The work goes on in Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner.
This bulletin is a regular update on my work as your MP. It may be my last in that role, which has been such a privilege over the last fourteen years. I hope you find it interesting and would welcome your feedback.
As you may know, the PM has commissioned a review of HS2 which I welcome. I wrote to the two chairs of the review, Douglas Oakervee and Lord Berkeley, and followed that up with a meeting. I made sure they understood the impact on the area and the frustrations of residents with the way that HS2 have treated them over the years. I set out my view that the business case for HS2 had not been properly made and that the option of tunneling to the other side of the Colne Valley should have been taken more seriously. The review will report in November.
Meanwhile, I have written in similar terms to the new Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, and asked that enabling works be suspended pending the review, and that HOAC should be allowed to continue on their existing site for one more season. Copies of all correspondence can be accessed here.
Speaking with concerned residents in Harefield at my coffee drop-in.
I am very pleased that new funding is being made available to Hillingdon Hospital to accelerate plans for a new hospital. For some time now, I have expressed concern about the state of a really important Hospital where the staff do good work despite the facilities, not because of them. It has a significant backlog of maintenance and the current building is not frankly fit for long term purpose. I have long argued that Hillingdon needs and deserves a new Hospital and this feels like an important step on that journey.
With Sarah Tedford, the new CEO of Hillingdon Hospital.
Less good news at Mount Vernon. The latest in a long line of NHS reviews has concluded that there is an urgent need to review services at the Cancer Centre. There is no criticism of the staff but the facilities are “dilapidated” and need significant investment. They are concerned that there is no Intensive Treatment Unit for acutely unwell patients and it is recommended that some oncology services should be relocated to an accessible District General Hospital. A number of options are considered, of which two seem clinically acceptable. The first would be for a full replacement and building of a new integrated cancer centre on an acute DGH site (as close as possible to Mt Vernon). The other option is for a so called “ambulatory hub” - this would see a new build on an acute site but with a retained radiotherapy and chemotherapy service on the existing site. The review is very clear on the need for new leadership and management of the site. I agree with this last point as the current arrangement of East and North Herts renting the site from Hillingdon Hospital no longer looks fit for purpose. For the rest, I will be in contact with NHS East of England Specialised Commissioning team, who sponsored the report to understand their position on next steps.
One of my first campaigns as your MP helped mobilise 70k people to sign a petition to Save the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre when they threatened to move it to Hertfordshire. We won that argument but I am frustrated by what has happened since. The site is not a priority for either of the Hospital Trusts who cannot agree on a way forward. Better that it is now led and owned by a new operator who is prepared to invest. My strong preference is to see services retained on the site, because I know how valued they are by local patients and families who do not want to have to travel too far for treatment.
Meanwhile it looks as if Harlington Hospice will shortly be taking over the running of the Michael Sobell Hospice, which I welcome given there was a risk of losing it.
This is a link to the Mt Vernon review here.
A few from the archive... the last campaign to save the Cancer Centre.
Pinner Wood School
Some of you will remember the drama when this much loved school had to be closed at short notice because of safety concerns. The Council and the school worked very well together to manage the crisis and keep the school together on temporary sites. However this incurred significant costs for the Council and therefore local taxpayers. I was pleased to be joined by the two other Harrow MPs to lobby the Government for a contribution to the costs, and even more pleased when we got a result in the form of a contribution of £1,171,928.
This is the confirming letter from Lord Agnew here.
Crime & Policing
You will have been as appalled as I was by the senseless murder of 20 year-old Tashan Daniel at Hillingdon undergound station on the 24th of September. As Minister for London, I continue to work closely with Ministers and the Mayor to support a strategy to end this terrible cycle of violence. This involves much tougher enforcement of the law and more investment in the prevention work that steers young people away from violence. We have beaten it before and we will do so again. I am pleased that London is getting significantly more officers as part of the 20k new officers across the country being funded by the Government. I continue to meet regularly with our local police and neighbourhood watch representatives. I am pleased that Harrow is now on the valuable OWL two-way messaging service with the Police, as I have seen how effective it can be in Ickenham and Hillingdon.
