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17 February 2013 11:41

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In this edition:
Greg Hands M.P.’s Diary Website of the Week: Green Deal Photo news: Campaigning in Eastleigh by-election More Help for First-Time Buyers in Hammersmith & Fulham Nominations needed for local heroes in Hammersmith & Fulham K&C Mayor launches Easter egg-stravaganza to raise funds for Charing Cross Hospital Greg Hands M.P. speech at the celebration marking 20 years of Slovak independence   How to contact Greg Hands M.P.

Issue 362 – Sunday 17th February 2013

Since the last edition, Greg:
Was briefed by senior officials of NHS North West London on their likely proposals for hospital reconfiguration in the local area. Greg has called moves to partly reinstate some A&E service at Charing Cross Hospital as “a step in the right direction”. The future of Chelsea & Westminster Hospital now seems assured, although question marks remain about its ability to absorb the increased number of A&E admissions caused by closures elsewhere. Campaigned fro a day in the Eastleigh by-election in Hampshire for the Conservative candidate, Maria Hutchings. To get involved in the campaign, simply reply to this bulletin. Was quiz master for the annual parents & teachers quiz night at St John’s Walham Green CE Primary School, Fulham. Hosted and addressed in the House of Commons a celebration marking twenty years of Slovak independence, with guest speakers the Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon William Hague MP, and the Deputy Prime Minister of Slovakia, Miroslav Lajčák. For Greg’s speech, remembering his visit to Bratislava in 1986, see below. Welcomed Iain Sanderson, the founder of the Fulham-based Lightning electric car company to discuss the future of electric car technology and business support in the UK. 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 mail@greghands.com or call 020 7219 5448.


Website of the Week:

The Government has launched the Green Deal, which means you can make energy-saving improvements to your home or business without having to pay all the costs up front.

Photo news:

Campaigning in Eastleigh by-election

Greg Hands with other M.P.s and volunteers at the Eastleigh By-Election this week. If you wish to get involved in the Conservative campaign in Eastleigh, then just respond to this email.

More Help for First-Time Buyers in Hammersmith & Fulham
A new Bridget Jones generation is expanding in the capital and is desperately in need of a place to buy, according to a leading west London authority. Bridget Jones was an upwardly mobile professional, not married, childless and rented a flat – just like 60% of Hammersmith & Fulham’s population. H&F Council says it is time to give the new Bridget Jones generation a ‘hand-up’ into home ownership and is backing the Mayor of London’s calls for the £1.3billion raised every year through stamp duty in the capital to stay in London and be ploughed into a massive new wave of local house-building. Cllr Nicholas Botterill, H&F Council Leader, says: “The new Bridget Jones generation has a serious housing problem. Many people rent a place and live the single life for a while but when the time comes to get married, have a child and settle down in a home that you own many people on low and middle incomes are simply priced out of the area. “We need to kick start house-building in London to give the new Bridget Jones generation a hand-up into home ownership.” The proportion of full-time female workers in H&F is now the second highest in England and Wales (36%) while the number of working age people (16-64) is also up 13%, according to the 2011 census results. The Mayor has warned that London faces a housing crisis unless one million homes are built in 25 years. The revenue stream from stamp duty would boost growth by funding housing and regeneration but would also enable City Hall to borrow in the capital markets. The number of elderly people has decreased by 5% in H&F and, while the number of owner occupiers has tumbled by 9%, the number of people renting privately in H&F has jumped 10%. H&F has the fourth highest house prices in Britain and some of the most satisfied residents in the UK but many residents, who would like to own a place, are currently priced out of the west London housing market. Housing experts claim half the number of homes that are needed are being built for the capital’s population – which is expected to rise to nine million by 2020. Cllr Botterill continues: “Average house prices in west and central London are well out of reach for many hard working families and we need to find ways to build more low cost homes to buy if we want to stop west London becoming an area dominated by young nomads.” H&F is one of the first councils in the country to get back into building homes directly, after a 30 year absence. Properties built by the council will be sold at a discounted market rate to those on low to middle incomes who live or work in the borough and might struggle otherwise to get onto the property ladder. Just over two per cent of the borough’s housing stock is currently 'intermediate' low cost homes to buy - while 34 per cent is social rented. The council already has a register of 4,700 struggling young buyers who are interested in buying low-cost homes in the borough. Cllr Botteril concludes: “A lack of supply and high demand across the capital means house prices have doubled over the past ten years. The council is doing everything it can to ease the pressure on low and middle income earners, who want to buy a place of their own, and we are set to build up to 500 new homes on council land over the next ten years. We are doing our best as a local authority but what we really need is a turbo-charged London-wide programme to accelerate the number of new homes that we are building.....” Are you living or working in H&F and a first time buyer or a key worker or a council or housing association tenant or paying high rent to a private landlord or earning between £19,000 and £64,300 per year... and want to own your own home? If so, call 020 8753 6464 or email h&fhome-buy@lbhf.gov.uk.

