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Richmond Park News: 1st December 2023


COST OF COURT TRANSCRIPTS CAMPAIGN

On Monday, I published a letter supported by 42 co-signatories which calls on the Justice Secretary to enable victims and bereaved families to obtain a transcript of court proceedings free of charge. This letter was co-signed by leading figures from charities including Refuge, Rape Crisis, Women’s Aid and Support After Murder and Manslaughter, as well as Cherie Booth CBE KC, the Victims’ Commissioner for London, the Chair of the Justice Select Committee, and the Mother and Father of the House of Commons.

My constituent Juliana Terlizzi was quoted £7,500 to obtain a transcript of the 10-day trial in which her former partner was convicted of raping her. I have been campaigning alongside Juliana to urge the Government to tackle the extortionate costs charged to victims and bereaved families to obtain transcripts. Transcripts can be a vital component of victims’ recovery by allowing them to revisit what was said during the trial, which most victims don’t attend.

I have tabled an amendment to the Victims’ Bill which would enable victims to request a copy of a court transcript at no cost to themselves. The Bill will be debated in the House of Commons on Monday and I am urging the Government to accept my amendment.



PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE - OFWAT AND THE TEDDINGTON DRA


This week, I joined a session of the Public Accounts Committee questioning Ofwat CEO David Black. While sewage dumping across the UK is a topic close to a great many MPs' hearts, I took the opportunity to specifically question Mr Black on the Teddington DRA, asking him if he would press Thames Water to abandon the controversial project.


I made the point that Mogden Sewage Works is responsible for more storm overflows than any other Thames Water site, and that instead of building their new pipeline, they should be expanding their storm tanks to tackle this issue. Unfortunately, Mr Black's response was as evasive as one might expect, dodging his responsibility as the regulator and citing the need for water security in the UK. While I do understand his argument, it was frustrating that Ofwat would not consider a number of alternative schemes that have the potential to deliver significantly more water, while also not polluting the river.


Thames Water's consultation on the Teddington Direct River Abstraction scheme ends on the 11th of December, make sure you have your say before then. You can see a clip of my questions to David Black by following the link here.



MOTHERS AGAINST MUGGING


Last Friday, I met with Detective Chief Superintendent Clair Kelland, commander of South West London's Met Police, and the organisers of Mothers against Mugging (MaM), a fantastic local campaign group that has been offering free, simple advice to parents and children to protect them from muggers.


Felicity and Barbara, started MaM after learning that almost every teenage boy their children knew had been mugged at some stage in their lives. The campaign is based around providing simple advice to reduce the likelihood that a child will be targeted and over the past few years they have spoken to over 8000 students in South West London.


The next stage of their campaign revolves around getting their advice onto posters in the Tube Network across London. It was great to see how supportive DCS Kelland was of the idea and I hope that with her support we'll be seeing their posters across London in the coming months.


If you want to learn more about Mothers Against Mugging, visit their website at the link here.


PEDICABS ON HAMMERSMITH BRIDGE


With the carriageway for Hammersmith Bridge set to reopen to cyclists in early 2024, I've been calling for TfL and the DfT to support the creation of a new rickshaw service between Barnes and Hammersmith. While the bridge's closure has caused huge problems for us across the constituency, for those older and less mobile people who relied on the shops and services north of the river, life has become incredibly challenging.


Getting the Bridge fully reopened is still the most important goal, however, while the final decision on the strengthening works is made, there will be a period when a properly licensed, regulated, rickshaw service across the bridge could help link the north and south of the river. With the new Pedicabs (London) Bill coming in, this kind of service can be officially endorsed for the first time. For this reason, I put a motion to the House, calling on the Department for Transport to throw its support behind the proposal. Over the coming weeks, I hope to be able to garner cross party support for the motion and build the case for this scheme further.


You can read a copy of my motion here, and see a clip of me raising this proposal in parliament here.


RICHMOND NEWS


HAM POND LITTER PICK AND CHRISTMAS MARKET


Tomorrow, the Ham and Petersham Association will be hosting one of their regular litter picks at Ham Pond from 10 am. It's a great way to meet your neighbours and give back to the community while getting some fresh air on a bright winters day. After the litter pick, the Ham Parade Market will be holding its Christmas Market. I would recommend any constituents who live locally to got along, support local businesses in the area and help keep Ham beautiful.



ST ANDREWS CHURCH: THE COMING OF CHRISTMAS


On Saturday 9th of December, St Andrew's Church will be hosting festive Christmas readings interspersed with Christmas carols, a raffle, and chance to buy christmas gifts with the proceeds going towards the Churches heating appeal. The festivities will start at 7 pm and if you are in the local area, I would highly recommend heading over.


Tickets can be bought from the parish office either by phone on 0208 948 7374 or at the link here.



KINGSTON NEWS


SQUARE 1 FREE CAFE KINGSTON


Every Thursday from 12 pm to 4 pm, the New Era Projects will be hosting a cafe within the YMCA Hawker Centre. Everyone is welcome to attend and everything from coffee and tea to cakes and sandwiches are free!


Its a brilliant place to visit if you fancy a chat, want to get to know other people in the local area, or simply want a hot drink and moment of peace as the days get colder. To find out more, visit Square 1's facebook group here.


NORTH KINGSTON CHRISTMAS SHOPPING TRAIL

From 10 am to 3 pm on December 2nd, businesses in Coombe Road and Park Road will be making Christmas local, with independent businesses coming together to celebrate and to highlight the wonderful stalls and shops in our community. There will be some fantastic traders taking part, pop-up handcrafters, music and Christmas trees on the route to get everyone into the Christmas spirit.

Tomorrow is looking like it will be cold but bright so if you have the time, I highly recommend heading over and taking part.






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