SUPPORTING CREATIVE INDUSTRIES
Advancements within Artificial Intelligence pose significant risks to creative workers, who rely on copyright protections to receive payment and recognition for their work. Many AI developers are already utilising existing text, imagery and music to train their platforms without obtaining a licence for the copyright.
The Government recently published the AI Regulation White Paper, which sets out its approach to regulating artificial intelligence. Although I am pleased to see work is being done to develop appropriate regulation, I am concerned that the Government’s approach will not sufficiently protect the copyrights of creative workers.
I previously held a Westminster Hall debate on the potential impact of AI on intellectual property rights for creative workers. During this debate, the Minister committed to re-opening consultation with creative industries to develop proposals that would protect the intellectual property rights of creatives whilst also fostering innovation within AI. If you would like to read a transcript of my debate from February, you can do so here.
Following a re-structuring of Government Departments and the creation of the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology, Ministerial responsibility for the Intellectual Property Office has been awarded to Viscount Camrose. In light of this and recent developments in AI regulation, I wrote to the Minister to set out my concerns and to ask for clarification over how copyright protections will be upheld through regulation of AI, and for a commitment to re-opening consultation with the creative industries. You can read a copy of this letter here.
SUPPORT WITH ENERGY BILLS FOR HOUSEHOLDS ON HEAT NETWORKS
Households belonging to heat networks, and those with other forms of communal energy provision, receive support with energy through the business scheme. This month, the Energy Bills Relief Scheme which has been in place for businesses since October 2022 is being replaced by Energy Bills Discount Scheme. This new scheme offers a discount on the wholesale price of energy, rather than a cap on costs, and is much less generous.
At the end of last month, my Liberal Democrat colleagues and I wrote to the Minister for Energy to ask for clarity over what the new Energy Bills Discount Scheme will mean for our constituents belonging to heat networks. You can read a copy of this letter here.
Although we are still awaiting a response to our letter, the Government has separately stated that heat networks will be eligible for the higher rate of support offered to Energy Intensive Business through a Written Question response. You can view this commitment here.
The Government has repeatedly promised that domestic consumers without a standard energy contract would receive ‘equivalent’ support to other households. It is vital that they honour this commitment and I will continue to work with colleagues to ensure that heat network households are not financially disadvantaged. If you would like to join my mailing list to receive updates about the support offered to such households, please send an email to email@example.com with the subject title ‘heat networks’.
SOUND INSULATION NEAR MORTLAKE STATION
Alongside local councillors Tony Paterson and Anton McNulty-Howard, I have campaigned for nearly a year to get the metal fencing at the end of roads off North Worple Way in Mortlake acoustically insulated. These barriers were put in place by Network Rail to replace stretches of concrete wall, which did a much better job of protecting local residents from the noise of the railway line. I am pleased to say we have finally been successful and got the acoustic insulation applied at Alder Road, Victoria Road, Worple Steeet, Avondale Road, Fitzgerald Road and Ashleigh Road, restoring a measure of peace to these roads.
We are still campaigning to achieve the same goal near the level crossing in White Hart Lane. I will report back when we have more news on that.
VISIT TO REAL JUNK FOOD PROJECT
I was delighted to visit the wonderful Cambrian Centre in Richmond last week to see the new lunch service being offered there by the Real Junk Food Project. The Real Junk Food Project is a Richmond and Twickenham charity that collects food that is nearly out of date from grocery stores and uses it to provide a "pay as you feel" lunch at the community centre every Wednesday. Local grocery stores donating to the scheme include Tesco, Sainsbury's and Waitrose.
Volunteers cook and serve the food to anyone who wants to come along, making this a wonderful opportunity for social inclusion and helping with cost of living pressures, while also reducing food waste. Local councillor Chris Varley and I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with the volunteers and residents who attended this lively lunch. The RJFP lunches are served at the Cambrian Centre every Wednesday from 11:30 to 1:30pm. All are welcome, and no payment is required.
I also had a chance to catch up with Sue and David from the Cambrian Centre, which does so much for the local community with their friendly gym and their many wonderful activities. For more information on what the Cambrian Centre offers, click here.
Starting this week, spring COVID-19 jabs have become available for people aged over 75, those with a weakened immune system and older adult care home residents. Protection against the virus fades over time, so this booster is being made available for those most at risk of serious illness. Eligible people can now book to receive their vaccination, either by the National Booking Service, the NHS App or by calling 119. For the NHS booking service, click here.
Planning is underway to build a new intensive care unit (ICU) within Kingston Hospital. The Trust would like to involve staff, patients and their families, and local people in their planning, to ensure they get it right. There will be an online engagement event on Thursday 20 April (6pm – 7pm) where you can hear about their planning, view initial designs for the new building and listen to hospital staff and designers about the benefits of the project. There will also be an opportunity to provide feedback and to have your say. Click here to access the Kingston Hospital website to join this meeting.
In addition, there will be two face-to-face consultation sessions on Thursday 25 May in Kingston Hospital’s Education Centre (Level 5, Kingston Surgical Centre) at 12pm and 6.30pm. If you would like to attend one of these consultation events please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Multicultural Richmond, with the support of South West London Training Hubs, will be presenting an event to introduce all local resident to opportunities to work in Primary Care. This 1.5-hour online session will provide an introduction to the South West London landscape and details on entry level Primary Care roles. This event will be on Monday 17th April from 6.30pm to 8.00pm. To register click here or for questions contact email@example.com.
LIBRARY OF FILMS MADE BY YOUNG PEOPLE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
Healthwatch Kingston's digital youth project Youth Out Loud! enables young people to make relevant health and care films and podcasts. Some of their new offers include YOL! Self-harm: being a good friend which is now available in both Korean and Tamil subtitles. You can check out all the films on the website
If you know a young person aged 13 – 17yrs who wants to be involved in film-making, social media editing, or making podcasts, they can find more info here.
KINGSTON CORONATION BAND
Kingston Council is looking for percussionists to be a part of the KMS Coronation Junk Band on 7th May 2023. You don't need to be a pro to join - all ages and levels of experience are welcome! Find out more
SOCIAL HOUSING REPAIRS SURVEY
Local charity RUILS is researching the performance of Richmond borough’s housing associations in dealing with repairs. They will use the results to inform the ongoing dialogue with housing associations about service improvements. There’s more information about it at this link. They are asking tenants to complete the survey, which can be found here.
RICHMOND GREEN MAY FAIR
The Richmond May Fair Committee is delighted to inform you that the Richmond May Fair is returning this year on Saturday 13th May 2023 from 10am-5pm on Richmond Green. Everyone is welcome to come and celebrate the return of the fair after the pandemic. If you are local business, charity, school or organisation and are interested in having a stall on the day please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.