Nominations needed for local heroes in Hammersmith & Fulham
Unsung community heroes who go the extra mile are finally set to get the recognition they so richly deserve. Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council is launching its inaugural Agilisys H&F Heroes Awards which aims to shine a light on the numerous people who put others before themselves or have a special talent that deserves to be celebrated. Residents will be able to nominate their H&F Heroes, with the winners being honoured at a special reception with the Mayor of the borough in April. The council, together with headline sponsor, Agilisys and the Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle, is asking residents to recommend heroes for five awards. They are: Young achiever - A young person, aged up to 18, who has achieved amazing things. Maybe they have overcome the odds, displayed amazing courage or shown huge talent. Crime fighter - sponsored by the Fulham Broadway Shopping Centre - A resident or member of the community who have helped tackle crime or made their neighbourhood a safer place. Charity worker - Recognising people who have worked tirelessly to support local charities either through fundraising or volunteering. Entrepreneur - sponsored by the Hammersmith Broadway Shopping Centre - Celebrating people who have started a small business or enterprise of some kind – including budding bedroom entrepreneurs! The X Factor - sponsored by Horton and Garton Estate Agents Honouring people who have shown amazing talent, either in the world of music, theatre, art or sport. Council Leader, Cllr Nicholas Botterill, said: “We want to recognise our amazing child achievers, charity workers, sports stars, musicians and neighbourhood heroes who make our borough the best place to live in London. There are hundreds of residents out there doing unbelievable things who deserve to be congratulated for their community spirit and talent.” Steven Beard, Agilisys CEO added, “As long-term partners with Hammersmith & Fulham Council, in particular through our innovative Bridge Partnership with the council, we’re delighted to support this programme and celebrate the skills and talents of the individuals that make this borough such a fantastic place to live and work. As a locally-based business with a strong community ethos, we’re proud to be part of this initiative – and look forward to the challenge of judging from what we know will be many excellent entries.” Adrian Seal, Editor of Fulham and Hammersmith Chronicle, said: "The Chronicle is delighted to be involved in the Agilisys H&F Hero Awards which give people including our readers the opportunity to recognise and celebrate the many selfless and wonderful achievements being done by members of our local community. "We know there are many people out there doing great things. We just want you to tell us all about them. There is already a great community spirit in the borough and this is the ideal opportunity through these awards to further highlight this and celebrate those who work so hard to improve the lives of others. I fully expect the Agilisys H&F Hero Awards to be a great success and look forward to the entries rolling in across all the categories." You can nominate your Agilisys H&F Heroes by clicking here.

K&C Mayor launches Easter egg-stravaganza to raise funds for Charing Cross Hospital
The Royal Borough's Mayor, Cllr Christopher Buckmaster, is planning an extravagant Easter Fair at Kensington Town Hall on Wednesday 13 March to raise funds to buy a Sonowand for Charing Cross Hospital and improve the life chances of patients requiring brain surgery for tumours. Over 50 stallholders have signed up to sell their wares which range from chic jewellery and accessories to gourmet foods, books and mens' and ladies' fashions, including two fashion shows from East and Wall. Visitors to the fair can bring their jewellery, silver and small antique items and have then valued by the 254-year-old specialist auctioneers and valuers Dreweatts Auction Houses. The cost is just £5 for five items. All proceeds from the Easter Fair will go to the Mayor's Magic Wand Appeal to raise funds for the Brain Tumour Research Campaign (BTRC) to buy a £250,000 Sonowand - a vital piece of neurosurgery equipment for Charing Cross Hospital. Recent figures from the National Cancer Intelligence Network show that the North West London area, which comprises the Charing Cross Hospital, has the best results in the UK for one, three and five year survival rates for brain cancer. Charing Cross Hospital is one of only two units in the country with a Sonowand. But demand is growing and it desperately needs another upgraded version. Cllr Buckmaster chose the BTRC as his Mayoral charity and has pledged to raise funds to help buy a state-of-the-art new Sonowand. Speaking to promote the Easter Fair the Mayor said: "I hope as many people as possible will support the Easter Fair and this very worthy cause. The Sonowand makes surgery safer, more accurate and more complete and this results in patients living longer and having more opportunity to enjoy their family and friends while also reaping the benefits from the other research that the BTRC is producing." To get tickets for the Easter Fair or donate to the Mayor's Magic Wand Appeal go to www.wayahead-btrc.org./waystodonate or email Mayor@rbkc.gov.uk.

Greg Hands M.P. speech at the celebration marking 20 years of Slovak independence
House of Commons, 13th February 2013 My Lords, ladies and gentlemen, Foreign Secretary, Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign Secretary, Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, welcome to the House of Commons! Vitajte na anglickom Parlamentu! My name is Greg Hands, Conservative MP for Chelsea & Fulham, the Government’s Treasury Whip and formerly the Chairman of the Parliamentary All Party Czech and Slovak Republics Group. My role is to welcome you to this, the celebration of the 20th anniversary of Slovak independence – the so-called Velvet Divorce, and the establishment of diplomatic representation in London. For me, this day is poignant, as I first visited Bratislava in 1986, as a young student of the Czech and Slovak languages at Cambridge University. It was a sunny day in Bratislava in September 1986, and I was armed with a copy of “Slovenska –Anglicka Konversace” as I toured the city. The sunshine was deceptive, however. Only a few miles away lay the Iron Curtain itself, and just beyond it, the city of Vienna, in the West; but at that time Bratislava was ruled not from Vienna, nor Budapest, nor even Prague, but from Moscow. I visited Bratislava castle – the hrad – and walked around a dreary exhibition of alleged Soviet and Communist successes. I would never have guessed that just 7 years later, this would not only be the scene of the new Slovak National Museum, but the location of a free and independent Slovak Parliament. Later that day, I looked across the Danube, to the other side of the “Most SNP” bridge, and saw what was touted as being Europe’s largest Council estate. The endless expanse of dreary blocks made the Clem Attlee Estate in my Fulham constituency look like an infill development. Only four years after my first visit, the residents of those blocks were brought great hope with the collapse of Communism. Three years after that came national independence. In my view, those great hopes have been brought to fruition in a Slovakia that is both in NATO and the EU, and cherishes the free market. So for me, this is a great day for celebrating not only independence, but freedom also. Let me now call upon the Slovak Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Miroslav Lajčák, to address us.

5 ways to contact Greg Hands M.P.:
By Phone: By email: By post: In person: 020 7219 5448 mail@greghands.com 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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