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1 February 2013 17:26
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In this edition:
Greg Hands M.P.’s Diary Website of the Week: EuroTalk Photo news: Serbian Medieval Cultural Heritage exhibition and reception Police Consultation event in H&F on Tuesday, 5th February H&F Council reject re-hashed Heathrow third runway schemes Record number of apprenticeships in Chelsea & Fulham Information for would-be foster parents Young artistic talent get a chance in K&C News from Greg Hands’s Weekly Surgery Hands in the papers: Concern in community after 'hungry fox' attacks woman in broad daylight How to contact Greg Hands M.P.
Issue 360 – Friday 1st February 2013
Since the last edition, Greg:
Attended and addressed the Open Meeting in Chelsea Town Hall on the future of policing in the Royal Borough. The Met has plans for more police officers, but the ending of front counter services at Chelsea Police station. There will be a similar public meeting at Hammersmith Town Hall on Tuesday. For more information, see below. Visited Fulham-based business EuroTalk, who produce language learning CDs and Apps, and are now expanding on a not for profit basis into teaching maths and English in the developing world. Hosted a week long exhibition in the House of Commons on Serbian medieval culture. The Serbian Society is based in Fulham. For more, see photos below. Met a delegation of constituents from both Chelsea and Fulham, concerned with proposals to legalise gay or samesex marriage. The Commons vote on this will be on Tuesday, 5th February. Attended the Stanley Ward Conservatives dinner in Chelsea, with guest speaker Kwasi Kwarteng MP. Had a full schedule of activity as a Government Whip in and around the chamber of the House of Commons, including ministerial meetings and organising votes and standing committees. Held a weekly surgery for Chelsea and Fulham residents at the Fulham Methodist Church, Fulham Broadway. Greg’s surgeries are held generally every Monday at Fulham Methodist Church, or at Peter Jones, Sloane Square. To make an appointment, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7219 5448.
Website of the Week:
The website of Fulham based international business EuroTalk, which Greg visited this week. Grge is often one of their judges in their annual “Junior Language Challenge” event at Olympia, where schools across the UK compete in language learning.
Serbian Medieval Cultural Heritage exhibition and reception
Greg Hands M.P. addressing guests at a reception to mark the opening of an exhibition of The Serbian Medieval Cultural Heritage at the House of Commons this week.
Greg Hands M.P. this week at the exhibition he has been hosting on Serbian medieval culture.
Police Consultation event in H&F on Tuesday, 5th February
Plans to deliver 92 more beat Police onto the streets of Hammersmith & Fulham, while delivering budgets savings of £500million across London, will be discussed at a public meeting at Hammersmith Town Hall this Tuesday (5th February) at 6pm. The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), which oversees the Met Police, has issued three challenges to the capital’s force. Known as 20/20/20, MOPAC says by 2015 the Met needs to: cut crime by 20% in seven priority areas; boost residents’ satisfaction by 20% and reduce spending by 20%. As a response to MOPAC’s targets, the Met is now consulting on proposals to cut the number of senior managers in the capital from 37 to 26, cut the number of supervisors by more than 1,000 while boosting the number of Police Constables from 24,630 to 25,909. MOPAC’s policing and crime consultation event in H&F takes place at Hammersmith Town Hall on Tuesday 5th February from 6pm. The Met is also proposing to reduce the number of buildings it uses from 497 to around 300 to reduce running costs by 30 per cent. In H&F, the Met is consulting on proposals to close the front counter at Shepherds Bush Police station so that more officers can be released for front-line duties. On average 17 people a day attend the front counter at Shepherds Bush Police station to report a crime despite the fact it is quicker to report crimes over the phone or online. Despite this, the counter is staffed by Police Constables costing taxpayers nearly £100,000 a year. If the Met’s proposal is approved, 92 extra Safer Neighbourhoods Team (SNT) officers would be delivered onto the streets of H&F. A front counter operating 24 hours a day will remain at Hammersmith Police station and a counter will remain open during the day at Fulham Police station. Meanwhile, H&F Council continues to spend £1.3million a year for three enhanced town centre squads of beat Police with local firms adding an extra £350,000 a year. The additional cash means the borough already has 44 more Police officers than it would do otherwise. Cllr Greg Smith, H&F Council Deputy Leader, says, “The Police and council continue to work extremely hard to drive crime down. Crime is falling in H&F and has done for six years out of seven - partly due to the council’s funding of 44 extra beat police officers. But there is more to do and the challenge for the Met is to come up with innovative ways to deliver more beat Police officers onto our streets while trimming their budget to help reduce the nation’s budget deficit. “Life has changed since Victorian times and in the 21st century many people report crime on their mobile phones, by calling 999 or 101, or even online. We welcome the Met’s proposal to get 92 extra beat Police onto our streets and will continue to press them for zerotolerance action against the criminal minority.” MOPAC wants your views to help shape the Mayor’s Police and Crime Plan, which will be published in April 2013. It will set out how MOPAC aims to reduce crime in the capital over the next four years and what the Met Police and other agencies are doing to tackle crime. To have your say visit MOPAC’s policing and crime consultation event in H&F at Hammersmith Town Hall on Tuesday, February 5 from 6pm. Greg Hands MP added: "I attended the similar consultation event in Chelsea, and it was very worthwhile hearing the Met's plans to save money but nonetheless get more police officers on the street. I can't be there at the event on Tuesday in Hammersmith Town Hall, due to an important Commons vote at the same time, but I recommend H&F residents do attend if they can." To register to attend the event and to guarantee entry visit www.london.gov.uk/policingevents.
