Reporting Back – August 2015

Good news for Longer Trains at Wimbledon

I welcome the significant step forward in my campaign for longer rush-hour trains at Wimbledon, following confirmation of work to extend the platforms at Waterloo station.

Construction will take one year, with a planned start date this November. This would extend platforms 1-4 to allow longer trains to stop there, in addition to upgrading the area around the station and creating five new platforms from the former Eurostar Terminal. This news comes after confirmation last year that South West Trains are procuring 150 new carriages, following pressure from myself and Dan Watkins, Conservative Party Spokesman for Tooting

I am delighted that this transport campaign is making progress. Securing longer trains to ease overcrowding and a better service for commuters in Wimbledon was a key election pledge for local residents. I will continue to press Network Rail and South West Trains to ensure these longer trains come as quickly as possible with as little disruption as possible.

 

Crossrail 2 Update

I am still expecting Crossrail 2 to produce a first possible version of their route in October.

Once published, I shall arrange to hold a public meeting so local residents can be properly kept up to date.

 

Circle Housing Report Findings

Circle Housing (CHMP) is the major social housing agency in Wimbledon and Merton, and a recent investigation has found that their repair contractor has to repay £170,000 for overcharging.

This is a shocking report. I have been complaining to CHMP about the quality and timeliness of repairs for over two years and it is now clear for all to see why there were so many problems.

It is appalling that it required an outside investigation to bring this to light and that a comprehensive procurement and contract management system was not in place.

Whilst I am pleased that Savills, who undertook the report, have concluded there was no fraud, it is frightening that any organisation can overcharge by such a degree, and equally frightening that CMPH had no checks in place to stop this happening. I am cautious about their statement that no leaseholders were affected and I will be following up this point.

Circle Housing have a huge job to do in restoring their credibility and the confidence held in them as an organisation. The recovered £170,000 should be spend on what it should have been in the first place, in upgrading local people’s homes and ensuring repairs are of the highest standard and provided more quickly.

 

Grants for Local Football Clubs

I’m delighted that the Football Foundation have awarded Merton Youth FC and AFC Wimbledon Girls (youth) a grant of £1,500 each and £3,000 to Motspur Park Youth FC.

The Football Foundation’s ‘Grow the Game’ development scheme, funded by the Premier League and the FA, aims to allow clubs to create new teams to start in the coming season.

Our local football clubs are vital pillars of the community, bringing people together and keeping people fit and active. I want to give a huge congratulations to the three clubs for being awarded these grants, and hope they can go towards helping get more young boys and girls involved in local football.

 

Investment in our Libraries

A total of 81 museums or libraries across London have received GLA grant funding totalling £1.75m to install public Wi-Fi connectivity solutions offering free public access.

In Wimbledon, Morden, Raynes Park and West Barnes libraries have benefitted from this funding. It is fantastic that the Conservatives in London continue to invest in our city’s assets with local libraries often being a an essential centre-point of the local community

 

Your Memories of Wimbledon’s Previous MPs

I am currently looking into Wimbledon’s 11 previous Members of Parliament, starting with Sir Cosmo Bonsor who was first elected in 1885. They form a very interesting group of people and the research is providing a fascinating insight into the history of our area.

If you, or your friends or family, have any interesting memories or stories about Wimbledon’s former MPs I would love to hear them. If you do, please email me at stephen@stephenhammond.net.

You can find a list of Wimbledon’s previous MPs here.

 

K5 Bus Route Petition

Last Saturday I was in West Barnes getting signatures for a petition with Cllrs Brian and Gilli Lewis-Lavender for a more frequent K5 bus. We had a fantastic response.

Currently the bus only runs once an hour, but many older residents and those with children are reliant on this service.

If you would like to see a more frequent K5 bus, you can sign the petition here.