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Richmond Park News: 11 February 2022


This week in the Public Accounts Committee we published our report, ‘EU Exit: UK Border post transition. We found that, since the transition period ended in 2020, trade volumes have been suppressed by the pandemic, Brexit and wider global pressures. It may not be possible to separate the impact of these individual elements on the UK’s trade with the EU, but it is clear that Brexit has had an impact, and that new border arrangements have added costs to businesses. We have repeatedly raised issues about changes to trading arrangements on businesses of all sizes, and we remain concerned.

The government has ambitious plans to create “the most effective border in the world” by 2025, which includes plans to make it easier and simpler for traders to submit information on goods crossing the border. While this is a noteworthy ambition, it is an optimistic one, and we are not convinced that it is underpinned by a detailed plan to deliver it. In our view, departments should be doing much more work in the shorter term to understand and minimise the current burden on those trading with the EU, to address the immediate delivery and readiness risks in introducing import controls, and to have a border in place operating effectively without further delays or temporary measures.


This week it was reported that Boris Johnson is planning to restart trade talks with China. It is concerning to me that the Government plans to strike a deal with China, given the genocide against the Uyghurs. I fear that this would send a dangerous signal to Beijing that they can get away with whatever they want. I believe that rather than hold new trade talks with China, the UK must ban imports from Xinjiang, and recognise the genocide taking place there. It is critical that we not remain silent.


Hammersmith & Fulham Council (LBHF) has submitted a planning application for their planned stabilisation works. This week I submitted my support and would encourage all my constituents to do the same, so that listed planning consent can be granted and works can begin as quickly as possible.

The works will involve the temporary dismantling of short sections of existing parapets to allow for the provision of temporary pedestrian and cyclist scaffold ramps. They will also include the building of temporary timber hoarding around the saddles and pedestals. Historic England have confirmed they are happy with the plans while Richmond Council, who were consulted regarding how Public Right of Way will be maintained on the Barnes end, have also provided clearances. Per the Design, access and heritage statement, the temporary ramps will be designed so as to maintain public access from both sides of Castelnau down to the towpath, and the towpath will remain open at all times.

To view the planning application, click here. To submit a response, click here. To access the Design, access and heritage statement to read the technical proposals, click here.


South Western Railway has announced that its pre-Omicron timetable will be reinstated from Monday 21 February. This is welcome news and is something I have been lobbying for since the changes were announced last month, particularly given the government