H&F Council reject re-hashed Heathrow third runway schemes
Any rehashed plan to build an additional runway at Heathrow Airport will be ‘utterly rejected’ by the council, it was decided this week. Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council vowed to support the Mayor of London in his work to assess the feasibility of other airport expansion options, including a new four runway airport to the east of London, at a full council meeting on Wednesday night. With Heathrow currently operating at 98% capacity, it is right that the issue of extra air capacity for the south east of England is looked at – but a third runway is not the answer, according to the council. The council argues: A third (really two and a half) runway solution at Heathrow Airport can never provide the successful air hub which London needs; Additional runway capacity at Heathrow would mean an unacceptable increase in aircraft noise for parts of H&F which have, so far, been less adversely affected; The recent ‘Operational freedom’ trials at Heathrow have proved to be highly damaging to borough residents who would usually get some respite through runway alternation. “A third runway at Heathrow Airport is the wrong answer to the right question,” says, Cllr Nicholas Botterill, H&F Council Leader. “A pint sized third runway could not take fully laden 747s or the big A380 Airbuses but it would dramatically increase the noise misery for people under the flight path and it would not be long until there were calls for a fourth runway.” If a third runway is built, the number of flights is likely to rocket from the current limit of 480,000 to 702,000 by 2030 – equivalent to building a new airport the size of Gatwick in the most densely populated part of the country. H&F Council has consistently argued that a third runway, or any other form of expansion, at Heathrow would not just bring extra noise hell for residents, but also trigger more air pollution and pile further pressure on overstretched roads and public transport in the area. The Government has set up the Davies Commission to consider the various options for enhancing the UK’s aviation capacity, to maintain its position as Europe’s most important aviation hub. In support of the Davies Commission, the Mayor of London is consulting on the criteria for assessing those options. Cllr Botterill concludes: “The only sensible solution is to acknowledge that further expansion of Heathrow is not acceptable and that any additional capacity should be provided away from major population centres as other world cities have done.” Plans for the expansion of Heathrow were thrown out by a High Court judge in March 2010 after H&F Council and a coalition of other concerned local authorities challenged the plans. 93 per cent of H&F residents said they were against Heathrow expansion in a council poll of more than 4,000 people in 2008. John Stewart, Chairman of HACAN, which represents residents under the Heathrow flight paths, said: “We are very clear that we want a ban on night flights before 6 o’clock and a progressive reduction between 6am and 7am. Many people under the Heathrow flight paths don’t need an alarm clock; the first plane wakes them at 4:30am.” Residents who are disturbed by increased aircraft noise – due to the trial of new runway rules should log a complaint by visiting www.heathrowairport.com/noise or calling 0800 344 844 or emailing email@example.com. The Government has also just launched a new consultation on the night flights controls at Heathrow. The council will be submitting a response, but residents are also encouraged to make their own comments. Further details can be found here. Alternatively, comments can be e-mailed directly to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Greg Hands M.P. added "I remain steadfastly opposed to further Heathrow expansion, and that remains the policy of the Government."
Record number of apprenticeships in Chelsea & Fulham
Greg Hands M.P. has welcomed new statistics that show a record number of people in Chelsea and Fulham started an apprenticeship in 2011/12. The provisional data also indicates that the numbers are up again in the first quarter of 2012/13. The full-year figures show that 220 people started an apprenticeship locally – an increase of 120 per cent on the last year of Labour’s government. This has been made possible by: Investing in more apprenticeships. Over the lifetime of this parliament, 250,000 more apprenticeships will be funded than the last government planned. Cash bonuses for small companies taking on young apprentices. Employers with 50 employees or fewer will get up to £1,500 for taking on an apprentice aged between 16 and 24. This will support up to 40,000 new apprenticeships in 2012/13. Investing in degree-level apprenticeships. At the moment, there aren’t enough opportunities for progression to further learning for apprentices. There is now a £25 million Higher Apprenticeships Fund, to support up to 10,000 degree-level apprenticeships in areas such as aerospace and renewable energy technologies. Making it quicker and easier for employers to take on an apprentice. The National Apprenticeships Service and training providers will be required to ensure that every employer is able to advertise a vacancy within one month of deciding to take on an apprentice. Targeting apprenticeships where they are needed. The programme has been refocused on younger adults, new employees, higher level qualifications and particular sectors where apprenticeships can make the greatest impact. Equipping apprentices with basic skills. Apprenticeship providers are now required to offer all apprentices teaching in English and Maths up to the standard of a good GCSE. Cutting bureaucracy. Coalition measures to cut red tape for employers taking on apprentices include: piloting a ‘payment by outcomes’ system to eliminate a number of data returns and audit requirements; providing an online plain-English toolkit for employers; streamlining contracting arrangements; committing to no ‘in year’ changes to contracting arrangements, introducing a more proportionate approach to audit and inspection, reducing preparation time for employers; greater use of electronic information to reduce paperwork; and a more streamlined certification process. Commenting, Greg Hands MP said: “We will only succeed as a country when everyone is given the chance to reach their full potential. We have dramatically increased the number of apprenticeships on offer compared to Labour. “These record levels of apprenticeships are fantastic news for our country, for Chelsea and Fulham, and most of all for the people whose lives are being transformed by the opportunities they offer.”
