Winter Newsletter 2019

Here are some of my activities since my last update in June. It starts with news from Parliament and moves on to the constituency.

I have tried to keep the details brief but have included links to most of the stories for anyone wanting to read more. If you would like more information, please email me at: zac@zacgoldsmith.com

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PARLIAMENTARY NEWS:

BREXIT:

Brexit continues to dominate national politics. My personal focus has always been on supporting an outcome that maximises the benefits of leaving the EU, not least for the environment where there are huge opportunities to be gained by replacing the anti-green Common Agriculture and Fisheries policies. I voted against the deal that the Prime Minister put before MPs and set out my reasons for doing so in this speech HERE

HEATHROW EXPANSION:

I voted against the third runway proposal when it came before Parliament and, although we lost that vote, I have not given up the fight. Attention now turns to the legal challenges brought against the expansion plans by local councils, environmental groups and people living near the airport. The cross-party group on Heathrow expansion in Parliament, which I chair, will be supporting those challenges by continuing to expose what a damaging project this would be for the environment, the public finances and the health of local residents. The No Third Runway Coalition which I helped set up, and which has pulled all the key campaign groups together, continues to work effectively outside of Parliament.  HERE

Heathrow Airport is running a consultation on the use of airspace. Their proposals even for the existing two runways would enable them to increase the number of flights by 25,000 per year, an additional 68 flights every day. I have organised a public meeting for residents to put their questions directly to Heathrow representatives. Everyone is welcome. I have also provided guidance on how residents can answer the Heathrow consultation here HERE

CRIME AND SAFETY

Last week, I asked the Police Minister to acknowledge the level of anxiety in London regarding the recent increase in crime.  In recent months I have raised concerns directly with Ministers about the need for more funding for our police and I met with the Prime Minister in December to specifically discuss the issue of crime and to lobby her for additional resources. I welcomed the Minister for Policing's subsequent announcement on the 13th of December that up to £14 billion will be allocated to the Police in 2019/20 - an increase of up to £970million on last year's funding. Keeping our community safe is a core priority for me as your Member of Parliament. There are few issues more important and I will continue to apply as much pressure as I can to ensure the safety of residents. HERE

ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE CONFERENCE:

I was delighted to be appointed as the Government's champion for the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference held in London in October. The conference brought together representatives from NGOs, the private sector, and the governments of over eighty different countries to work to tackle the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products. The trade is worth billions of pounds every year to criminal and terrorist organisations as well as devastating the natural world. We are making progress, with the UK's ivory ban about to come into force, more support for threatened species and habitats and moves to protect so-called "green corridors" which cross country boundaries. HERE

FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION:

As co-chair of the parliamentary group on Female Genital Mutilation, I am working with crossbench peer Michael Berkeley to try to change the law so we can better protect girls who are at risk from this terrible crime. Our Private Member's Bill would make a small but significant change to the 1989 Children Act which would allow family courts to take specific action to intervene where there is a risk of FGM being committed. We have won the Government's support but now need to gather the backing of MPs more widely.

TROPHY HUNTING:

I am leading the campaign in Parliament to ban the import of hunting trophies into the UK. We rightly condemn the barbaric hunting of beautiful animals like elephants and lions for sport, but we are abetting this practice by allowing hunting trophies to be brought into the UK. My Early Day Motion calling on ministers to ban trophy imports has attracted the support of over 150 MPs from all the political parties, and I am continuing to push the Government to act. HERE

2019 LOAN CHARGE:

The Loan Charge is a grossly unfair policy that threatens to hit thousands of law-abiding people with a retrospective tax. I have spoken to numerous constituents who are affected by this policy and I am doing all I can to fight against it by making representations to HMRC and ministers in Parliament and in private. I have been working with other MPs to seek to change the law so the charge does not apply to anything before 2017, and working cross-Party, we successfully amended the Government's Finance Bill to force a review. HERE

BLUE BELT:

I have long championed the protection of the waters around the UK's overseas territories through the Blue Belt policy. The Government has made the fantastic commitment to protect a total area of ocean greater than the size of India, and I am now pushing ministers to be more ambitious still and designate pristine waters as completely off limits to commercial fishing. In particular, I am working with campaigners to get ministers to protect the incredible ocean around the South Sandwich Islands, which featured prominently on Blue Planet 2 due to its populations of penguins, and I am delighted that moves have already been made to protect more of this beautiful and vital area. (See my speech on the issue HERE)

