"Greg Hands M.P." <news@greghands.com> To: <news@greghands.com> Reply-To: <news@greghands.com> News Bulletin from Greg Hands M.P.

#366

17 March 2013 18:57

6 Attachments, 430 KB

In this edition:
Greg Hands M.P.’s Diary Website of the Week: Crossrail 2, or the Chelsea Hackney Line Photo news Kickz Hands in the media: Greg Hands MP: How Ed Balls is silently steamrollering his opponents within the Labour Party Hands: Apprenticeships part of the ‘new norm’ News from Greg’s surgery Little brother is watching Resident satisfaction with H&F Council rises again Changes to Government Benefits and Welfare Reform - advice from RBK&C on what the Benefit Caps will mean for some residents Sweeping reforms to new tenancies in Kensington & Chelsea Wave of Investment in Hammersmith continues How to contact Greg Hands M.P.

Issue 366 – Sunday 17th March 2013

Since the last edition, Greg:
Met senior councillors in Hammersmith & Fulham and parents seeking to establish a new “Fulham Boys School” to discuss the next steps forward for the exciting project. For more about the Fulham Boys School, see www.fulhamboysschool.org Visited the youth and homelessness projects of St Luke’s Church, Chelsea, with Rev Brian Leathard and Father Jack Dunn. St Luke’s runs a weekly homeless shelter each Friday evening (why not volunteer?) and teams up with Chelsea FC’s “Kickz” project to provide football training for local youths. See photo below. Brought local Fulham company Eurotalk to the House of Commons to meet International Development Secretary, Rt Hon Justine Greening, to discuss their not-for-profit initiatives in the developing world to promote easy-to-access basic literacy, numeracy and English language skills. Met senior representatives of “London First” to discuss both the proposed “Crossrail 2” project (also known as the ChelseaHackney Line) and London’s future aviation needs. For more on Crossrail 2, see website of the week below. Was guest speaker at the Esher & Walton Conservatives Spring Lunch in Hersham, Surrey, hosted by their local MP, Dominic Raab. Attended the dinner of the TaxPayers’ Alliance to celebrate 25 years since Nigel Lawson’s historic, tax-cutting 1988 Budget. Attended a short conference of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung on UK -German relations, with guest speakers Guenther Krings MdB, Damian Green MP and Damian Collins MP. Attended a reception in the House of Commons to mark the onset of the Spring, or “Maslenitsa”, with a large group of members of the London Russian community. 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. Had a full schedule of activity as a Government’s Treasury Whip in and around the chamber of the House of Commons, including ministerial meetings and organising votes and standing committees.

Website of the Week:

Crossrail 2, or the Chelsea Hackney Line
http://londonfirst.co.uk/london-first-recommends-new-crossrail-2-route/

Information from “London First” on the proposed new Crossrail 2 route, which would have a station on the King’s Road, Chelsea, connecting Chelsea residents to King’s Cross, St Pancras, the West End, Wimbledon, Clapham Junction, Twickenham and much else. Greg supports the proposal, and is keen to hear residents’ views.

 

Photo news

Kickz

Greg Hands M.P. with Vicar of St Luke's Chelsea, Rev. Brian Leathard, 2 staff from Chelsea FC's youth football programme "Kickz" and a father of one of the youths participating in the scheme at St Luke's Chelsea, which Greg visited last week.

Hands in the media:

Greg Hands MP: How Ed Balls is silently steamrollering his opponents within the Labour Party

