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Richmond Park News: 30 October 2020

I was briefed by London's Strategic Coordinating Group this week, from whom I learned that all of London's 32 boroughs now have case rates exceeding 100 per 100,000 people. Kingston's case rate has passed Richmond's and is now over 200 per 100,000. With that in mind, I would like to again ask my constituents to do everything they can to help slow the spread:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often

  • Cover your mouth and nose in public

  • Keep plenty of room between yourself and non-household members

  • Download the NHS Covid-19 app

  • Try to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible.

  • Get a test for anyone in your household with Covid-19 symptoms (and isolate until the test comes back)

  • Self-isolate for 14 days if you or someone in your household tests positive

NHS London has also asked me to encourage eligible constituents to get their free flu vaccinations. This includes health and care workers and children aged two to three years. Parents might like to know that the children's flu vaccine is administered by a nasal spray, not an injection. Reducing the number of people with flu this winter will help keep pressure off of health services as they work to manage the Covid-19 outbreak.


After a great deal of discussion with local residents, I have written to the Royal Parks this week outlining a number of concerns I have regarding their proposal to introduce car parking charges inside Richmond Park.

I am concerned about the displacement of cars from the car parks inside the park to the roads near the gates. I am also worried about access to the park for low-income visitors, who may not have their own outdoor space, and for elderly and less able visitors who are not Blue Badge holders but are also not mobile enough to use active forms of travel to reach the park.

Lastly, while the charges may not be a lot of money for occasional visitors, many people like to use the park several times a week, which will become prohibitively expensive.

I have also asked Royal Parks to work with local transport providers to improve public transport connectivity to the park, and I am suggesting they reduce the chargeable hours.

You can see my full letter here:

RP Parking Charges
Download PDF • 193KB


Along with 700 concerned residents I attended Richmond Council's virtual public meeting about Hammersmith Bridge this week. I was pleased we were able to get all the representatives involved together to speak to the local community. Residents' lives have been severely disrupted and they had many good questions about what is being done to resolve the situation.

The meeting was successful in terms of revealing the complexity of the issue and the obstacles to resolving them. It's clear that agreeing funding for the repairs continues to be the biggest hurdle and I am working closely with all agencies involved to see what can be done to resolve this. If you missed the meeting you can see a recording of it here:

You can also take a look at the very informative slides presented at the meeting here

Following the meeting Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, and I wrote to Baroness Vere, the Transport Minister, about what steps we think the Government's Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce should take next. We are calling on the Government to unlock the funds needed to award a ferry contract now and to immediately commence the stabilisation work necessary to allow foot and cycle traffic over the bridge again.

Hammersmith Bridge 29.10
Download PDF • 538KB

Our letter to Baroness Vere is here:


My Twickenham colleague Munira Wilson and I wrote to Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps this week about the Government's proposals to transfer the cost of running Transport for London to our constituents by increasing council tax and expanding the

congestion charge zone to the South Circular. I am opposed to these plans and am calling on the Government to reinstate the funding for TfL they removed in 2018. I will continue pushing the government to support transport networks through Covid-19 for the sake of

London businesses and residents. You can see my letter here.

Letter to Grant Shapps re Funding for Tf
Download • 355KB

Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, has started a petition against the proposed tax. You can find it here:


Richmond CVS has prepared two very useful lists for local families who are struggling financially. One is a list of food poverty support available locally, and the second is a local, regional and national list of all sources of support that children and families might need, including emotional and mental health and early years help.

Achieving for Children is particularly promoting the take up of free school meals, which is good way of addressing food poverty in children, makes families eligible for other benefits, and helps their schools through the pupil premium.

I am attaching both lists here. Please forward them to anyone you think may be in need, and if you yourself are struggling to care for your family, please reach out to the organisations listed for help. That's what they are there for, and they are ready to help you.