This week the Chancellor delivered his Autumn Statement, which provides further proof that the difficult decisions the Government have taken since 2010 are giving us a healthier, more sustainable, economy.You can find out full details of the Chancellors’ announcements here, but some key announcements are:
Improved public finances mean the Government will borrow less than forecast. The Chancellor has decided to use some of this to avoid the previously planned changes to Tax Credits.
NHS England will receive £10 billion more a year in real terms by 2020.
Schools funding will be protected with £23 billion invested in school buildings and a fairer funding formula will be introduced.
The UK will meet its NATO target of 2% defence spending and 0.7% international aid spending.
While EU rules mean that the Government cannot remove all VAT on sanitary products, the Government will ensure VAT raised will go towards women’s charities.
The police budget will be protected in line with inflation.
A good settlement for Transport for London, with £11 billion of support for London.
The fight against ISIS
This month saw the horrific murders of many people in the streets of Paris, and I know our thoughts have been with their friends and families since those awful events on Friday 13th. ISIS are, as the Prime Minister rightly says, an evil death cult who, as these events show, are a real risk to us in the United Kingdom.
I expect soon there will be a vote in the House of Commons to authorise air strikes against ISIS in Syria. While deciding to use military force is not a decision any MP takes lightly, the fact that we are facing a dangerous terrorist group, who control large areas of territory which could be used to pose a direct threat to us in the United Kingdom, weighs on my mind.
Moreover, this vote is very different from the vote two years ago when we had to consider the possible ramifications of action in a civil war. This vote is against terrorist murders who control large areas of territory where there is no recognised government to co-operate with. Any proposed action would also have the backing of the UN Security Council, after the vote last Friday.
Therefore I believe we should join the international community by taking all steps to destroy ISIS, to stop the spread of their ideology and to protect our citizens.
However, military action is only one part of our fight against ISIS. We must ensure that there is a full commitment to supporting and rebuilding the areas currently controlled by ISIS, more action on curtailing their funding, and to continue our humanitarian support for refugees in the Middle East.
Crossrail 2 Public Meeting
Transport for London have released their proposals for bringing Crossrail 2 to Wimbledon. When completed, Crossrail 2 should bring many benefits to Wimbledon. It will relieve pressure on services to Waterloo, reduce journey times into Central London and beyond, give more local people job opportunities within a 45 minute commute and attract more businesses and jobs to Wimbledon itself.
However, I want to ensure that Crossrail 2 brings as little disruption as possible to Wimbledon during its construction and maximises the potential for redevelopment locally. I believe that TfL’s current route option does not look like the best solution for Wimbledon and will lead to the destruction of much of the Town Centre. That’s why I have been lobbying for a change to get a route that delivers real regeneration for Wimbledon and minimises disruption, namely a tunnel under Wimbledon Station.
This will be the most important local issue in Wimbledon for the next decade, and so I have set up a public meeting so residents can hear directly from the Crossrail 2 team about the plans and have the opportunity to ask questions. The meeting will be at 7.30pm on Monday 7th December at Ricards Lodge High School, Lake Road, London SW19 7HB. I hope to see you there.
Public Meeting with the Chief Executive of St Helier Hospital
I am delighted to invite you to attend a public meeting with the Chief Executive of St Helier Hospital, Daniel Elkeles, to hear about his exciting plans for the hospital’s future. The meeting will take place this Saturday 28th November, from 10.30am at the Endeavour Club, Kenneth Black House, Martin Way, Morden SM4 4AJ.
I recently met with Daniel and I was delighted to hear that the hospital had recently recruited many new doctors and nurses on a permanent basis, which has significantly increased care and cut agency bills.
Nonetheless the challenges of providing a high quality care on a dilapidated hospital estate remain. Therefore St Helier is undertaking a consultation on the state of its buildings and possible improvements.
So please do come along to the meeting to hear from St Helier’s Chief Executive about his plans to ensure St Helier continues to offer a fantastic service to local residents and ask him your questions.
Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards in Parliament
It was a real pleasure to meet three inspirational constituents last week at the Anthony Nolan charity awards in Parliament.
Sophie, Emma and Georgie Ireland launched the "Give our Dad a Bone (Marrow Transplant)” appeal after their father Rob relapsed from a rare form of lymphoma.
Using their Dad's mantra of a positive mental attitude, they have gone on to recruit thousands of new donors to the bone marrow register through events, speaking in schools and social media.
All this amazing work made them well deserved winners of the Recruiter of the Year award.
St Mary’s Church – Merton Park
I was delighted to attend the service to dedicate the new organ and celebrate 900 years of worship at St Mary’s Church.
It was fantastic to see the church full and the music was magnificent.
Causeway Catering Van – Street Trading Licence
An application has been lodged for a Street Trading Licence on the Causeway, to allow a catering van to trade in a pitch midway between Camp Road and Cannizaro Road from 7am-7pm Monday-Sunday.
Along with the local Residents Association I have objected to this application. The Causeway runs across Wimbledon Common which is an area of natural beauty with plenty of catering establishments nearby. The Causeway should be available for people who wish to park to enjoy the Common and Wimbledon Village.
If you have a view on this application, please email email@example.com or write to Trading Standards at London Borough of Merton, Civic Centre, London Road, Morden, SM4 5DX quoting ref WK/201506582
Christmas recycling, refuse and food waste collections
You can find details of Merton Council’s waste collection over the Christmas period on their website here.
Merton Council will also collect Christmas Trees for free between Monday 11th January and Sunday 24th January. They ask all residents wishing to use this service to place their tree outside ready for collection on Sunday 10th January.
Small Business Saturday
We have a fantastic range of small businesses across Wimbledon, Raynes Park, Morden and Motspur Park which provide vibrancy to our local economy and, importantly, jobs for local people. Small businesses account for almost half of the UK’s job creation, and I know Wimbledon’s unemployment rate would not be as low as 1.1% without them.
Small Business Saturday is on Saturday 5th December, and I will be joining in the celebrations by doing several visits of businesses across the constituency. If your business would like to get involved, please do reply this this email.
Morden Baptist Church Fairtrade Christmas Fair
Morden Baptist Church will be holding their Christmas Fair on Thursday 26th November, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. There will Fairtrade shopping, homemade soup, samosas, ice cream and milkshakes, so do pop along to kick start your Christmas shopping. This year’s fair is in aid of Hope for Justice, a charity which works to end human trafficking and slavery.
Christmas Pop Up Event - Hotel du Vin, Cannizaro House
There will be a Christmas Pop Up Event at Hotel du Vin, from 10 am – 9 pm on Wednesday, 2 December. Please see more details at ChristmasPopUp.eventbrite.co.uk and use the promo code SUP50 for half price tickets.
Festive Fun at Deen City Farm
Deen City Farm will be holding a festive fun day on Saturday 19th December from 11am to 3pm. There will be carol singing, meet the animals (including hopefully new baby piglets), a treasure hunt and I also hear that Santa may be making an appearance…