Justine Greening's Diary

MP plays hardball on Heathrow and softball in local park

Related Articles:

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter

Comment on this story on the

For the last couple of weeks I've been involved in a whole variety of things across Putney, Roehampton and Southfields and also in Parliament. Heathrow expansion has had a lot of publicity with the Panorama programme last Monday, and in Parliament, I hosted the 2M group launch of a possible high speed rail alternative. I've also been rowing out on the Thames, amongst other things, so below is a brief update:

Heathrow and the Invented Plane
I was originally called by Panorama back in May when they were first interested in doing a programme on Heathrow expansion and the rigged government consultation. Over the next couple of months I spent time taking the producers through all the material I have obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Panorama were able to add a lot to the investigation and showed that a key "quiet" plane that the DfT assumes will be flying by 2025 is technologically impossible. Every time I think the DfT can't get any more brazen and shambolic, it somehow manages it. I think its yet another sign that Ministers need to start listening to communities like our own and ditch their expansion plans.

Local Healthcare Facilities
I meet with St George's Hospital management regularly to discuss any issues that residents have raised with me regarding St George's in Tooting and also to hear from senior managers about how the hospital is performing more generally, for example on hospital acquired infections. Its particularly helpful to be able to talk face to face, especially when so many of us depend on St George's whenever we need hospital care. If you have issues with St George's Hospital, good or bad, then do email me on greeningj@parliament.uk and I will make sure they get raised at my next meeting. Another health issue that has become apparent is the reported under-staffing at the London Ambulance Service (LAS) and its impact on ambulance cover in our area. I have tabled questions in Parliament and I'm also in touch with the LAS to find out exactly what the situation is, and how it is affecting our emergency ambulance cover, so should hopefully be able to meet with them to discuss over the next couple of weeks.

Southfields Softball and Rowing at the Commons
Last weekend I played in the Southfields Softball Tournament in Wimbledon Park. It was organised by local residents and we had 8 teams compete this year, which was a lot more than the original 5 teams when the tournament began 3 years ago. A crack team won it this year that was pretty impressive at hitting the ball a long, long way. The softball was a couple of days after Commons vs Lord Rowing Competition, which I was also in. I'm in the All Party Parliamentary Rowing Group because we've got so many rowing clubs locally, so thought I'd be part of the Commons rowing team and give it a go. It was really tough, but great to be part of the 8 person team. Also, I got to Saturday night feeling like I'd a better than average workout! We just lost the Commons v Lords Rowing competition, but with a bit more practice next year, I'm sure the Commons team can win again.

Out and About
I also had John Paul II students over to Parliament for a visit last week which went very well and was at the Muscular Dystrophy All Parliamentary Party Group AGM with a constituent who is a student at Roehampton University. I also met up with the residents of Roehampton Close at their annual drinks last Sunday, which was a great opportunity to see everyone and have a chat about local issues.

Don't forget, if you need my help as MP you can write to me at the House of Commons, email me on greeningj@parliament.uk or come and see me in my weekly MP surgery - just give me a call on 0208 944 0378. I'll do my best to help.

Best wishes

Justine Greening MP

July 25, 2008