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Important notice: From 3rd May 2017, there are no MPs until after the General Election on June 8th. Much of the content on this website was created when I was an MP. I am now the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Ruislip Northwood & Pinner. My office in Westminster is now closed, but my office in Ruislip Northwood & Pinner will remain open. I will only be able to do urgent pieces of casework. You can contact me at nickhurdconservatives@gmail.com or call the office on 01923 822 876. It has been a real honour and pleasure to serve this area in Parliament.

Uncategorized Category archives

April 2017 Update

April 25, 2017

I wanted to update you on the work I am doing as your MP. Since I last wrote, we have had a Budget; the triggering of Article 50; a tragic terrorist attack on Parliament, considerable instability overseas and the announcement of a General Election on June 8th.

Key local Issues

HS2

HS2 has now received Royal Assent, and will go ahead. As you know from past bulletins, we have worked very hard to secure commitments that will reduce the impact on the area. These include a cap on HGV movements at peak times; a commitment to minimise soil dumps; to relocate HOAC and drop the Heathrow Spur. We have had some very frustrating moments along the way, which have required high-level meetings between myself, Boris Johnson and Sir David Higgins, the Chair of HS2. As a result, I believe we are now close to an agreement between HS2 and Hillingdon Council. The next step will then be engagement with HS2 contractors to consider whether plans can be improved further in a way that is in everyone’s interest.

I went to see the Mayor of London to make sure that he understood local concerns about the impact of HS2 vehicles on roads and air quality. He is now much better informed and has responded with this letter.

Many residents, especially in Harefield, will be very concerned about the impact on the beautiful Colne Valley. You may be aware that there are some funds available on top of the budget that HS2 has allocated to mitigate the environmental impact of the proposed viaduct. There has been consultation on some projects that could use this money to enhance the area, which can be accessed here.

Pinner Wood School

Pinner Wood School is very popular – so the news that it would have to close temporarily because of geological concerns was a major shock. A number of parents wrote to me and I attended one of the early public meetings. Harrow Council, the school and parents deserve credit for the way they have responded to the crisis. New locations have been found to educate pupils for this term with transport arrangements laid on. Options are being explored for a solution in September onwards. I am in very regular contact with the Chief Executive of Harrow Council and have made it clear that the preferred option would be a single site, close to the current location. I will also support the Council in any bids for funding support to meet additional costs incurred.

Harrow Arts Centre

This is a very important and popular community asset, so many of us were very concerned about the threat of closure. There was a protracted negotiation that would have seen a charity take it over with some interesting plans, including a community cinema. These talks have now fallen through as it proved impossible to find agreement on what would happen if the charity failed. The CEO of Harrow Council has assured me that the Council will maintain the status quo for the current year at least, and will explore options to bring in a partner to run the site and perhaps incorporate some of the new ideas. I know how important this is to many Harrow residents and will stay close to it.

Northwood developments

TfL will come back this time next year with a new application to redevelop the centre of Northwood. It will contain more affordable housing, which people will have views on. I have suggested that they consider sheltered housing given the growing need in the area, but they are not sure they can make it work financially. I have spoken to the Mayor to make sure that it is on his radar screen and make clear that we want to avoid a situation where he overturns a local planning decision.

Northwood Pinner Cottage Hospital drags on. I am assured that we will hear “shortly” what NHS Estates propose to do, and I remain hopeful that they will agree to our proposal that any development upgrades the Health Centre and provides new community health facilities.

Northwood Scout Hut appeal

There has been a scouting movement in Northwood since 1914. There is a big community drive to raise £100k in 12 months to redo the Scout Hut. I am supporting this as you can see from this video link and details of the fundraising appeal can be found here.

Pembroke Park – Eastcote

I have been working for some time with local Councillors and the Residents Association to get A2 Dominion to take seriously the persistent complaints from residents about the management of this important estate. Finally, we managed to get one of the senior Directors to walk around with us to hear directly about the problems, and I hope that we will see some progress and pick up in performance.

Ickenham Neighbourhood Plan

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Neighbourhood planning is a community right that is designed to give local people a more direct say over the future of their area. It is a very demanding process to put a plan together and demonstrate community support for it. Ickenham have made impressive progress towards this goal, and it was a pleasure to meet representatives of the team and offer my support. For more information on what they are doing click here.
National Issues

Article 50

As you will know Article 50 has now been triggered and Brexit negotiations can now start. A number of constituents who like me voted to Remain contacted me to ask why I was voting for it. My answer is a simple one. Whatever my personal view, the outcome of the referendum was clear and in a democracy the wish of the people needs to be respected. My sense is that most constituents think we just need to get on with it, and that is my view too.

Heathrow

Thank you to those who have shared their views directly with me – the Government consultation closes on 25th May and I would encourage you to have your say via this link.

