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Richmond Park News: 22 June 2021


MEETING WITH MET POLICE ABOUT LOCAL CRIME


Last week I met with the Chief Superintendent Lis Chapple, Commander of the Metropolitan Police's Southwest London Borough Command Unit. We spoke about the ongoing investigations into a number of crimes in and around my constituency. We also talked about anti-social behaviour and what the police could do to help keep the peace in our communities.


I relayed to CS Chapple the frustration of some of my constituents with methods for reporting crime and antisocial behaviour to the police. She asked me to urge my constituents to persevere in reporting crimes and antisocial behaviour directly to the police and not just posting on social media. It may seem like there is no point in reporting it, but without a clear picture of what is happening in each area the police can't allocate resources to address chronic or rising problems.


If there is a crime in progress, someone is in danger or you are witnessing antisocial behaviour, please do use 999 to contact the police. For other crimes, such as an overnight bike theft or fly tipping please use 101 or the online reporting form here. Even if they don't come out to the scene right away your information will help the police plan better policing in our towns.


You can also find your local Met Police Safer Neighbourhoods Team here. You can take general concerns about neighbourhood issues to them.



RICHMOND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BRIEFING


Last week I also had the pleasure of speaking to members of the RIchmond Chamber of Commerce at a business briefing. Business leaders told me that while the high street grew in importance during lockdown, hospitality and travel businesses are still struggling. I promised to push the Government for more clarity on their criteria for easing restrictions so businesses can plan better.


We talked about Transport for London's funding package, about which I have significant concerns. We need to support sustainable travel by committing to longer term funding, with due consideration for the impact of the Hammersmith Bridge closure.

We also discussed the COP26 summit and shared the hope that the Government will grasp the opportunities it offers. We need to address the carbon footprint of transport, but there are other steps we need to take as well. For example we need to reduce CO2 emissions from home heating by supporting the replacement of gas boilers.


We also talked about the creative industries, and the concerns of many professionals working in this key sector that young people will be put off starting a career in the arts by the failure to support arts subjects at school and university. Britain is a creative arts powerhouse and we must not jeopardise this important industry with short-sighted austerity measures.



EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME: JUST OVER A WEEK LEFT!


There are only eight days to go until the deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).


I am deeply aware of the contributions EU, EEA and Swiss citizens make to the social, economic and cultural fabric of the UK. Applying for the EUSS will allow EU citizens to continue to work, study, and access free healthcare and benefits in the UK after 30 June 2021. If you are an EU citizen and haven't applied, please consider doing so. Applications can be made at www.gov.uk/eusettlementscheme .



CONSULTATION ON PARLIAMENTARY BOUNDARY CHANGES


The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) has published its initial proposals for new constituency boundaries. They are now inviting the public to view and provide feedback on the proposed boundaries as part of an eight-week consultation process.


The Commission is required to ensure that the number of electors in each constituency is roughly equal. In order to reflect the change in population, the number of constituencies in England needs to increase from 533 to 543. The Commission will present its final recommendations to Parliament by July 2023.


Members of the public are encouraged to visit www.bcereviews.org.uk to view maps showing the proposed new boundaries and provide feedback before the consultation closes on 2 August 2021. People can comment on anything from where the proposed new boundary lines are to the names of the constituencies.



MOBILE COVERAGE ACROSS LONDON UNDERGROUND


Transport for London has announced that high speed mobile coverage will be delivered across London Underground. Work is now underway across the Tube network, with the first stations – including Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Euston, Bank and Camden Town – going live by the end of 2022.



RICHMOND NEWS


FIRE AT TOWNMEAD ROAD REFUSE AND RECYCLING CENTRE

There was a major fire at the Townmead Road facility on Sunday night. Thanks to the quick response of the London Fire Brigade, including the 60 firefighters who attended, the fire was contained with no injuries. They will be investigating the cause, which they believe to be accidental.


The Townmead Road facility has been closed until further notice. Anyone with a booking will be contacted about rescheduling.



VOTER REGISTRATION REQUESTS FROM RICHMOND COUNCIL


Richmond residents are asked to look out for an annual voter registration email from the Council. Over the next few weeks, residents will receive emails with registration information inviting them to make sure that their information is up to date. With local elections taking place in London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in May 2022, it is important that residents do not ignore these communications.



KINGSTON NEWS


KINGSTON JOBS AND TRAINING FAIR TOMORROW


Responding to the difficult employment market that local residents are facing, Kingston Council, in partnership witha host of private sector and non-profit organisations, is hosting a one day jobs and training fair TOMORROW. Come along and find out about apprenticeships, interview skills, digital skills and entry into key sectors like hospitality and customer service. You can sign up for sessions here.



NEW SECONDARY SCHOOL FOR KINGSTON


I was very pleased to hear that Kingston Council has approved a proposal by the Diocese of Southwark to establish a new 900-place co-educational Church of England secondary school in the borough. The new, non-academically-selective school will meet the growing need for more high-quality state-funded secondary school places in the local area and provide reassurance for Kingston's parents and carers that there will be sufficient places for their children.

The six-form entry school for 11-16 year olds, which will include a 20-place specialist resource provision for children and young people with Education, Health and Care Plans, will be built on the Kingsmeadow site in Norbiton, subject to formal disposal of the site and planning permission. It is due to open in September 2024.

Demand for Year 7 places has grown substantially across the borough in the past five years, from 1,642 applicants in 2017 to 1,894 this year. I am delighted to hear this good news for fellow Kingston borough parents, who will be further reassured by the Diocese of Southwark's strong track record in education.

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