ASYLUM FOR ASIA BIBI:

Asia Bibi is a Pakistani Christian who faces a serious threat to her life after being acquitted of blasphemy charges which would have resulted in the death penalty. I challenged Theresa May at Prime Minister's Questions to make sure that the UK is doing everything it can to support her, especially by offering her asylum here. HERE

FRACKING:

I do not believe that fracking is the answer to our energy needs, but whatever your view, the Government's plans to fast-track fracking projects through the planning system are wrong as they bypass local opinion and treat drilling for gas in the same way as a new conservatory. I am working with other Conservative MPs to stop these changes from happening. HERE

AGRICULTURE BILL:

One of the most exciting opportunities arising from Brexit is the opportunity to replace the disastrous Common Agricultural Policy with a system of subsidies that rewards farmers and landowners for providing public goods like high animal welfare standards and access to land rather than the amount of land they own. I am strongly supporting the Government's Agriculture Bill which implements these changes, and I am seeking to strengthen it further to ban the live export of animals and introduce mandatory labelling of animal products so consumers know how they were farmed. HERE

CLIMATE CHANGE:

Whatever political arguments are ongoing about Brexit, I remain firmly of the view that it is climate change that is the biggest issue facing us as a country and as a world. The Government has made great strides in recent years, cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 23% since 2010, ending our reliance on coal, and promoting clean growth, but we have so much more to do across the world if we are to avoid the appalling consequences of inaction. In a recent speech in Parliament, I argued for strong action now - almost everything that we need to do to tackle climate change are is something that we would want to do irrespective of climate change. You can find my speech on climate change HERE  

 

PARLIAMENTARY NEWS IN BRIEF:

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PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES

I have participated in several debates on a variety of topics in the last few months. Links to some of them can be found below:

To see more of my contributions in Parliament, click HERE

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WRITTEN QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS

I regularly table written questions to Ministers on a wide variety of issues. The most recent written questions include:

  • BANKRUPTCY: TAX AVOIDANCE
  • ANIMAL PRODUCTS: IMPORTS
  • PRIVATE FINANCE INITIATIVE
  • HEATHROW AIRPORT: CARBON EMISSIONS
  • CARBON EMISSIONS
  • HEATHROW AIRPORT: RAILWAYS
  • HEATHROW AIRPORT: AIR TRAFFIC
  • HEATHROW AIRPORT: POLLUTION CONTROL
  • DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT: PRIVATE FINANCE INITIATIVE
  • TAX AVOIDANCE
  • NUCLEAR POWER: FINANCE

Read more HERE

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EARLY DAY MOTIONS

I have proposed, seconded and signed numerous EDMs since becoming an MP in 2010. The most recent include:

To see the full list, click HERE

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RICHMOND AND NORTH KINGSTON NEWS

CRIME

I wrote to constituents on what I am doing to improve safety in our community following the recent stabbing in Kew. Read more HERE

£3.444 MILLION EXTRA FOR KINGSTON HOSPITAL

I welcomed news that Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock has awarded Kingston Hospital an extra £3.444mn in capital funding. Read more HERE

BUSINESS AND ENTERPRISE IN LOCAL SCHOOLS

I visited St Mary Magdalene's and Lowther schools to judge pitches from the students in a 'Dragon's Den' format.  Read more HERE

PUBLIC MEETING WITH THE POLICE ON CRIME AND SAFETY IN KINGSTON

I hosted a public meeting at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel in Kingston with Borough Commander Rob Applegarth to discuss Crime and Safety in North Kingston. Read more HERE

TFL BUS CONSULTATION FOR RICHMOND

I met with heads at TfL in Parliament to discuss their latest bus consultation for Richmond. Read more HERE

CONSTRUCTION OF THE WHITE HART LANE FOOTBRIDGE 

I was delighted Network Rail confirmed construction of the White Hart Lane Footbridge after years of campaigning by myself and Councillors. Read more HERE

ALZHEIMER'S SOCIETY

I visited the Alzheimer's Society at Barnes Hospital and discussed what can be done locally to improve the lives of residents with the condition. Read more HERE

'PINT AND POLITICS' EVENING AT THE TRIANGLE

I hosted a public meeting and a Q&A session with local residents at The Willow Real Food Restaurant and Bar, at the Triangle in New Malden. Read more HERE

