Its been a very hectic month in Parliament with a lot of work for me on the Emergency Budget and the Finance Bill that then has to go through Parliament to enact the Budget into law. However, its also been very busy locally. There have been lots of local events on, not least the fantastic Help for Heroes fundraising event on the Lennox estate that residents had organised. I've also been meeting up with our local NHS, and transport providers, so read on for an update.
Local Heathcare and Schools
Last week I met with St George's Hospital managers to discuss the progress of the hospital towards being a Foundation Hospital, having more freedom and flexibility to serve our local needs and earlier this week, I met with the Chairman and Chief Executive of Wandsworth NHS to discuss local healthcare issues that residents have raised with me. We also discussed the planned changes in some of our local Putney GPs who will now be moving to a new site. The move means it looks like the Putney Hospital site is likely to be declared as "surplus" so will become available for the local authority to bid to use. As PutneySW15 readers may be aware, a number of parents have raised concerns about the number of school places in Putney and it I something I have also raised concerns about as a local primary school governor in Putney. One of the potential uses for the site could be a new primary school, so if the site does become available, then that possibility starts to really open up.
I also met with Lord Hill to discuss the impact of Building Schools for the Future on our local schools, in particular for Elliott School and Southfields Community College. The very first meeting I had with a Minister, as a new MP in 2005, was with Lord Adonis about the state of Elliott School, so it is frustrating that five years later, BSF money had still not managed to get through the system to the schools that needed it. There will be capital available for investment going forward and hopefully the new process will see money actually make it to the frontline. We had a very helpful discussion about the needs that our schools have locally and I have already met with Elliot's headteacher to talk about what the next steps are.
Meeting with London Underground and South West Trains
The week before last I met with South West Trains managers to get a progress update on improving our overland train service from Putney. One of the most pressing problems has been overcrowding, but it looks like our platform lengthening for the longer trains at Putney station should be going ahead and SWT have said that they are going to get on and sort out their own trains to make sure they have the extra capacity. Apparently, one option is to buy stock that has served the Gatwick Express line and use that rather than having to wait for brand new carriages to arrive, so I will work with them to make sure we get the extra capacity sooner rather than later, particularly since we've been waiting so long. This week I met with London Underground to raise frustrations about the service unreliability over the last few weeks. The District Line manager, Mike Challis outlined some of the problems we have had - most of them were on different parts of the line, but had knock on effects to our Wimbledon branch. Our new tubetrains on the Edgeware Road bit of the line are still planned for introduction from next year, with the Citybound trains from 2013, so they should make a real difference to the quality of journey we get. Work is continuing to finish off Southfields Station and the new lift is getting used a lot which is brilliant to see. However, if you experience any problems on the overland service or on the underground, do let me know and I will always follow up to try to get problems flagged up and sorted out.
Out and about and Help for Heroes on the Lennox Estate
Last Saturday, I went along to support the Help for Heroes fundraising event on the Lennox estate. It had been organised by local residents from start to finish, and with the weather as fantastic as it was, the event was brilliant. It raised over £1,000 to support our troops at home and abroad and was something I will remember for a long time. In Southfields, we had the annual softball tournament in Wimbledon Park that has become a major sporting event locally and had lots of teams who are pretty professional! A couple of Fridays ago, I went to see the Southfields Theatre Group's production of Murder in the Company at the St Barnabas Church - it was really very good indeed, so if you want to find out when their next production is, you can go to their website on http://www.southfieldstheatregroup.org.uk/.
Parliament has just gone into recess, and I've got a couple of weeks of holiday planned like most people, but otherwise I'm still around and about, having my weekly MP surgeries, so if you do need my help, please don't hesitate to get in touch. You can write to me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, email me on email@example.com, or come along to my MP surgery, so just give me a call on 0208 946 4557 to find out where the next one will be. I'll do my best to help!
Justine Greening MP
July 29, 2010