The work goes on in Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner. This bulletin is a regular update on my work as your MP. I hope you find it interesting and would welcome your feedback.
I continue to work with Hillingdon Council and resident groups to mitigate the impact of HS2 on the area - if it goes ahead. You may recall I met with the top brass of HS2 to discuss a long list of local frustrations. These are the two responses I have had.I am pleased that we have managed to persuade them to abandon plans to build a concrete segment factory on the edge of Ickenham. Through working together with resident groups, I also persuaded HS2 to defer the proposed closure of Breakespear Road South, to reduce the disruption for families and residents, until the commencement of the school holidays. The first of three phases of closures is now scheduled to begin on Saturday, 20 July at 6am, lasting until 16 August at 8am. To read more about the upcoming scheduled road closures, please visit HS2's website.
Another issue causing concern is the impact of construction on the local aquifer, and so the water supply and quality. I have written this letter to HS2 with a list of questions.
Community events were held by HS2 in 2018 to seek the views of residents on the design of the viaduct, in addition to consulting local opinions through a feedback questionnaire, which was also available online. HS2 have followed up with five recent events to share their proposals for the viaduct, in response to the community's suggestions. Information on HS2's design proposals, and the community input, can be found here.
I expect a new PM to review the case for HS2 and I would support that, given the cost overruns, and on a business case that was marginal from the start.
Law and Order
This has been a big issue for many residents in recent months. The combination of London knife crime; a murder in Pinner; and a spike in burglaries across the constituency, including some aggravated by violence, has really unsettled people. We have also seen an increase in flagrant drug dealing, which understandably has upset residents.
This link will take you to my statement on what I have been doing to support residents and the police.
Given the concern, I convened a public meeting which gave 250 residents a rare opportunity to engage directly with the CID superintendents who are leading on the investigative work to catch burglars in both Hillingdon and Harrow.
Chairing my public meeting on Law and Order, alongside Detective Superintendents Claire Clark and Duncan Slade, of the North West and West BCUs
I have taken local concerns to the top of the Met, meeting with Commissioner Cressida Dick and most of her senior management team. I have also liaised closely with local leadership in Harrow and Hillingdon. I am satisfied that the police have the right focus and are honest about what needs improving in the service they provide to victims. They do need more resources and I am busy supplying that as Minister for Policing.
Discussing the challenges facing policing in London with Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick CBE QPM
There has been some progress in recent weeks:
- The latest data from Harrow shows that residential burglaries are well down from their peak in November 2018 (by almost half), and so far this year we have had two aggravated burglaries across the Pinner wards.
- The latest data from the Hillingdon Borough wards within the constituency indicate that burglaries have also fallen by almost 50% over the same period. From a ward average of over 10 burglaries a month down to 5. That is of course 5 burglaries too many, but it is an early indication that the police's intelligence led efforts are producing results.
- The first automatic number-plate recognition (ANPR) cameras have been deployed in Harrow, which will enable police to identify and track vehicles involved in crime.
- The Online Watch Link (OWL) communication system is being launched in Harrow later this year - this allows better two-way communication between police and residents, by both alerting residents and allowing for the gathering of police intelligence.
- Two members of the travelling community were recently charged with 3 offences of aggravated burglary in the wider area, accounting for a number of the most serious burglary offences committed in the constituency.
Pinn Medical Centre
Few things matter more to us than our health. So few local institutions matter more than The Pinn Medical Centre, which treats thousands of constituents. The Walk In Centre for registered and non-registered patients is a highly valued service. The partners are claiming that their ability to sustain the walk in centre is now under threat as a result of some changes to contracts that are being imposed by NHS England and the local CCG. I have met with the partners, the local CCG, and the Patients Association. At their recent AGM, I made clear that I would support residents in resisting any loss of the walk in centre. At a time when new investment is going into primary care and the NHS, I do not want us to go backwards locally.
Addressing the Pinn Medical Centre Patients' Association AGM
Heathrow expansion divides opinion in the constituency. I have never supported it, but Parliament gave in principle approval with an overwhelming majority this time last year. However, the promoters of expansion now need to come forward with an application for development consent. This requires them to jump some high hurdles, not least in demonstrating compliance with the EU Air Quality Directive and the National Emissions Ceiling Directive's (NECD) targets to improve air quality by 2030, covering carbon emissions, nitrogen oxide and particulates (PM 2.5 and 10).
