HAMMERSMITH BRIDGE CLOSURE
This morning I joined my fellow MPs from Hammersmith and Putney, and the leaders of both Richmond Council and Hammersmith & Fulham Council, in sending a letter to the Prime Minister asking him to act immediately to secure funding to continue work on Hammersmith Bridge. You can read our cross-party letter here:
The bridge was closed to all traffic last week, including foot and cycle traffic, following the discovery of widening cracks in one of the pedestals. The danger was so significant that boats are not allowed to pass under the bridge at present either. I am working with TfL on measures to mitigate the impact of this additional inconvenience on local residents, including providing more frequent bus service on the 533 line.
TfL also says "We are also looking into what further changes might be needed on the bus network to help pupils attend schools this autumn, particularly on the Richmond side."
The repair project is currently sitting with the Department of Transport, awaiting their allocation of funds to build the temporary foot and cycle bridge and to repair the bridge itself. We will continue pressing the government on this as hard as we can. Richmond Council has just announced that they will waive planning fees for a temporary bridge.
If you have not completed the survey that I am conducting with the Liberal Democrats about Hammersmith Bridge please do so today. We need as many responses as possible to help bolster our case to Government to prioritise funding the bridge. Go to:
PUBLIC EXAMINATION RESULTS
I was relieved that the Government scrapped its algorithm for calculating A level and GCSE results and is now awarding pupils the grades submitted for them by their schools. This was the right thing to do, and I am only sorry so many of my young constituents had to suffer the shock of receiving outrageously low marks after years of effort.
Happily most of them have received marks they feel are fair now, and their places at university are being confirmed as I write. I am working to help the small number who are still being disadvantaged by being unable to sit actual exams, on a case by case basis.
On a side note, I had an exceptionally kind letter from a local resident when the results were first announced. This constituent was appalled to hear that schools were going to be charged for lodging appeals and was deeply concerned that our cash-strapped schools would be unable to pay for them. This lovely lady offered to fund the fees for ten of our young residents to make sure they got the results they deserved. To everyone's relief this has not proved necessary, but it was heartening to hear of her public spirit and I wanted to share it with you.
With GCSE results coming out tomorrow, I also want to wish all of our Year 11 pupils good luck. This has been an unsettling year for everyone and I hope you receive results tomorrow that you believe are fair and feel happy about.
I would also like to ask parents of all young people, now that they are again able to be out socialising with their friends, to please speak to them about social distancing and hygiene. The virus probably does not feel like a real threat to them at this point, but if we are to keep it that way we need everyone, including teenagers, to continue to wear their masks when indoors, maintain distance from other people, and wash their hands frequently. I know schools will be ensuring they comply with this on their premises, but it's important to ask young people to take responsibility for observing this guidance themselves, even when there is no one around to remind them.
NEW PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON STAG BREWERY SITE
The Mayor of London is carrying out a public consultation on revised planning applications for the Stag Brewery site in Mortlake, after he called in the decision of the Richmond Planning Committee. You can make representations by emailing the Greater London Authority at email@example.com before 27 September 2020. The Mayor has provisionally scheduled a virtual representation hearing for 26 November at 13:30. Find out more here: www.richmond.gov.uk/mayor_of_london_consults_on_stag_brewery
THREE NEW PLAYGROUNDS TRANSFORMED IN KINGSTON
Kingston Council has unveiled three new playgrounds in Churchfields Recreation Ground and King Edwards Recreation Ground in Chessington and in Knollmead Park in Tolworth.
With the help of our residents who provided feedback on initial plans, the playgrounds now include more inclusive equipment, trampolines and a wider range of climbing equipment.
They want you and your family to enjoy the new playgrounds safely, so please continue to follow the COVID-19 guidelines in place and practice social distancing at all times.
KINGSTON COUNCIL ANNOUNCES FOUR NEW LOW-TRAFFIC NEIGHBOURHOODS
Next month Kingston Council will be introducing new temporary measures to tackle through-traffic (rat running) in residential areas and maximise space for pedestrians and cyclists. Low traffic neighbourhoods will be in introduced on a trial basis of six months in:
Chessington - Mount Road and Roebuck Road
Surbiton - King Charles Road
Kingston Town - Albert Road
Kingston Town - Lower Ham Road
Low traffic neighbourhoods are groups of residential streets, bordered by main roads, where through-traffic is discouraged or removed. They are created using physical barriers such as planters or signs to prevent vehicle access on selected roads. These changes will provide more opportunities for people to make safe journeys by foot or bike rather than by car.