have been raising several serious local issues with Ministers in Parliament over the past couple of weeks, both on Richmond Park car park charging and South West Thames college redevelopment. It has been very helpful to hear what Ministers have to say, and as ever, I’ve been out and about locally across Putney, Roehampton and Southfields. You can read on for more of an update.
Richmond Park Car Park Charging
Many residents have contacted me concerned about the proposal to introduce car park charging in Richmond Park since it was first suggested back in February. I was able to get a Westminster Hall debate set up and got chance to set out the concerns that people had raised with me directly to the Parks Minister Barbara Follett MP. The Minister will ultimately have to decide on any proposal brought forward by the Royal Parks Agency, so it was helpful to be able to raise issues directly well in advance. Ms Follett did not really respond to the key concern I set out which was the lack of choice for many people to be able to use public transport and change their travelling behaviour but at least she is aware of our local concerns.
If you are concerned or have views about the proposals then do email me on email@example.com
Prime Minister’s Questions: South Thames College
With around 650 MPs all wanting to ask the Prime Minister a question every week, it is not every day that your name gets picked out of the hat, but this week I came out as the 11th MP down to ask the Prime Minister a Question. The Leader of the House, Harriet Harman was standing in for Gordon Brown and I took my chance to ask about the massive and urgent problems facing South Thames College in Wandsworth. Because of funding problems at the Learning and Skills Council the college redevelopment is on hold – even though they are midway through. I asked Ms Harman my question and didn’t get the most constructive answer as far as the immediate problem was concerned. Every day counts and I have already written to the Secretary of State John Denham and spoken directly with the Further Education Minister Sion Simon MP. The latter discussion was much more constructive and I very much hope that we can take what seems like an obvious decision to let South Thames finish off the redevelopment – we need it for Wandsworth’s regeneration and the many people who study at the college.
Postal Services and Putney Post Office
I met up with the Royal Mail Group to discuss local concerns about postal deliveries and the problems in Putney Post Office. As many PutneySW15.com readers will know a lot of the concerns we raised with the Post Office management about closing yet more of our post offices locally last year have proved to be spot on. Many customers now have to wait over 20 minutes regularly, making life especially difficult for the elderly, young families and businesses, for whom time is money. Having discussed our concerns with the Royal Mail Group management they will now review the performance of Putney Post Office and I would like to say thank you to everyone who has previously written in with concerns. It is because we have had such a steady stream of complaints that I could pass on, that senior managers are now starting to take notice. Whenever you have problems with the postal service or local post offices, do drop me an email and it will help me continue to press for a better service.
Out and About generally
I’ve been at a couple of our local schools over the last couple of weeks, joining parents, governors and staff at Ronald Ross Primary School for their fundraising quiz and also helping to open the fantastic new pool at Granard Primary School. I also joined the Ranelagh Rowing Club for the Head of the River Race last Saturday and had a great time finding out about the sheer logistics of running such a large race with so many competitors. As Treasurer of the All Party Parliamentary Rowing Group I do my best to support what is a large rowing community that we have in Putney. Last weekend I also represented our local community at a fantastic event in Morden at the mosque of the Ahmadiyya community. It was all about bringing people together from across our community and every year I attend more and more people come along.
If you need my help, do get in touch by email, on firstname.lastname@example.org, write to me at the House of Commons, or give me a call on 0208 946 4557 to come along to one of my weekly MP surgeries. They are held in local libraries on either a Monday or a Saturday so wherever you live and whatever your working life, there should hopefully be a local MP surgery near you that you can make it to.
Justine Greening MP
March 26, 2009