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY

I joined in the commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, which marked the end of the First World War. Read more HERE

POWERSTATION YOUTH CENTRE IN MORTLAKE

I visited the Powerstation Youth Centre and was hugely impressed by the facilities and by the enthusiasm of the staff working there. Read more HERE

ARMED ATTACK AT SAINSBURY'S IN BARNES

I shared an update from the police regarding an attack at Sainsbury's on Barnes high Street. Read more HERE

HIGH STREET SURVEY

I launched a constituency wide survey of shoppers and local high street users' local priorities. Read more HERE

EXTRA £2BN FOR MENTAL HEALTH IN THE BUDGET

I met with Ms Ann Beasley, the new Chair of South West London St Georges Mental Health Trust (SWLSTG) and Mr David Bradley, Chief Executive of SWLSTG to discuss the extra £2bn investment in mental health care. Read more HERE

RICHMOND HOUSING PARTNERSHIP

I met with the Richmond Housing Partnership to discuss a number of concerns local residents have raised with me at surgeries in the constituency. Read more HERE

HAMMERSMITH BRIDGE SURVEY 

I launched a constituency wide survey of Hammersmith Bridge users' experiences. Read more HERE

LONG LIVE THE LOCAL

I pledged support for the Long Live The Local Campaign, to help pubs in Richmond Park and North Kingston keep their doors open. Read more HERE

BARNES HOSPITAL

I have organised and chaired a series of meetings with The Friends of Barnes Hospital, Richmond CCG and South West London St Georges on the 19th October to discuss the proposed future health hub at Barnes Hospital. Read more HERE

MEETING WITH SOUTH RICHMOND POLICE

I met up with PSCO Guinnie Mooneesawmy and the newly appointed PC Neil Gallagher of South Richmond Ward. Read more HERE

COFFEE AND CAKES TO BECOME PLASTIC FREE

I visited Coffee and Cakes in East Sheen to discuss its owner's mission to become a plastic free café. Read more HERE

COLLEGE FUNDING

I met with Peter Mayhew- Smith, the Group Principal and Chief Executive of the South Thames Colleges Group to discuss funding issues facing the sector. Read more HERE

CRIME SURVEY 

I met with Chief Superintendent Sally Benatar, the Commander of the South West Borough Basic Command Unit (BCU) which covers Kingston, Richmond, Merton and Wandsworth, to discuss crime in the community. Read more HERE

ROAD SAFETY OUTSIDE EAST SHEEN PRIMARY

I organised for senior TFL representatives to meet parents and the Headmistress of East Sheen Primary to discuss the safety of the crossings on Upper Richmond Road West. Read more HERE

BARNES HEDGEHOGS

I have been supporting Mr Michel Birkenwald, the founder of Barnes Hedgehogs, in his efforts to secure the Council's support for his award winning conservation work. Read more HERE

RUSSELL SCHOOL PLASTIC STRAWS

I sent 1,500 plastic straws from Russell School's year 4 class to Cool Milk, a leading supplier of milk to school children in Richmond Park Constituency, and asked them to deliver a solution to the plastic waste they are responsible for. Read more HERE

MEETING WITH RESIDENTS TO DISCUSS BURGLARIES IN KINGSTON VALE

I chaired a meeting in Coombe Vale, North Kingston, to discuss burglaries and local crime. Read more HERE

GREAT BRITISH HIGH STREET AWARDS 2018

I lobbied for Barnes High Street to win in this year's Great British High Street Awards. Read more HERE 

CONSERVATIVES' UNDER 25s POLITICS EVENING

I organised a meeting for over 30 young people in East Sheen for an Under 25s Politics Evening. Read more HERE

"GIVE A DAY TO POLICING" INITIATIVE

I joined officers from the Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC) for their "Give a Day to Policing" initiative in the community. Read more HERE

COMMUTER MEETING

I organised and chaired a public meeting for commuters to put their questions to rail providers at Duke Street Church. Read more HERE

KEW GARDENS VISIT

visited the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew to hear about Kew's work in combatting the illegal trade in plants. Read more HERE

CRIME AND SAFETY DISCUSSION WITH LOCAL RESIDENTS

I asked residents to take part in a constituency-wide crime survey. Read more HERE

BUSINESS OWNERS MEETING IN BARNES

I took part in a packed meeting with residents, local businesses and police to discuss concerns about rising crime in the area. Read more HERE