 
 From www.conservativehome.blogs.com

It is an imperfect, but accepted, part of democracy that after an election, the winner rewards his or her supporters with positions in the top team, or in the Party machine. This happens in the United Kingdom in a relatively muted way, particularly in government, thanks to our non-political civil service. In Washington, a new administration brings a total clear-out, going quite far down into government. When David Cameron won the leadership of the Conservative Party in December 2005, he was careful to ensure key supporters were given a role, but that the front bench properly reflected all strands within the Party. After all, his closest rivals were given very important roles: David Davis was Shadow Home Secretary, Liam Fox Shadow Defence Secretary, and so on. As it happens, neither Davis and Fox is in that position today, but in neither case has David Cameron actively removed them. The Labour leadership contest in 2010, and developments since, have been very different. We all know that David Miliband has refused to serve under his brother, and we should take at his word Ed’s assurance that a place is available for his older brother, should he want it. However, readers might not be aware that many other supporters of David Miliband, many of whom are talented and willing MPs, have not been offered places on the Labour front bench. Worse still, in little-noticed mini Labour reshuffles since then, many have been eased out. Who voted for whom in 2010 can be seen here and who serves on Labour’s front bench is here. As I showed recently in the Guardian, supporters of David Miliband in 2010 are only 38% likely to now be serving on Labour’s front bench. Supporters of Ed Miliband, by contrast, are 45% likely to be on the front bench. Ed Miliband, of course, “won” the leadership election thanks not to the MPs, but to the trades unions. Leaving that all aside, it is neither the supporters of Ed Miliband or David Miliband who are the best represented on the Labour front bench. Interestingly, it is the supporters of the third-placed candidate for Leader in 2010, Ed Balls, who are best placed. Some 51% of his 2010 voters are now on the front bench. In other words, in 2010, if you were a smart and ambitious Labour MP looking to get on in the Party, it was certainly not David Miliband you should have voted for, but actually not Ed Miliband either. It was Ed Balls. Those who made that choice are the only one more likely than not to now serve on the front bench. Further, in the various and little-noticed reshuffles since, supporters of David Miliband have been slowly eased out, generally in favour of more supporters of Ed Balls. To be fair, some MPs leave for the front bench for personal reasons, not related to who they supported in a leadership race. But the figures speak for themselves. Never before has someone coming third seen their supporters so richly rewarded as Ed Balls has. As Nick Watt comments in the Guardian piece, “the research by Hands highlights one characteristic of Balls which he shares with his mentor, Gordon Brown. The shadow chancellor, whose long standing ally David Watts was elected last year as chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party, goes to great length to look after his supporters.” Two things are happening here. First, the Blairites (and I use as a proxy for this, the supporters of David Miliband in 2010) are losing out, and apart from the odd intervention from Peter Mandelson and now from Jim Murphy, keep themselves to themselves, when it comes to the big issues of the day, particularly the economy. Second, within the Brownites, there is an increasing ascendancy of Ed Balls and his supporters at the expense of Ed Miliband’s. Ed Balls’s economics now dominate the Party, although it is worth remembering that in September 2010, only 12% of MPs voted for Ed Balls as their first preference for Leader, and for his unique brand of deficit denial and fiscal irresponsibility. Also increasingly dominant are his supporters, all the way up the Party machine and on the Labour front bench. I am told that every newly selected Labour Parliamentary Candidate gets a phone call from Ed Balls, as he expands his machine for the future. Tom Watson, a key Brown and Balls operative, is imbedded into the Labour Party machine at Brewer’s Green, as Ed Miliband’s people are tied to Parliament in the Norman Shaw South building. The Norman Shaw South operation is one of the most interesting of all. Prior to 2003, the Leader of the Opposition was based in the main building of Parliament, with a large office opposite the Shadow Cabinet Room. The room is dark and a little old-fashioned, but with a nicely engraved sign in the wood, saying “Leader of the Opposition”. The last Opposition leader to occupy the room was IDS, in the years 2001 - 2003, and one of Michael Howard’s first reforms was to create a larger, open-plan, suite of offices for the Leader of the Opposition in the nearby Norman Shaw South building. David Cameron carried on with this reform, and extended it further, by bringing in Shadow Chancellor George Osborne’s team of special advisers and researchers, integrating them all into one large room. This was done to help learn from the mistakes of Blair and Brown, who had housed themselves separately and held separate courts – ironically, not very different from Ed Balls and Ed Miliband today, but I jump ahead. Ed Miliband wanted to carry on with this from September 2010. Indeed, the door in Norman Shaw South that used to have the name George Osborne on it prior to May 2010, had the name Ed Balls on it when he became Shadow Chancellor in January 2011. But Ed Balls isn’t often behind it. Instead, Ed Balls is mainly to be found, ironically, in the old Leader of the Opposition’s office, back opposite the Shadow Cabinet Room. This office officially belongs to the Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary, Vernon Coaker, another key ally of Ed Balls (and one of the hard core of 12% of MPs who voted for Balls as Leader in 2010). Coaker is referred to by Balls himself as “Big Vern”, a name taken from the gangland boss figure in Viz Comic. Outside Big Vern’s office there is a piece of paper taped over the engraved “Leader of the Opposition” sign, which has both his name on it and that of “Rt Hon Ed Balls MP”. The sign appears rather temporary, and maybe it is just that. It is this office – not the suite shared with Ed Miliband – where Ed Balls operates. It is here that he hosts his drinks parties for the media (presumably to keep the press and TV people away from Ed Miliband’s people). It is here that he prepares for his dispatch box confrontations with George Osborne, free from the prying eyes of other Ed’s advisers. It is here that he meets backbenchers for friendly chats. It is, to all intents and purposes, an alternative operation as Leader of the Opposition, housed, in the traditional office of the Leader of the Opposition, with immediate access to the Shadow Cabinet Room. Big Vern has become Ed Balls’ very own gatekeeper, and is a member of the Shadow Cabinet to boot! These observations may sound like the concerns of a Westminster Village obsessive, but they are nonetheless important in understanding the Labour Party under the Two Eds. Office location – as Michael Howard and David Cameron learned in Opposition – is rather important. Little was more emblematic than in May 2010 the removal of the physical divide between Numbers 10 and 11 Downing Street, when the Coalition came to power. There are policy differences between the two Eds, notably on whether to have an EU referendum. But these are, in my view, very much secondary, to the fact that Ed Balls thinks he is a more gifted and natural Leader than Ed Miliband. At Prime Minister’s Questions, it seems that Ed Balls has as much to say to David Cameron as Ed Miliband does! Meanwhile, it is clear from Ed Balls's lasagne parties and humanisation strategy in general , like crying at Antiques Roadshow, the Sounds of Music, and so on, that he retains his ambitions to run the Labour Party, whether elected or not. In September 2010, 88% of Labour MPs said no to Ed Balls. Just half a parliament later, his quack economic views have become Labour Party orthodoxy, and his henchmen and women are embedded in every part of the Party, and at every level, to assist his ruthless ambition to take total control of the Labour Party.

