This week was a very special week across Putney, Roehampton and Southfields as we had Remembrance Day, also marking 90 years since the end of World War I. I have been involved with a lot of local events to mark the event, but as ever, there’s been a lot else going on too, both in Parliament and locally, so read on for a brief update.
Remembrance Day and trip to Auschwitz
It is always a privilege to be able to pay my respect on behalf of our local community on Remembrance Sunday and also Remembrance Day. I joined with the Royal British Legion on Sunday in a special service at St Mary’s Church in Putney. There is also a service in the Putney Exchange Shopping Centre on Remembrance Day itself and I made sure that I was able to get back from Westminster to be there.
Earlier in the week I had been at Southfields Community College to mark the unveiling of a special Remembrance plaque that the History Society students had made to mark the 90th anniversary of Armistice Day. It was very special to see a whole new generation of children learning about what Remembrance Sunday is all about and carrying out the 2 minutes silence.
It will ensure that we never forget the sacrifice so many people made for our country and our freedom.
Last Thursday I went with St Cecilia’s school children to Auschwitz in Poland to see first hand just one of the Nazi concentration camps where the holocaust took place. It was a draining experience, one that I will never forget but vital to do and I know that the St Cecilia’s students felt the same.
Parliament finally debates Heathrow
At last, we had a debate in government time on Heathrow, and it took up the full six and a half hours allotted to it. Had we not reached the 10pm time when the debate had to finish it would have gone on much longer. There were so many MPs who wanted to speak in the debate, we were all restricted to just 10 minute speeches and even then not every MP got called to speak. Because this issue is so important for our community, I had asked the Speaker of the House in advance if I could contribute to the debate, and I was one of the MPs who was called to speak on behalf of their constituents.. MPs from all parties urged Ministers to drop their plans and just 2 MPs spoke in favour of the government’s proposals. Here’s a link to my speech:
At the moment it does look like the government is going to totally ignore all of the overwhelming opinion and evidence against expanding Heathrow but I will keep pressing them to drop the proposals in every way that I can. A future Conservative government has ruled out a third runway and also ending runway alternation.
Meeting with local Fire Services
On Wednesday this week I met with our local Wandsworth Fire Station crew based on West Hill to find out how I can work with them better as a local MP, and it proved to be a very helpful meeting. They deal with over 2,000 callouts every year and in the time that I was their got extremely busy. A lot of their efforts are now focussed on prevention with home fire safety visits of officers to your home to give advice on making it safe. This link can give you more general details and also let you know if you’ll be eligible for a home fire safety visit:
Out and About
As the owner of 2 RSPCA cats, it was great to be able to celebrate the opening of the new operating theatre at the Putney Animal Hospital. The friends of the hospital have done an amazing job of raising funds and the theatre will mean they have even better facilities. If you ever lose a pet, it may end up at Putney Animal Hospital so do always check there. Like many people with pets, my cats are micro-chipped so if they do ever get lost, hopefully they could be traced back to me.
I also went to the Wandsworth Civic Awards on Wednesday evening, which so many people who do voluntary work and community service attended. A lot of people may say that communities are breaking down, but that evening is always a reminder of how many people do amazing and fantastic work for our community.
Don’t forget that I have a weekly MP surgery, so do give me a call on 020 8944 0378 if you’d like to come along. You can also email me on email@example.com or write to me at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA – I’ll do my best to help.
Justine Greening MP
November 14, 2008