Justine Greening MP Writes To Residents

Her Westminster and local role, including social mobility, BREXIT and more

Celebrating the Bicentennial of St Mary's Church of England Primary School


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Dear Resident,

The growing focus on finding a route through on Brexit has been ever more prominent over the past month, with two more votes on the Prime Minister's deal and an indicative votes process to see whether any other Brexit approaches could gain a consensus and majority in the House of Commons to break the deadlock - there's a fuller Brexit update below.

There are of course still very important issues going on locally, whether the latest Heathrow consultation, the Council's initial Future High Streets Fund proposal, or the Roehampton Regeneration and the recent consultation event in Roehampton. I've also held a debate in Parliament on my concerns about the performance of housing associations, specifically A2 Dominion and the work I've been doing with residents at Clyde House.

Parliament's extra days of Brexit debates and sittings on Friday are important, but as always, I'm around in the constituency and at local events, plus I have my weekly MP surgery at a local library, so do get in touch if you ever have any concerns or want to get involved in a local campaign or project going on.

**EVENT: Post-Boat Race Foreshore Clean-Up on 8 April at 11am**
If you want to help us look after Putney embankment, you can join me, other local residents and Thames Tideway and environment charity Hubbub on a post-boat race clean-up of Putney foreshore to get rid of as much plastic as we can that's in our stretch of the Thames. We will meet at 11am on Monday, 8 April by the new Putney slipway and walk along the embankment and foreshore collecting as much rubbish as we can. Bring your wellies and tough gloves - it might get a bit dirty, but we'll have some 'grabbers' to help pick up the litter and plastic we find!

Working in Putney, Roehampton and Southfields

In March I had a busy month getting out and about locally around Putney, Roehampton and Southfields, and working on the local and national issues raised with me by residents. I:

• Responded to over 2200 emails and letters from constituents, my busiest month to date, and I've never had quite so many constituents email me at the same time (!) - I do my best to respond promptly.

• Chaired a meeting of the Thames Tideway Community Liaison Working Group about the King George's Park site to hear about the next stage of works on the Thames Tunnel. The work at Dormay Street in central Wandsworth and in King George's Park are now both well underway - you may well have seen the hoardings in place at King George's Park to secure the site so work can go on safely. Broadly work on both sites is on track and Thames Tideway have also engaged very well with local schools to help children understand what the project is doing to clean up our environment, and keep our River Thames clean for future generations. However, this is a big project both in Wandsworth and also the centre of Putney, so I'm working with residents and Thames Tideway to sort out any disruption and issues as they come up.
• Visited Ibstock Place to speak about my role as an MP and hear from its pupils about their views on our democracy, including Brexit. There were some great questions and showed how much children of all ages are following what's happening in Parliament and the country.

• Celebrated the Bicentennial of St Mary's Church of England Primary School on Felsham Road, joining children, staff, parents and supporters at St Mary's church in Putney for a special commemoration service. It's an amazing 200 year history for our oldest local school to celebrate.
• Heard views from residents at the Fontley Way consultation exhibition as part of the Roehampton Regeneration project and saw plans for the redevelopment in the immediate area that will provide the first new homes for people as part of the regeneration investment. Being able to build initial new homes is crucial to ensure that everyone getting new homes can move into them to be able to stay on the estate whilst their new homes are being built as part of the broader regeneration.

• Supported the fantastic Sing Swell Choir - both adults and also children, who were performing in St Mary's Church. What a great performance and I especially loved the Abba medley! All the proceeds from performance go to a local charity, Born too Soon (www.borntoosoon.info), which does amazing work supporting the care of premature babies and their families. The Sing Swell choir has residents from both Southfields, West Hill and Putney - if you're interested in getting more involved you can find out more on www.singswell.co.uk

Working in Westminster

As your local Member of Parliament, this month in Westminster I have:
• Spoken in debates and asked Parliamentary questions on:
• Article 50 Extension Procedures
• EU Withdrawal Act
• Private Members' Bill Procedures and reforming
• A2 Dominion and Clyde House
• You can see all my contributions here.
• Was part of the huge second referendum march in London, with hundreds of thousands of other people from around the UK (and including a lot of local residents too) to campaign for a People's Vote on our Brexit options - see a fuller Brexit update below.
• Met with a number of businesses, including Galliford Try, Standard Life Aberdeen, Sainsburys, Sirius Minerals and the Sewell Group to encourage support for my Social Mobility Pledge Campaign which Wandsworth Council and local companies are also part of.

• Attended the Hospitality Apprenticeships Showcase in Parliament to meet several residents who were participating in an apprenticeship programme at our businesses in and around Putney. The apprenticeships are giving them a great opportunity for people in our community to get the next skills level they need for their careers.
• Spoke to brain tumour survivors about the work being done to improve survival rates of this terrible disease that affects 11,400 people in the UK each year.

• Gave the keynote speech at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales annual dinner - the Institute has signed up to the Social Mobility Pledge which is about ensuring equal access of opportunity to people around the UK, no matter what their background is, with businesses working with schools and giving more work experience. The ICAEW is now going to be working with its member organisations to get more companies up and down the country committing to the Social Mobility Pledge which is great news.

First Anniversary of the Social Mobility Pledge

This month was busier on social mobility because it marked the first anniversary of my Social Mobility Pledge Campaign which I launched in March 2018. The pledge now covers businesses employing over two million people across the country and recent sign ups include Manchester United, Aldi, Santander and Hays Travel.