Hands: Apprenticeships part of the ‘new norm’
Greg Hands M.P. has backed the Prime Minister’s vision of a new norm for young people in which they either go to university or start an apprenticeship. The PM set out his ambition to mark National Apprenticeship Week. In Chelsea and Fulham, 220 people started apprenticeships in the 2011-12 academic year. That is a percentage increase of 120 per cent compared to Labour’s last year in office. Similarly, in Hammersmith the number was up by 116 per cent and in Kensington by 115 per cent. This news comes as the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) released a forecast that apprenticeships completed over the next decade could contribute productivity gains worth up to £3.4 billion a year to the economy. Commenting, Greg Hands M.P. said: “Conservatives in Government are investing in apprenticeships to ensure that the country has the skills it needs to compete in the world. People across this part of London are benefitting. I know from the cases I have come across locally that apprenticeships are a win for the individual and a win for the business. “National Apprenticeship Week is a great opportunity to celebrate the positive impact that apprenticeships are having.” The Prime Minister, David Cameron, said: “Apprenticeships are at the heart of our mission to rebuild the economy, giving young people the chance to learn a trade, to build their careers, and create a truly worldclass, high-skilled workforce that can compete and thrive in the fierce global race we are in. “There are record numbers of people taking up an apprenticeship, with a million starting one in the last few years. And as we take forward the Richard Review, our drive to reform and strengthen apprenticeships, raising standards and making them more rigorous and responsive to the needs of employers - means that an apprenticeship is increasingly seen as a first choice career move. “But we need to challenge ourselves to go even further - that is why I want it to be the new norm for young people to either go to university or into an apprenticeship. We need to look at how we can expand apprenticeship opportunities so that they are available to all young people who are ready and eager to take them up, and aspire to get ahead in life.” For more information on getting www.apprenticeships.org.uk. an apprenticeship, go to

