After the excitement of local elections, I'm pleased to be able to give you my latest MP update. Its been a particularly fast-moving time in the House of Commons over the past month, with the cabinet reshuffle, the Home Office problems, Education bill and this week's proposals on pensions.
As you'll have seen from other postings, the number of night flights will now stay the same and the proposal to increase the number has been dropped by the Department of Transport. This is at least some small progress, but the Civil Aviation Bill - which proposes no limit at all on how many flights can land and take off from Heathrow every day - is still being debated. Unusually, the House of Lords voted against the bill (and supported MPs such as myself wanting to keep the movements limit). The Bill came back into the Commons, where the government still proposed to take away the limit, totally ignoring concerns, so it is now back with the Lords. I very much hope they will again reject removing the limit on flights and put pressure on the government to take a reasonable approach.
Train and Tube Transport:
Good news for Putney Station, alongside the prospect of using Oyster cards, is that I've have confirmation that it will be in the first wave of stations assessed for better accessibility via a national project to improve station accessibility. Having followed up with South West Trains, this should mean that the problems of the gap between some of the trains and platforms should be reduced by increasing the height of the platform, making it easier to use for everyone. There will be an overall assessment of how easy it is the use the station genearlly, so hopefully a number of improvements will be made.
As of early June on the District Line, we'll also have the additional tube train serving our line during morning rush hour. Works should be starting on Southfields tube station lift shortly. I recently met the Chief Executive of Metronet to press for faster improvements to our service reliability locally.
After the downpour of the past 2-3 weeks its easy to forget that a hosepipe ban is in place locally. I have met with Thames Water management to discuss their poor performance on fixing water leaks - my own road had two in the space of 3 weeks. Thames Water have been planning to reduce leaks by reducing water pressure, which will mean a number of local council blocks now will be too high to get water pumped at the lower pressure. Thames Water want to charge the council and leaseholders for the new pumps that will be needed to make sure water reaches top floors. I think Thames Water should pay for their own operational decisions to tackle leaks. I've been in touch with Ofwat and also lobbied government environment ministers. So far Thames Water are only willing to pay 50% of the cost, but I'm not finished making our case yet…
I've had my usual regular meetings with people such as the head of Putney Police, Inspector Dollery and with Council officials in the Housing and Education department. Last weekend I visited the Trinity Hospice fund raising coffee morning at Ashmead Care Centre and also went along to the Little Fingers Nursery party (in St Stephen's Church, Manfred Road). If you have a local community event you'd like me to come along to do give me a call on 0208 944 0378 and I'll do my best to get there and support you. If you need my help as MP either call, write to me at the House of Commons, SW1A 1AA, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone and book into one of my weekly MP surgeries.
Justine Greening MP
May 25, 2006