Ministerial Duties

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I combine being your MP with my duties as Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Since the last bulletin, I have been involved in a range of things including the development and launch of our Industrial Strategy Green Paper; negotiation at the EU on various energy and climate issues; representing the UK at the G7 meeting of Energy Ministers, and responding to debates on the disposal of the Green Investment Bank; Fuel Poverty and Smart Meters.

 

Out and about

Since the last bulletin, it has been a pleasure to visit Heathrow Aviation College,

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Northwood School,

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Vyners School, Douay Martyrs Secondary School, Haydon School, Pentland Field School and Frithwood Primary School.

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It was a great pleasure to welcome to Parliament, our new Hillingdon members of the Youth Parliament, Saffron Brown Davis and Najma Yusuf.

Thank you to members of the Northwood and Pinner Liberal synagogue who as usual made me and many others so welcome at their fabulous Civic Service.

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Thank you also to Trinity Church in Northwood for inviting me to speak at an event on climate change.

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Thanks also to staff and customers of Tesco Pinner for making us so welcome for my first supermarket surgery.

As usual, please do not hesitate to contact me if you think I can help with anything or if you simply want to express a view.

 

Subscribe to my updates here: http://eepurl.com/xXpAj

HS2 Update November 2016

December 2, 2016

Our campaign for a tunnel extension

As you know we have been pushing for a tunnel extension as the simplest solution to all the problems that HS2 causes for the area. The Commons Select Committee rejected the idea on grounds of cost but we managed to persuade the last Secretary of State to set up a working group that included LBH, to review the costs. We were concerned about that process and persuaded the new Secretary of State to have the work looked at independently by one of their non-executive directors. Unfortunately, the end result is the same, as you can see from his letter to me.

HOAC

As you know we had persuaded HS2 that they needed to invest in relocating HOAC, and so make sure this valuable facility was saved. The process was running smoothly but the Government became very concerned about what they claim to be a doubling in costs. Therefore they decided unexpectedly to revisit the issue of whether a more cost effective option could be worked up on the existing HOAC site, you can see the letter here. As you may have seen in the local press, HOAC threatened to close. Both Boris and I have worked with Hillingdon Council to try and find a solution. The latest is that HS2 will try and make the original Denham plan work for a max budget of £26 million. If they can’t they will try and find an acceptable solution on the existing site for the same amount of money. If that does not work then they will give the money to Hillingdon Council to work up an alternative restoration of amenity in the area. I believe that the preferred HOAC option remains to move to Denham.

House of Lords petitions

Prior to the petition, LBH reached an agreement with HS2, which is being worked up into a legal contract. It builds on previous assurances around capping peak HGV movements at 550 a day (at less than half the original proposal); removal of soil dumps; movement of the power feeder station on edge of South Harefield; new HOAC commitments and restoration of key amenities such as the golf courses. Given where we started, these all represent welcome mitigation, albeit a big compromise on the tunnel extension we all wanted. Hillingdon Council is right to try and secure agreement on these before the HS2 bill gets what is called Royal Assent. However, we all know that there are too much conditionality and unknowns around the agreement for us to trust it completely. This is the point that I made to the Committee when I was called as a witness by Ickenham Residents Association. We need to make sure the HS2 team that will actually deliver the project have a clear obligation to keep working with the Council and residents, to not only deliver on promises made but to improve them. We received assurances that will be the case, not least as congestion is not in the interests of HS2. Rest assured I will be very persistent on the need to have an agreement and an ongoing process we can trust.

Thank you and congratulations to all residents who petitioned the Lords so impressively on behalf of the community. We have been very persistent and have forced change. We will see before the year end how helpful their Lordships are prepared to be on our behalf. I believe they have a good understanding of the problem, not least having visited the area briefly at our invitation.

Visit to Heath Robinson Museum in Pinner

November 15, 2016

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On Friday 28th October, I visited the new Heath Robinson Museum in Pinner Memorial Park.

As the first purpose-built museum to open in Greater London for over forty years, the museum is dedicated to displaying the work of the famous artist, illustrator, and Pinner resident, William Heath Robinson.

The Museum opened on 15th October, and replaces a smaller gallery of Heath Robinson’s work which was located in West House, also in Pinner Memorial Park. I find it extraordinary how the Museum has managed to bring together such a fantastic collection of Heath Robinson’s work in one place.

I welcome the decision to keep the new museum within Pinner Memorial Park, as I cannot think of a nicer site, and the new building blends in so well.

As a patron of the museum, I am particularly impressed by the architectural flair of the new building. The ambitious architectural designs have been beautifully executed. It is an asset not just for Pinner but also for the country. I am full of admiration.

Many thanks to Cynthia Wells, the acting Chair of the West House and Heath Robinson Museum Trust, and Veronica Chamberlain the Marketing Manager for showing me around. I look forward to visiting again soon.

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