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Richmond Park News: 12th April 2024

Updated: 3 days ago

I hope everyone in Richmond Park had a wonderful Easter weekend. With Parliament still in recess until next week, I have been making the most of the opportunity to attend more local events, conduct advice surgeries and take action on long running campaigns such as repairing Hammersmith Bridge and challenging Thames Water over their continuing pollution of our rivers and streams.


As always, I wanted to remind my constituents that if you need to reach me or my office, you can always contact me at office@saraholney.com.


LOST EMAILS


Unfortunately, I have been experiencing issues with my parliamentary email account not receiving some correspondence. Parliamentary Digital Services are currently looking into this issue, and I hope it will be fixed soon.


If your email has not received an answer from myself or my team, please do forward it to office@saraholney.com and we will get back to you as soon as we can.


HAMMERSMITH BRIDGE


This week saw the fifth anniversary of the first closure of Hammersmith Bridge back in 2019. After years of broken promises by Conservative Ministers who ahead of the 2019 election vowed that 'the bridge will not remain closed', I know many of my constituents are fed up with the lack of action from the government.


I therefore took the opportunity to mark the occasion alongside local councillors in renewing my call for the Department for Transport to step up and fund the repairs of the bridge. Ultimately, half a decade after the initial closure, it is long overdue that ministers, Transport for London and Hammersmith and Fulham Council stopped bickering, put aside their differences, and got Hammersmith Bridge repaired again.


You can see coverage of our visit to the bridge in the Evening Standard here, which was also featured on Thursday's front page.


THAMES WATER ON RADIO 4


Last Saturday, I spoke on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme regarding the ongoing financial situation at Thames Water. I took this opportunity to further reiterate my proposal that the company should be put into special administration and reformed into a public benefit company. This would ensure Thames Water becomes stable again and no longer reliant on its failing board, forcing it to work in the interest of bill payers. 

 

For too long, Conservative Ministers have let Thames Water get away with polluting our rivers whilst accruing billions of pounds in debt. Ministers need to take urgent action to put this failed polluter under new ownership before it fails entirely and must be bailed out by the taxpayer. 


You can see more about our proposals in The Guardian here, and on Radio 4 here.


RUILS


This week I met with Ruils, a charity supporting disabled children and adults and people with long term health and mental health conditions to live independently, be part of their community and to live life to the full.


Ruils have teamed up with 5 other organisations on their new campaign on social housing disrepairs. They shared with me the findings of their report which highlighted the significant issue of disrepairs and the adverse impact this is having on tenants. I look forward to working with them on this campaign to ensure tenants can live in homes free from disrepair.


You can see more about their work here.



VOTER ID


Ahead of the Mayor of London and London Assembly elections on 2 May, I wanted to take the opportunity to remind my constituents that the deadline to register to vote is at midnight on Tuesday 16th April.


Importantly, new rules introduced by the Conservative Government mean that you will need an accepted form of ID to vote for the first time in London elections. Should you be unsure if you have this, or want to ensure you do, you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate until 5pm on Wednesday 24th April which you can use as ID to vote at your local polling station.


I am sadly aware that these changes are extremely prohibitive and along with the other Liberal Democrats I voted to oppose them in Parliament. As voting is a fundamental democratic right, I wanted to ensure that you can find further details about voter ID and registration in Richmond Borough here, and if in Kingston, here.





RICHMOND NEWS


Friends of Richmond Park are inviting everyone to submit photos of the park for their 2025 Richmond Park Calendar. The calendar will consist of an image for each month of the year, and you will receive accreditation for your photo if it is selected. Individuals are encouraged to send up to 8 photos which depict the natural beauty of the park in all of its four seasons. 

 

The closing date for submitting your photos is 1 May, so make sure to submit your images soon. Please see the Friends of Richmond Park's website for more information.


KINGSTON NEWS


A free tour of Kingston Museum will be available tomorrow, 13 April, between 14:15-15:15 and 15:30-16:30. The Tour is titled 'Quirky Kingston' and it provides an educational experience for those of all ages. An experienced tour guide will take you through the museum and discuss exhibitions relating to the Bronze and Saxon Age, as well as highlighting some of the more unusual historic artefacts that the museum has to offer. 

 

If you are unable to attend tomorrow, this free tour will also be available on 11 May and 29 June. If you wish to book a place on the tour, please click on the following link.



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