News from Greg’s surgery
This Monday, Greg Hands held his surgery at Fulham Broadway Methodist Church, discussing issues and concerns, ranging from nuisance tenants to student visas, with ten constituents. Two ladies discussed with Greg their concerns about the impact of extended licences in Chelsea. These residents had suffered considerable disruption due to noise and anti-social behaviour from establishments in their area. Greg has raised their concerns with the Council but has also encouraged them to establish a residents association which can speak for their street. Greg believes tenants and residents associations can effectively bring together a small community and advocate on their behalf with the Council or Housing Association. 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 mail@greghands.com or call 0207 219 5448.” If you would like to establish a residents association follow this link for Chelsea: Setting up a TRA and the following for Fulham: Speak Up for Your Neighbourhood.

Resident satisfaction with H&F Council rises again
Residents’ satisfaction with Hammersmith & Fulham remains strong as the council leader vows to listen to taxpayers and drive further improvements in local services. 85% of residents are satisfied with Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) as a place to live, according to H&F Council’s annual residents’ survey results which were released last week. Satisfaction with local council services has climbed to 67% - up from 62% in 2012 - while 7% more people believe the council provides value for money. Council tax bills will fall for the sixth year out of seven in H&F this April – bucking a trend of council tax rises across the UK. While more than 40% of local authorities intend to increase council tax this spring, the cumulative saving of six tax cuts of 3% or more is worth £667 for the average H&F household. “We are the only council in the UK that is consistently cutting council tax, while protecting front-line services and boosting residents’ satisfaction,” says H&F Council Leader, Cllr Nicholas Botterill. “However, while we recognise that satisfaction with the council is at an all-time high, I also recognise that there is much work to do. Improving the way we listen and act on the concerns of residents is absolutely crucial to this." The poll, of 990 people, shows that 83% agree with the council’s efforts to make the borough cleaner and greener - up 4% on last year. 81% are satisfied with waste collections – although this is down by 1% from last year. 80% are satisfied with the borough’s parks and open spaces and 75% are content with doorstep recycling. 29% of people say they want to be more involved in decisions that affect their local area and 26% of people say there is a problem with people not treating each other with enough respect and consideration. Cllr Botterill concludes: “While these results show that the council is broadly on the right track there is more to do. We can never stand still. We constantly need to listen to residents – who pay for local council services – and continue to innovate so that services get better and costs are held down.” The annual residents’ survey was conducted, using a postal questionnaire sent to a representative sample of H&F residents, in November 2012. Greg Hands MP said: "I am very proud to be the MP for two of Britain's top-performing and best value for money Councils, in Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea. H&F in particular has gone from being a poor-performing Labour Council in 2006, when the Council Tax went up every year except election year, to being one of Britain's best local authorities under first Stephen Greenhalgh, and now Nick Botterill, and their teams of councillors." To view the results in full click on: www.lbhf.gov.uk/ars2012

