSHAM
A reminder that there will be extensive roadworks along the Petersham Road this August which have the potential to cause a lot of disruption. Works will start at 6am on Monday 1st August 2016 and will continue until Sunday 4th September 2016. Read more HERE
RICHMOND PARK ACADEMY ART EXHIBITION
I was thrilled to be invited by Richmond Park Academy to open their Year 11 Art Exhibition at the OSO in Barnes. This year’s work was stronger than ever and huge credit needs to be given to art teacher Ms Cronin and the pupils for this fine body of work. Read more HERE
RISING STAR AWARDS
I returned to Queen’s School in Kew to present the prizes in the Rising Star Awards, where pupils in years 2 and 6 received awards for their enthusiasm and efforts over the past year. The awards are a part of the partnership between Queen’s School and Abbeyfield, with pupils visiting the Abbeyfield Home on Ennerdale Road in order to talk to the residents and for both young and old to share their stories and experience. Read more HERE
RICHMOND PARK POLITICS SUMMER SCHOOL 2016
Richmond Park and North Kingston Conservatives, in conjunction with Achieving for Children, once again held its very successful Politics Summer School for post-GCSE local pupils. Pupils learnt about all elements of British politics and designed policy proposals – some of which I have since put to Ministers. Read more HERE
Repairs to Hammersmith Bridge are causing difficulties for anyone travelling between Barnes village and central London. As a stopgap measure, I have been supporting the Barnes Community Association's campaign to persuade TfL to extend the 22 Bus route to Barnes. Read more HERE
HIDDEN DANGERS OF THE INTERNET
I took part in the first of a series of talks on internet safety, organised by Kingston Council Cabinet Member for Schools and Education Cllr Andrea Craig. The event at Kingston College featured guest speaker Lorin LaFave, who has campaigned for a safer internet for our children following the tragic death of her son Breck Bednar in 2014. Read more HERE
Following David Cameron’s resignation as Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party, I asked local members to join me at a town hall meeting to give me their feedback on the candidates standing to replace him. Read more HERE
I chaired a meeting to discuss the ongoing strategy for removing the remaining boats illegally moored along the River Thames between Richmond and Kingston. In attendance were Sir James Bevan (CEO of the Environment Agency), James Berry MP (Kingston & Surbiton), Dr Tania Mathias MP (Twickenham), representatives of local action group Reclaim the Riverbank and Councillors from both Richmond and Kingston Councils. Read more HERE
THE EU REFERENDUM
I have had numerous letters from constituents following the EU referendum, some objecting to the fact that I had declared my support for ‘Brexit’ [see HERE] and some asking that I support calls to reverse the decision if and when it comes to a vote in Parliament. [HERE] is a précis of a response I have provided.
RICHMOND BOROUGH SPORTS DAY
I attended and addressed pupils at the hugely successful Richmond Borough School Sports Day at St Mary’s University where over 30 local schools took part. Read more HERE
WHITE HART LANE FOOTBRIDGE
I was pleased to launch new state-of-the-art safety equipment at the White Hart Lane level crossing with Network Rail and Richmond Council. The aim is to reduce the high levels of misuse of the crossing. I continue to discuss safety at the White Hart Lane crossing with Network Rail and hope to have news regarding the footbridge in the Autumn. I will continue to keep you updated. Read more HERE
I met with Richmond’s new Borough Commander, Chief Superentendent Parm Sandhu [HERE] and Superintendent Rob Applegarth of Richmond Police to discuss our local policing priorities, in particular a rise in hate-crime across the capital.
GARDEN BRIDGE FOR BARNES
I have been working with the Barnes Community Association on their exciting proposal for a Garden Bridge in Barnes and I have made numerous representations to Sir Peter Hendy at Network Rail on this issue on their behalf. See more HERE
OTHER ACTIVITIES IN BRIEF
- I met the new Chief Executive of Wandsworth Council Paul Martin to discuss ongoing proposals to merge back office functions of our two Local Authorities.
- I met with a number of Primary school Head Teachers in North Kingston to discuss the need for fairer school funding formula.
- I have been supporting an initiative to improve safeguarding of vulnerable children by Meadlands Primary School and Achieving for Children.
- I visited Operation Centaur on Ham Avenues. This project maintains grassland using traditional machinery, powered by shire horses. Read more HERE
- I was pleased to welcome Europcar to their new home at Homebase on Manor Rd. Read more HERE
- It was a huge pleasure to attend a street party organised Kew College and The Queen’s C of E Primary School to celebrate HM The Queen’s 90th birthday, where the children of both schools enjoyed a full afternoon of activities and songs, alongside a delicious picnic lunch. Read more HERE
- I met with directors from British car company Riversimple, who visited Parliament with their hydrogen zero emission fuel-cell car, the ‘Rasa’. Read more HERE
- Congratulations to the Barnes Community Association for putting on another magnificent Fair on Barnes Green. Read more HERE
- I joined constituents at the Fazl Mosque, London’s oldest Mosque, to break their fast during Ramadhan.
PUBLIC MEETINGS AND COFFEE MORNINGS
I have held more than 500 public meetings and coffee mornings throughout the constituency since becoming MP of Richmond Park and I will be organising many more throughout the year. Although we do attempt to put flyers through as many doors as possible, most people find out about these events via email, and on the events page on my website. Please do encourage your friends and neighbours to enter their details [HERE ] if they would like to receive email updates. In addition, if you are interested in hosting a coffee morning, or similar event, please email me at: email@example.com
ARRANGING PARLIAMENT TOURS, ELIZABETH TOWER CLIMBS AND SCHOOL VISITS TO PARLIAMENT
I have arranged and taken part in more than 100 Q&A sessions with local Schools, Universities and community groups in Parliament. If you are interested in booking a Q&A in Parliament for your group, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
As your MP, I also arrange individual and group visits to Parliament. Visitors can book tickets to watch parliamentary debates from the viewing gallery, or join a tour of Parliament. All these activities are free of charge.
Since becoming an MP, I have met with a great many constituents to discuss issues affecting them, and where possible, to assist with the problems they are experiencing.
If you would like to arrange an appointment at one of my surgeries, please email me at: email@example.com with your full name and address, and a summary of the issue/s you wish to discuss.
Please encourage your family and friends to get in touch if they would like to receive my email updates. They can contact me by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org , or register their details in a short online form on my website, HERE
I will not share email addresses with third parties: they will be used exclusively by me to keep residents up to date with important local and national news.
You can also find regular updates on my website HERE