With Lord Bird, we also launched a report on "Financial Services and Social Mobility: Powering Up The Talent Chain", which discusses how businesses can evolve their recruitment and employee development progression practices to open up opportunities for talented people from all sorts of backgrounds and we highlighted the example set by Standard Life Aberdeen, one of the first signatories of the Social Mobility Pledge who helped produce the report.

If you'd like more information on the pledge or are a business who'd like to join the many others now making a commitment to bring more opportunity to more young people, then sign up, do visit www.socialmobilitypledge.org to see how you can get involved. I'd like as many local businesses, whether big or small, to help make a difference locally in Wandsworth so let me know if your business can get involved or just easily sign up on the website.

Parliamentary Debate on Clyde House

I held a debate this month in the House of Commons to highlight the experiences of Clyde House residents to ministers, as well as the more general issue of housing association accountability following the problems residents have had at Clyde House.

The Housing Minister, Kit Malthouse, responded for the Government in the debate and we discussed potential solutions to these problems. I will be meeting the Minister to follow up on the concerns that I raised with him and to discuss what steps the Government can take to improve the situation for tenants. DCLG officials have confirmed to me that they will also be meeting with A2Dominion representatives to discuss with them directly the long-term issues that residents of Clyde House faced to ensure that adequate changes are made in the management of their properties to prevent situations like this from reoccurring.

A2 Dominion have also provided an update on the progression of the works programme which will include full redecoration, new flooring, new lifts, an upgraded CCTV and a programme of electrical and pest inspections. I will continue working hard to ensure the work is carried out and to a high standard - there's a lot of work ahead to get right.

Alton Estate Regeneration Consultation

Redrow Homes and Wandsworth Council hosted drop-in consultation events for residents this month to see updated proposals for 14 homes in Fontley Way as part of the regeneration project in Roehampton. I went along to have a closer look at the plans and also to hear from residents about their own views about space which I will feedback to the regeneration planners.

More broadly, it is expected that the overall Roehampton regeneration planning permission application will be submitted near Easter and will be followed by a period of consultation so I will be sure to keep residents informed and please do let me know if you have any concerns about the design or process and I'd be happy to follow them up. It's time that the Alton estate had investment and new homes for residents, and I'm keen to make sure that every penny invested makes a positive difference.

You can view the Fontley Way plans here and the current Masterplan proposals here.

An update on Brexit

As the Brexit crisis has continued, Parliament has been asked again to vote on the Prime Minister's deal, and has also now finally had the chance to try to find a consensus through the so-called indicative votes process. Unfortunately, the gridlock in Parliament has continued. I've been saying that was the likely outcome since summer 2018, and unfortunately at the root of it is that the Government has not been able to find any viable alternative Brexit approach since its deal was voted down, originally in January, by a margin of 230 votes. We then had to vote on it for a second and a third time in March alone. Locally, there is very little support for the Prime Minister's half in, half out approach that the deal represents.

Meaningful Votes 2 and 3:
The second time we had to vote on the Prime Minister's deal there was no difference at all in the Withdrawal Agreement (the legal agreement) that Parliament was being asked to agree to, from the first vote in the month before. In addition, the legal advice from the Attorney General seemed to confirm concerns that Britain might well find it difficult to leave the supposed 'transition' period on our own terms, meaning that all the serious shortcomings of the deal - not least signing up to EU rules without say - might be ones Britain will have to follow for years, irrespective of whether in our national interest or not. I was one of many MPs who also continue to remain hugely concerned at the absence of a solution to avoiding a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

At the end of March, for a third time, Parliament was asked to vote on the Prime Minister's Deal, although it was then turned into a narrower vote, just on the Withdrawal Agreement entirely excluding the Political Declaration (i.e. what kind of relationship with the EU Britain would have after departure). Again, there were no changes at all to the legal Withdrawal Agreement. I already felt that just 26 pages of non-binding aspirations were totally inadequate to give any real confidence about the future for jobs and investment, or indeed how Britain will maintain close working relationships with our nearest neighbouring countries in Europe. The original plan was to leave with a Withdrawal Agreement and a Future Relationship, both fully agreed between the UK and EU. To have no Political Declaration at all, when there could also be a change in leader, seemed a total leap in the dark which I could not in good conscience support. I'd like to thank the many local residents who have sent in supportive messages for my stance - they are much appreciated.

Indicative Votes:
All of the many weeks spent on failed votes on the Government's deal firstly mean that it missed the original 29th March Brexit deadline and instead, at the time of writing, an extension to 12 April has been agreed. It also meant that we have unfortunately taken around 4-5 months on so-called meaningful votes instead of having Government and Parliament move onto reviewing and debating other routes forward. Parliament finally moved to debating other Brexit options with less than two weeks to go before the extended 12 April departure date. The indicative votes process also has not seen a particular option win out, but the House of Commons has arguably come closer to finding a consensus in four sitting days since last Wednesday, than the Government has in nearly three years. I hope that we can achieve a consensus, although at the time of writing it is unclear exactly what the Government will seek to do next.

I hope that this update gives you a brief snapshot of some of the things I am working on as our local Member of Parliament. As ever, if you would like to contact me or raise an issue, than please get in touch and I will do the best I can to help. You can email me on justine@justinegreening.co.uk, write to me at 3 Summerstown, SW17 0BQ or call my office on 0208 946 4557. You can also follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to see all my latest updates.

Best wishes,

April 3, 2019

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