- Now - Heathrow consults on application and airspace changes
- End 2019/20 - Heathrow submit application
- 2021 - decision on application and third consultation on airspace changes
- 2022 - Heathrow applies for Airspace Change consent
- 2026 - new runway operational if approved
The latest phase of Heathrow Airport’s expansion consultation commenced on 18 June and runs until 13 September 2019. The consultation process enables local residents to provide their perspective to Heathrow, and to feedback on the proposals for the future of the airport. Heathrow have a number of large and expansive infrastructure projects which they are consulting on, including a new third runway, in order to increase the airport’s capacity. You can respond to the consultation and give your input on the environmental impact, and other areas of concern, by visiting Heathrow’s consultation website - please do respond if you feel strongly on the subject, so that your view is on record and taken into consideration by Heathrow.
Following the current consultation, an application for a development consent order (DCO) will be submitted by Heathrow to the Planning Inspectorate, who will then examine the proposal on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport. During this phase, anyone with an interest in the project can submit their views in writing or at a series of scheduled hearings. The Planning Inspectorate will scrutinise the application's content and the views received, resulting in a recommendation to the Government on the merits of the DCO. The Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS) sets out strict red lines which must be delivered for a third runway to gain consent. These include no expansion if the applicant cannot demonstrate that the scheme would not impact the UK’s ability to meet its carbon reduction targets. The ANPS is also clear that Heathrow is required to set out mitigation measures to minimise the effect of expansion on the area surrounding the airport.
Duties as a Minister
In recent weeks I have been able to announce additional support for the police in their work against knife crime. That includes an additional circa £21m for the Met and £7m to support the Violence Reduction Unit set up by the Mayor.
June 14th marked the poignant second anniversary of the terrible Grenfell disaster. I continue in my work to support victims and to help shape a positive legacy from this tragedy. This includes an overhaul of fire safety regulation.
Meeting with the Serious Violence Taskforce, as Minister for Policing, alongside the Home Secretary
Out and About
This spring I held my public meeting in Northwood on law and order, and a coffee morning for local residents in Pinner. I have hosted busy surgeries for constituents in Eastcote, Northwood Hills, and Harefield, and since last writing to you, I have spoken to many residents at the Northwood Hills Residents' Association AGM, and that of the Pinn Medical Centre Patients' Association.
I have been pleased to visit Hatch End High School for their annual Business Breakfast, where I spoke to local businesses, and I was also delighted to return to Grangewood School in Pinner, to see the exemplary work they do and to discuss the future provision for SEND children in Hillingdon Borough.
The improving weather has been an opportunity to be out on the high streets speaking to businesses and their customers, including in Pinner with Cllr Norman Stevenson, and in Harefield with Cllr Jane Palmer. We discussed the local business environment, and how our high streets can be supported and represented in Parliament.
Looking ahead, I will be hosting a coffee morning in Ickenham on Friday 5th July, from 10-11am, at Maison Du Soleil. I have also organised a surgery at Manor Farm Library in Ruislip on Friday 12 July, between 1:30 and 3:30pm, and a drop-in session at BrOOK's in Pinner on Friday 19 July, from 2-4pm. For further details, please also see my Facebook page. I look forward to speaking with many of you; exchanging ideas and solving problems.
Hosting a coffee morning with local residents at BrOOK's bookshop in Pinner
Meeting my constituents who attended the 'Time is Now' environmental lobby day outside Parliament
Visiting the CCTV room at Hillingdon Civic Centre with Cllr Douglas Mills
Pleased to speak with small and local businesses at Hatch End High School's Business Breakfast
Catching up with the volunteers and shopkeepers on Green Lane and the High Street in Northwood
Listening to the views and priorities in Harefield with Cllr Jane Palmer
A busy surgery day in Harefield, where I was pleased to meet over 20 constituents to discuss their concerns, of both personal and national importance
Delighted to welcome Bucket List Coffee to Eastcote, a new local business
Glad to visit Grangewood School again and to meet the wonderful staff and pupils
Northwood HQ plays a crucial role in the command of our armed forces and I am proud to have the base as part of our local community
If you think I can help you, or you simply have a view, please do not hesitate to contact me via my website, by using the contact details in my signature block below, or by writing to me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.