RICHMOND CRIME AND SAFETY PUBLIC MEETING WITH THE POLICE

I hosted a public meeting with the local police at Duke Street Church in Richmond. Read more HERE

MEETING WITH BOROUGH POLICE COMMANDER

I met with Sally Benatar - the new Commander of the South West Borough Basic Command Unit which covers Kingston, Richmond, Merton and Wandsworth - for a crime update. Read more HERE

RICHMOND PARK

I met with Mr Simon Richards, Richmond Park Manager and Mr Adam Curtis, Assistant Park Manager to discuss the fundraising opportunities which will result from the Royal Parks transition into a charity. Read more HERE

NHS 70TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS

I met with the Chief Executive of Kingston Hospital, Ms Ann Radmore, to discuss the provision of health services in the community. Read more HERE

RICHMOND VOLUNTEERS COLLECT 200KG OF RIVER LITTER

I took part in an event in which 90 Richmond paddle boarders and volunteers collected 200kg of litter. Read more HERE

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OTHER ACTIVITIES IN BRIEF

 

-        I convinced Tesco to restrict their delivery hours at their store in East Sheen HERE

-        I contacted every school in my constituency to encourage them to join me in Parliament. HERE

-        I hosted Q+A sessions in Parliament for students from the Mall School, Richmond Park Academy and Richmond University

-        I presented Steve Smith, Managing Director of TrueCall with the prestigious Hero award. HERE

-        I visited Russell School and heard from the pupils about their campaign to reduce plastic waste at the school. HERE

-        I presented charity awards recognising intergenerational volunteering to Queen's School students. HERE

-        I met with Councillors and police to remove up to 25 vehicles and caravans in the middle of the Common.HERE

-        I attended the official unveiling of the new Richmond Hill telescope. Read more  HERE

-        I congratulated Barnes on being shortlisted for the Great British High Street Awards 2018. Read more HERE

-        I visited the My Sunshine Day Nursery in Mortlake to meet the team and to formally launch the premises. HERE

-        I attended three Macmillan coffee mornings in support of the charity's work. HERE

-        I visited Kingston Grammar School to talk about politics and the environment. HERE

-        I met with Integrated Neurological Services and took their letter directly to Health Secretary, Matt Hancock. HERE

-        I was honored to cut the ribbon to open Rosona Spice, a new local Indian restaurant  HERE

-        I met with 20 volunteers of the Friends of Latchmere Recreation Ground (FOLAR) in Kingston to plant bulbs. HERE

-        I attended the Shooting Star Chase Christmas Fair and fundraiser. Read more HERE

-        I attended Christ's School in Richmond to talk to the Year 11 students about their Citizenship campaign project. HERE

-        I discussed with the Police the increase in burglaries and car thefts in Ham. Read more HERE

-        I met with Dr Darren Tymens at the Sheen Lane Centre in East Sheen to discuss the local uptake of the flu jab HERE

-        I visited St Osmond's School to answer questions at their school assembly. Read more HERE

-        I attended Kew Sparkle with local campaigner and Conservative Council Candidate Ms Jane Keep. Read more HERE

-        I visited Lowther School to judge their young enterprise event. Read more HERE

-        I congratulated Sgt Les Jackson who received the Queen's Police Medal in the New Year honours list.  HERE

-        I visited Year 3 pupils at Broomfield House to hear pupils' views on zoos. Read more HERE

 

PUBLIC MEETINGS AND COFFEE MORNINGS

Since being elected in 2010 I have held well over 500 public meetings and coffee mornings throughout the constituency, and I will be organising more this 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.

ARRANGING TOURS OF PARLIAMENT AND SCHOOLS VISITS TO PARLIAMENT  

Over the years, 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: zac@zacgoldsmith.com

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.

PRIVATE SURGERIES                                                                                                                                   

Since being re-elected as your 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: zac@zacgoldsmith.com with your full name and address, and a summary of the issue/s you wish to discuss.

SIGN UP

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: zac@zacgoldsmith.com 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 read more about our Privacy Notice HERE

You can also find regular updates on my website HERE

 

Post: 372 Upper Richmond Road West, London SW14 7JU
Telephone 0208 878 7866
Email:  zac@zacgoldsmith.com
Websitewww.zacgoldsmith.com
Follow me on Twitter:  @ZacGoldsmith

Contact Information

phone: 020 8878 7866