Information for would-be foster parents
Would you considering fostering? You can find out what it entails by talking with the council's fostering advisor who can tell you what support is available, just email email@example.com or phone 0800 1693497 The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster City Council and the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham are recruiting foster carers for children and young people of all ages, faiths and cultural backgrounds. It could be for short periods (a matter of days or weeks),for longer periods of months or years and sometimes permanently. You can also get information by going along to one of the drop-in sessions taking place on Thursday 7th February at Askew Library, Askew Road W12 from 2pm to 4pm or Tuesday 19th February at 10am at Hammersmith Town Hall, King Street, W6.
Young artistic talent get a chance in K&C
Young artists in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea will have a chance to have their work exhibited publicly and take part in free art workshops as part of Art Explosion. This visual arts competition and exhibition is aimed at young people aged from 13 to 19. Paintings, photographs, sculpture and other artworks created by young people in the borough will be on show at Chelsea Theatre, World's End, King's Road, SW10. The opening night of the exhibition is on Friday 22nd March, beginning at 6.30pm and there is the chance to win a camera or art materials. To find out how to enter your artwork into the competition or take part in a free arts workshop call or text 07739 314573 or email Louisa.firstname.lastname@example.org. The closing date for entries is Friday 15th March.
News from Greg Hands’s Weekly Surgery
On Monday, 28th January, Greg Hands held his weekly constituency surgery at Fulham Broadway Methodist Church, meeting nine residents with concerns ranging from homelessness to immigration. One vulnerable constituent raised concerns about the anti-social behaviour of her neighbour. In this case Greg has contacted Hammersmith and Fulham Council to ask if they can intervene to offer mediation and install any soundproofing to limit noise travelling from one property to another. Both the Royal Borough and H&F consider tackling anti-social behaviour to be one of their key priorities. If you are currently experiencing such crime contact the respective Borough’s Safer Neighbourhood Teams or ASB Units via these links H&F ASB Team and RBKC Community Safety Team. If constituents believe their Member of Parliament can assist with their problem Greg is keen to hear from them. Greg said: “I hold my surgeries almost every week of the year and I aim to solve the problem, or at least get my constituents an answer. To make an appointment contact me on email@example.com or call 0207 219 5448.”
Hands in the papers:
Concern in community after 'hungry fox' attacks woman in broad daylight
Adam Courtney, Hammersmith & Fulham Chronicle Wednesday 30th January 2013 A fox is causing concern to residents after it attacked a woman by Putney Bridge Tube station. The creature sank its teeth into the foot of Kirsty Poole, 31, moments after she left the station in broad daylight. Miss Poole, a nanny, had to wrestle the fox after it clamped its mouth around her UGG boot, before it went on to chase another man. The attack has caused concern among people living in the area, and one woman contacted the Chronicle to say she has come across the same fox herself. “I have seen it several times and it is very menacing,” she said. “I came across it last week before I had even heard about the attack on the woman and it really scared me. It bared its teeth and came towards me and didn't show any fear at all.” The woman said other people had been attacked. “I spoke to a homeless person nearby and he said had been bitten twice. I have two children and am worried about them coming home from school.” Miss Poole described the attack to the Evening Standard and said: “As I was walking, I saw this fox, and I thought, ‘How cute’ and took a picture with my phone. It ran towards me and bit straight into my UGG boot. "I was really shocked that it bit in so hard. I had to fight to get it away and I suppose it stopped biting when it realised the boot wasn’t food. Luckily it didn’t get to my skin because the boot was so thick.” It's not the first time foxes have made the news in Fulham. In 2010, Annie Bradwell was attacked in her bedroom as she slept in her Sands End Home six weeks after a similar attack on another woman in Fulham. And foxes were blamed for a string of mysterious cat deaths, again in Sands End, last year. The incidents lead Chelsea and Fulham MP Greg Hands to call for urban foxes to be classed as vermin and ‘exterminated’. Some wildlife experts continue to insist foxes do not attack humans. John Bryant, an animal welfare consultant, said: "Incidents of foxes attacking human beings are extremely rare. I have been working with foxes for 40 years and I have never been attacked.” He added the fox that attacked Miss Poole could have mistaken her boot for a small animal.
5 ways to contact Greg Hands M.P.:
By Phone: By email: By post: In person: 020 7219 5448 firstname.lastname@example.org Greg Hands M.P. House of Commons London SW1A 0AA Click here for details of how to book an appointment at Greg Hands M.P.’s weekly surgery
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Greg Hands M.P. – a strong voice for Chelsea & Fulham
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