Happy New Year! We’re not far into the month, but there’s already a lot happening in Parliament and also locally across Putney, Roehampton and Southfields and it looks like a very busy 2008 is ahead. Here’s a brief update on Heathrow, policing and also a call for PutneySW15.com readers to get in touch about any local bus service issues.
Heathrow Expansion consultation
Thanks to the many residents who have already responded to the consultation and copied me into their email or letters to the Department for Transport - the more we all have our say, the better. I’m still pressing very hard to get answers from the DfT on the environmental impact of expanding Heathrow. I was due a response from Ministers on 6th November to my latest Freedom of Information request – I’ve still had nothing and actually got an apology from Jim Fitzpatrick today because of the delay in a parliamentary question. I’d rather just have some answers. Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Ministers have confirmed to me that no DEFRA officials contributed to the 3 year project doing the environmental modelling of Heathrow expansion. It’s truly amazing, and concerning, that the government department looking after environmental matters had no involvement in assessing the environmental impact of expanding Heathrow, when the organisation running Heathrow, BAA had so much.
The public meeting that is organised by Wandsworth Borough Council and myself is at 7.30pm, next Thursday, 17th January at St Mary’s Church, by Putney Bridge.
Constituents often come to my weekly MP surgery or contact me about local crime concerns, so I took the opportunity to speak in a debate on police funding that was held earlier this week in the House of Commons. I’ve also asked Ministers to consider giving us much more say locally over how we spend our police precept we pay. Back in 1996/97 a Band D taxpayer in Wandsworth was paying a police precept of £56 towards the Met Police but for this year, 2007/8 a Band D taxpayer paid a massive £224 – four times as much. We haven’t got four times more police. In fact Wandsworth has now got fewer fully trained, warranted police officers who can arrest people than we had when we were paying £56. I’ll continue to press for much fairer resourcing for our local police.
Local Bus Services
I’m planning to meet with London Buses soon to raise a number of issues about local bus services and how they can be improved right across our area. Roehampton isn’t on the tube service, so bus services there are vital to make sure people can get around on public transport and I know there are also issues with some of the Putney services. If you have any issues on bus services, frequencies, better routes, or other aspects of the quality of the service, then do let me know and I’ll be happy to make sure they get fed into London Buses directly.
Don’t forget, you can contact me by emailing email@example.com, writing to me at the House of Commons, London, SW18 1QF, or call 0208 944 0378 if you’d like to come to one of my weekly MP surgeries. I’ll do my best to help!
January 11, 2008