For more information on connecting to OWL please visit this webpage: https://www.owl.co.uk/
For more information on latest police advice for reducing your risk of being a victim of crime, follow this link: https://www.nickhurd.com/news/crime-preventionDiscussing OWL technology and crime prevention measures with the Harrow Neighbouroods Team: Inspector Tanya Sprunks & Sgt Rob Dryell.
I continue to monitor slow movement on development plans for Northwood by TfL, and the Northwood and Pinner Cottage Hospital by the NHS. I will continue to be in touch with the Pinn Centre Partners and the Patients Association to monitor any risk to the future of the Walk in Centre. I continue to monitor developments in terms of the legal challenge to Heathrow expansion, and any more information on detailed flight paths which will help us assess potential noise impacts in the North of Hillingdon and Harrow.
I continue my ministerial responsibilities as Minister of State for Northern Ireland and London. In the latter role, I focus my time on supporting the victims of the Grenfell disaster and the response to knife crime. However, I recently attended an international summit on the critical issue of air quality in London.At the International Air Quality Summit.
Out and About
This autumn, most likely my last as your member of parliament, I have been very glad to be able to host and attend a number of meetings and visits in the constituency. It has been a whirlwind few months during which I have spent time in Northern Ireland as Minister of State, and in London attending to ministerial duties. It has been a very busy period for the constituency also and I hope the below provides a snapshot of some of my activities locally.
I have held drop-in coffee mornings and surgeries in Harefield, Eastcote, and Northwood Hills. I was joined in Harefield on a day of visits by the brilliant Cllr Jane Palmer, including at the superb We Love Coffee on the High Street. I am grateful to Caroline and her colleagues at We Love Coffee for hosting a packed coffee morning and for providing everyone with delicious coffee and fresh food. In Eastcote I hosted a drop-in at the new Bucket List Coffee, with the excellent Cllr Becky Haggar, which I was also pleased to visit on their first day of opening earlier this year. Davit and his colleagues there have opened an excellent café which is a welcomed addition to the area, close to Eastcote station. In Northwood Hills I was pleased to meet with a number of constituents at a busy surgery at the Northwood Hills Library. The Library have kindly hosted surgeries during my tenure as MP for the area and I am thankful for their kind assistance.
Last month, I visited the Hillingdon Outdoor Activities Centre (HOAC) in Harefield, where I was pleased to meet with Neil Maddock, Principle at the Centre. I discussed representing their position to both HS2 and Hillingdon Council, and I have been pleased to secure some mitigation for HOAC as a result of my efforts following that meeting. I was pleased to see so many young people enjoying our great outdoors at HOAC and I hope they will continue to be able to do so.
I was glad to return to the Dogs Trust rehoming centre last month, which I also visited last year. I met with Richard Moore, the Rehoming Centre Manager, and we discussed the incredible work undertaken by the Dogs Trust in protecting animal welfare. I toured the Centre’s facilities and I was very pleased to hear of all the dogs who have been found forever homes. I discussed the rerouting of possible future HS2 traffic to prevent the centre being impacted and I am pleased that HS2 have agreed to co-operate in that regard. I would encourage readers to visit the centre to see the incredible work undertaken by the fantastic team there.
At the Dogs Trust rehoming centre in Harefield.Talking to a constituent at my coffee drop-in at Bucket List Coffee in Eastcote.
With the wonderful Caroline from We Love Coffee in Harefield, where I held a drop-in last month.
Touching base with Neil Maddock, Principle at the Hillingdon Outdoor Activities Centre (HOAC) to discuss HS2.
Listening to the concerns of constituents at my library surgery in Northwood Hills.
In case you thought I had forgotten... Brexit
Lots of noise and heat, but in truth not much has fundamentally changed. The new PM has surprised the cynics by persuading the EU to change the agreed deal and revise the arrangements in relation to Northern Ireland. However, Parliament has not agreed a timetable for scrutinising the deal and has required the PM to ask for another extension which has been granted to the end of January. It looks increasingly likely that the next stage will be to try and break the impasse by a General Election. Talking of which...
Time is up
After a lot of reflection, I have decided not to stand at the next General Election. It has been a huge honour to serve my constituents for fourteen years and my country as a Minister for almost nine. I will continue to fulfill my duties until the Election.
For my personal statement please visit my website here: https://www.nickhurd.com/news/statement.
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. I am in the process of moving constituency office so, if you wish to write to me by post please do so at: House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.