Local MP Writes To Putney

Her first diary since her appointment as Secretary of State for Transport


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Justine's last article

Hello everyone

It has been a very busy couple of months recently, especially with my appointment to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Transport. I wanted to thank everyone for all the congratulations emails and cards I have received, which were very much appreciated! There has also been lots going on locally - Amongst other things I held a public meeting on the Thames Tunnel, opened the new Putneymead Medical Centre, and launched a career mentoring scheme at Elliott school, so read on for an update...its quite long, but there’s a lot to catch up on!

Extra rush hour District Line trains
Readers will remember that earlier this year Transport for London reviewed demand on the District line. Following strong support from local residents and all your emails to me as your local MP, Transport for London has now confirmed the introduction of 5 extra morning peak trains and an enhanced late evening service on the Wimbledon branch which starts this month.

This is great news as the extra tubes will increase capacity and improve reliability for passengers, as well as just making the daily commute a bit more comfortable. The better service coming home from Earls Court is especially welcome. I am really pleased London Underground has listened to local residents and taken action to help ease the capacity issues on the line, and I want to thank you for doing your bit to make it happen – it really made the difference!

Thames Tunnel Phase 2 proposals unveiled
Last week I held a public meeting at St Mary’s church in Putney, for our local community to discuss with Thames Water about the Thames Tunnel phase two proposals. Thames Water is consulting residents again following a number of significant changes to the tunnelling strategy.

Encouragingly the new plans have dropped a preferred main drive shaft at Barn Elms which is what we’d been working for. Instead, to tackle the sewage spills from Beverly Brook there will be a much smaller CSO site that will take less time to construct. Thames Water has also improved the proposals for Putney Bridge and King George’s Park following feedback from local residents. 

The Thames Tunnel project is a really important issue for residents and businesses locally. Since the phase one consultation, we have all been working hard to stop the shaft at Barn Elms and improve our local CSO sites and I think we have all done a great job locally.

It’s vitally important we engage with Thames Water to support their preference not to use Barn Elms for a main drive shaft site¸ and work to make our local CSO sites better and less disruptive. The more people who respond to the consultation supporting protecting Barn Elms, the better. You can either email me or respond to the consultation directly.  The Thames Tunnel phase two consultation runs for 14 weeks until 10th February 2012, and information about the phase two proposals is available to view online at www.thamestunnelconsultation.co.uk – do make sure you have your say.

River service
I’ve also had lots of residents’ get in touch with me about our commuter river boat service, after Thames River Taxi's decision to end the service from Putney to Blackfriars later this month. 

I am already working with your local Councillors and London Assembly Member, Richard Tracey, on making sure a regular reliable river service continues. I have followed up in my capacity as the local MP with Transport for London, and Thames Clippers and Thames Executive Charter, who have expressed interest in continuing the service. 

This is a service that many residents rely on and I am going to do everything I can as your local MP to work with potential providers to make sure the river service continues in the New Year.

Southfields residents support cinema plaza
Earlier this month I was at theSouthfields Plaza Group’s public meeting about the future of the former Rileys Snooker Hall. It was one year on from the first public meeting and local support is still growing. The Southfield Plaza Steering Group has worked incredibly hard on their business proposal and you can find further information about the Plaza Group’s proposals at www.southfieldsplaza.co.uk.

Alongside pressing the developers to listen to our local community about the cinema we’d like to have on site, the next step is for me to work with residents and councillors to protect the use of this site for leisure purposes. I believe it is important the community has our say so let me know what your views are, emailing me on greeningj@parliament.uk.

Putneymead medical centre
Last month, I got to cut the ribbon to officially open the Putneymead Medical Centre at 266 Upper Richmond Road. The newly refurbished premises, which is spread over four floors, has excellent facilities for disabled access and offers a full range of enhanced NHS General Practice services together with a pharmacy. The practice also features Parkside Hospital on the top floor and The Putney Clinic offering osteopathy, massage, chiropody, yoga, pilates, acupuncture and physiotherapy.

 It took a huge amount of effort over many years on the part of the GP practices that have moved but these new premises will mean a real improvement for residents registered at the Putneymead Medical Centre. The late opening hours will mean the centre is open until 8pm from Monday to Friday aswell as being open on Saturdays and should also give people much needed flexibility to see their doctor after work.

Career  scheme at Elliott school
Last year I became a Governor at Elliott School and I’ve been keen to get pupils thinking about life after school and what sort of careers they are interested in. I think often the best way to find out about what a job’s like is to meet someone already doing it. I have now set up a career scheme that aims to bring people and businesses in to talk with pupils for an hour or so, to tell them about what they do, how they got there and what skills, qualifications or experience they need to do it. I also want to get people to tell their stories – to show that many of us start off by doing one job and end up doing something completely different.

The first session went really well and I am now looking for volunteers for the next few sessions in the New Year and beyond. If this is something you would be interested in taking part and talking about your career please do get in touch with me.

Out & about
At my MP surgery, I met with Wandsworth CAB to hear about the CAB’s celebrity cook book which contains lots of delicious pudding recipes and is on sale through the website at www.wandsworthcabx.org.uk.  It is a great initiative to raise funds and even the Prime Minister sent a recipe when I told him about it earlier in the year.  In Parliament I met with the people behind the Magic Breakfast Club, who provide breakfast to schoolchildren at Granard Primary School, Putney. I also went along to the Roehampton Garden Society AGM and the Leonard Cheshire Disability centre in Battersea to see the great work they do.  Last week I met with Wandsworth Primary Care Trust and I had the fun of turning on the Christmas light at the Putney Christmas market, as Hotham Primary School children held lanterns, which was great!

As we head into the festive period I wanted to wish you all a very merry Christmas and all the best for 2012. I’m always around locally, however busy Parliament gets, so if you ever need my help please don’t hesitate to contact me either by email at greeningj@parliament.uk or by writing to me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, or you can come along to one of my weekly MP surgeries. To find out where my next MP surgery is do give my office a call on 020 8946 4557.

Best wishes and Merry Christmas!

Justie Greening MP


December 16, 2011