The last two weeks have been busy, as we have returned to Parliament. Already we have debated ways to modernise the House of Commons working practices

This last week I have had the pleasure of meeting a group of Putney Brownies, pupils from Linden Lodge School and representatives of the Limbless Association, all at the House of Commons. I was rather surprised to learn that the authorities at the Palace of Westminster had failed to produce a braille version of the House of Commons and House of Lords Leaflets, despite being available in half a dozen languages. I will be pressing for better facilities for visually impaired visitors to Westminster.

I also met with representatives of the National Union of Students from the University of Surrey at Roehampton. I agree that the campaign to increase financial support for poorer students and am also against the introduction of top up fees which would create a two-tier university system. The Government will be publishing findings of its review of Higher Education finance in January. I hope that the hard work campaigners will have already made a significant impact on future government policy in this area.

I would be very interested to hear Putney residents' views on two issues, which impact on our lives. First, I will be meeting with the Head of the Royal Parks Agency in the next few weeks to discuss the traffic management proposals for Richmond Park. I myself have been vociferously objecting to the plan to close Robin Hood Gate, as this is likely to cause serious congestion in the Roehampton area. I also know that there is very strong opposition in Putney to the closure of Pen Ponds car Park and will also be making representations on this point.

Secondly I expect a vote on whether the Government should ban the sale of fireworks on the high street. Many argue that fireworks are now used irresponsibly, particularly by young people, in built up areas and without proper safety precautions being taken. On the other hand many law-abiding citizens like to hold private bonfire parties, which involve fireworks. I would like to hear from any one who has strong opinions on this matter.

As always if any one would like to contact me on these or any other issues, feel free to write to me at the House of Commons.

To check if I am your MP, please log on to www.locata.co.uk/commons and enter your full postcode.

I have a website www.tonycolman.org.uk which I hope you will use and enjoy.

Tony Colman MP

1st November 2002

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First Putneysw15.com Diary Entry 8.11.2001

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