DELAY IN TAKING FREE BUS TRAVEL AWAY FROM UNDER-18 RIDERS
I thought my constituents would like to know that Transport for London Commissioner Andy Byford stated this week that the temporary removal of free travel for under-18s cannot be implemented until at least spring of next year. This has yet to be confirmed by the Government, but I cautiously welcome the news of this delay.
Obviously we want the proposal stopped entirely but at least young people can rely on free bus fares to travel safely throughout the winter.
I will continue to do all that I can to prevent the removal of free travel for under-18s going ahead as I know how beneficial it is to many children across the constituency.
HAMMERSMITH BRIDGE TASKFORCE UPDATE
The Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce has published an update on its progress. I was disappointed to see that local residents may have to wait until 2021 for a ferry service, although it is important that the necessary piers be erected safely and that the procurement process be done correctly. I would like this process to move more quickly, but I am satisfied that things are at least progressing. In the meantime, I will continue to liaise with TfL on bus improvements and other mitigation actions. You can read the task-force's full update at:
OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
Breast Cancer UK has written to me to ask me to pass on advice to you about spotting the symptoms of breast cancer.
To see their simple and informative guide to checking for the signs of breast cancer: https://breastcancernow.org/sites/default/files/publications/pdf/touch_look_check_a5.pdf
If you have noticed any changes, or have any questions about breast cancer and want to speak to someone at Breast Cancer UK, call their helpline for free on 0808 800 6000.
If you have breast cancer, you can get support from one of their volunteers by using their Someone Like Me service. https://breastcancernow.org/information-support/support-you/someone-me-telephone-support
Or you can get free, confidential email advice from one of their nurses by clicking here: https://breastcancernow.org/information-support/support-you/email-our-nurses
PROSTATE CANCER RISK-CHECKER LINK
If you would like to find out if you or a loved one should talk to your doctor about prostate cancer screening, please use Prostate Cancer UK's quick and easy online risk checker by clicking here: https://prostatecanceruk.org/risk-checker
CORRECTED LINK FOR LETTER TO ALOK SHARMA ABOUT PUBS
In my last newsletter I referenced a letter from my colleague Daisy Cooper to Business Secretary Alok Sharma regarding the new 10pm closure time for pubs. The link to the first page of the letter was faulty. Here are the correct links: Cooper Page 1 Cooper Page 2
STAG BREWERY DEVELOPMENT
I wrote to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, this week with my objections to the revised planning application for the former Stag Brewery site in Mortlake.
Under the revised plans, the developer envisages expanding the development from 813 residential units to 1250, increasing the square footage of flexible-use space and office space and raising the heights of most buildings, with ten storeys now the highest level. I believe this application, by expanding the height, scale and mass of the proposed development, breaches the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), The London Plan and Richmond Council’s Local Plan. Accordingly I have asked Mayor Khan to refuse this application.
I will keep you informed as this application progresses. If you would like to see the details of my objection you can see my letter here:
MANOR ROAD (HOMEBASE SITE) DEVELOPMENT PLANNING APPLICATION APPROVED
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan held a public hearing yesterday where he considered the application for the proposed development on the old Homebase site on Manor road in Richmond. Mayor Khan looked at the application in detail and decided to grant planning permission for the development. I will now be following up with Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government, to urge him to call in this proposal as I feel its size and density is unsuitable for its location. I will keep you updated on this too.
REDEVELOPMENT OF HOUSE OF FRASER SITE IN RICHMOND TOWN CENTRE
I was sad to see the House of Fraser store in Richmond close after 50 years of trading, first as Dickins and Jones and then as House of Fraser. I heard from the property owners this week that they plan to redevelop the George Street building as a multi-use residential, retail and leisure space, and that they are committed to promoting its long-term commercial viability. Their contractors will shortly begin internal work to survey the condition of the property. To ensure its appearance is maintained, vinyl window displays will be installed in the coming weeks. The displays will include signage to direct people to the independent businesses on Paved Court and Golden Court.
KEW GARDENS POST OFFICE - LOOKING FOR A NEW RETAIL PARTNER
The Post Office is looking for new retail partner to run the Kew Gardens Post Office, following the recent retirement of the previous owners. If you are, or know of, any such person or business, please contact my office on email@example.com and I will pass their details to the Post Office Change Team. Keeping local post offices open is vital to supporting elderly and vulnerable people and keeping our villages alive and thriving. If you know of anyone suitable to take over the Kew Gardens site please do get in touch.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO HAND OUT MASKS IN KINGSTON
Kingston Council is keen to promote the hands, face, space message to people out shopping in Kingston. One of their plans is to hand out masks and small containers of hand sanitiser at a stall in the town centre. They are looking for volunteers who could do this for a couple of hours once or twice a week, starting as soon as possible. Volunteers will be briefed and supported, and given PPE. If you would like to volunteer, or know of people or groups who may be interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Yesterday was the start of Black History month. Kingston Council celebrates the history and culture of people of African and Caribbean descent, their outstanding contributions to our national and cultural life and their impact on making Kingston a better place to be.
Kingston Council will be co-hosting a Let's Talk Equality event with KREC on 14 October at 6:30pm. This event will focus on racial equality, education and employment. Panelists will discuss how we can encourage more people from BAME communities into further education, and what the council is doing to support those entering employment. You can go to the RBK YouTube channel to watch. They are encouraging residents to submit questions to ensure the discussion considers the needs of local residents. Questions can be submitted using this Google Form.