Since my last update, there's been a lot happening locally - mobile phone mast planning applications and tube strikes for a start, but I've also been meeting with our local police and other local groups. Read on for more news…
Youth Crime and local Policing
Last week I had one of my regular meetings with Inspector Martin of Putney police every month to talk through local policing issues. I also got chance to meet the Roehampton and West Putney Safer Neighbourhood Policing team. It is always a very good opportunity to share the comments and information relating to crime that residents contact me about. The meeting also gives me chance to discuss how local police are tackling crime with the resources they have. One of my biggest concerns is the amount of youth on youth crime not just in Wandsworth, but across London. I think a lot goes unreported and so we don't get an accurate picture of what's really happening. That also hits local police resources which are allocated based on reported crime - something I am following up with the Met Police senior management.
District Line and Tube Strikes
Like many residents I was left wondering how to get into work during the tube strike last week. The level of disruption to commuters and other people needing to get in and out of London was massive and unacceptable. I cycled into Westminster instead of the tube - it wasn't too bad at all, but I prefer to have the choice. I very much hope that further strike action will be avoided as I don't think London's commuters should be hit in that way, left stranded wondering how to get into work. The District Line service really needs to improve and now more people are using my MP textline service (http://www.putneysw15.com/default.asp?section=info&page=congreening37.htm) I'm getting much more information about what experiences other residents have.
Wandsworth Citizens Advice Bureau
Many of the cases I see in my weekly MP surgery are often in touch with our local Wandsworth Citizens Advice Bureau. I try to stay in regular contact with the CAB because it is often very helpful to compare the issues they are seeing in their CAB offices and those that I'm dealing with as an MP. Sometimes I can work jointly with the CAB to help really move someone's case on and get it tackled - especially if it relates to our very complicated benefits system. I was very pleased to be able to attend the Wandsworth CAB AGM this week, and the Roehampton office on Roehampton Lane provides a critical service for my constituents.
Meeting with Chamber of Commerce
I often have local businesses get in touch with me about regulation issues, problems getting VAT registration or problems dealing with the HMRC tax office. I always do my best to get them tackled because most of our local economy depends on many small businesses so when they have problems, the whole local economy does. This week I met with the London Chamber of Commerce to get a better picture of whether those local problems I am contacted about are representative of London as a whole. I work closely with the Wandsworth Business Forum and the Putney Town Centre Manager, and meeting the London Chamber of Commerce proved extremely useful.
It was very good to see the multiple Orange mobile phone masts applications rejected by the Planning Committee on the Council. I know that lots of residents wrote and expressed their opposition to the applications, as did I as MP, so it was good news to see the applications thrown out by the council.
Remember, As ever, if you need my help as MP, do get in touch by emailing me on firstname.lastname@example.org, writing to me at the House of Commons, SW1A 0AA, or come and see me at my weekly MP surgery by calling 0208 944 0378.
Justine Greening MP
September 14, 2007