Changes to Government Benefits and Welfare Reform - advice from RBK&C on what the Benefit Caps will mean for some residents
The Government is starting a major programme of welfare reform. If you claim benefits you could be affected so it is important to prepare for the changes. Local Housing Allowance caps Local Housing Allowance is the name for the Housing Benefit that most tenants who rent from private landlords receive. From April 2011, the Government has placed a cap on the amount of Local Housing Allowance that people can get. Click here for more details. Council Tax Support From April 2013, Council Tax Benefit will be localised. This means that each local authority must design its own scheme to help people on low income to pay their Council Tax. For 2013-14, Kensington and Chelsea has decided to keep its localised support scheme the same as the current Council Tax Benefit scheme. This means that people will receive the same or very similar help to pay their Council Tax as they do this year. Please note that other councils have come to different decisions, so if you move house to another local authority area, you may find that your entitlement to Council Tax Support is different. Local Support Payments On 1 April 2013, reforms to the Department of Work and Pensions’ (DWP’s) Social Fund come into effect. The Social Fund is designed to help with living costs that are not covered by your regular benefit payments. Some parts of the Social Fund will still be operated by the DWP. These are Budgeting Loans, Funeral Payments, Sure Start Maternity Grants, Cold Weather Payments and Winter Fuel Payments. Crisis Loans to give you money while you are waiting for your first benefit payment or your first pay in a new job will also remain with the DWP, but will become known as Short Term Advances. Crisis Loans to cover other expenses or situations and Community Care Grants will no longer exist. Instead, local authorities may choose to design their own discretionary scheme. The scheme that has been set-up in Kensington and Chelsea is called Local Support Payments. Housing Benefit: spare bedroom restrictions If you claim Housing Benefit and you are a KCTMO or housing association tenant, you may be affected by changes from April 2013. If you are under Pension Credit age and you have one or more ‘spare’ bedrooms, your Housing Benefit may be reduced. Our housing factsheet explains what counts as a spare bedroom, how your benefit will be reduced and some of the things you can do. Click here to download Changes to Housing Benefit: spare bedroom restrictions The Benefit Cap From 2013, the overall amount of benefit you can receive will be capped. The Government will add up how much money you get from a range of benefits, including: Housing Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Carer’s Allowance. If the total comes to more than £500 per week for a couple or family, or more than £350 per week for a single person (without children), your Housing Benefit payments will be reduced. Click here to find out how this will work. There are different rules if you live in supported housing. Universal Credit and Housing Credit Universal Credit is a new welfare benefit that will combine and replace the major working-age income-related benefits: Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Tax Credits and Housing Benefit. The Benefit Cap (£500 per week or £350 per week: see above) will be incorporated into Universal Credit. Universal Credit will be introduced gradually across the country over the period October 2013 to 2017. We do not yet know precisely when people in Kensington and Chelsea will be affected. More information about Universal Credit can be found on the DWP website. If you are on Housing Benefit, it will mean that your Housing Benefit will no longer be paid directly to your landlord. Instead it will be added to the other benefits you get and paid to you as one benefit called Universal Credit. It will then be your responsibility to pay your rent out of this money. However, there are different rules if you live in supported housing. Pensioners receiving Housing Benefit will receive their Housing Benefit through Pension Credit instead of from the Council. This is called Housing Credit. The details of how this will work are still being decided by the Government. Housing Credit will be gradually introduced over the period 2014-18. We do not know yet when within this period your Housing Benefit will be affected. Personal Independence Payment From 2013, the Government will begin to replace Disability Living Allowance for adults of working age with a new benefit called Personal Independence Payment. More information can be found on the DWP website. A restriction to the annual increase to benefits The Government has announced that increases in most working-age benefits will be limited to one per cent a year for three years from 2013-14. This is less than the usual rate of increase, which is in-line with inflation. Increases in the basic rates of the following benefits will be affected: Housing Benefit Jobseeker’s Allowance Income Support Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) Statutory Sick Pay Statutory Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Pay Maternity Allowance Tax Credits Child Benefit (but only from 2014-15) This will also apply to Universal Credit when it is introduced. However, the disability and carer elements within these benefits, and the Support Component of ESA, will rise by the rate of inflation.

Sweeping reforms to new tenancies in Kensington & Chelsea
Armed forces personnel and people with genuine local connections will receive greater priority for council housing as part of a package of sweeping reforms to new tenancies in Kensington and Chelsea. The reforms, if adopted by the Council's Cabinet next week (21 March 2013), will be the subject of twelve weeks of public consultation and scrutiny. They include measures that will transform not only who can get a Council home, but also on what terms. Amongst the key proposals is an end to lifetime tenancies. All future tenants would be issued with a 12 month introductory tenancy. Providing its terms aren't broken, they would then be eligible for either a two, or more typically, a five year tenancy. Tenancies would not be renewed if at the end of their term: the property has become too large for the household's needs household income has grown to more than £50,000 for one and two bed flats and £65,000 for larger properties savings and investments other than for pension purposes exceed £25,000 the tenant or tenant's partner has acquired a legal interest in another property suitable for occupation there has been a serious breach of the tenancy agreement including rent arrears or antisocial behaviour. As well as tightening the terms of tenancies, the Council also proposes to tighten the rules on which households qualify for Council and Housing Association homes. If adopted, the new allocations policy would generally rule out people who have not been in the borough for at least three years. People with high incomes and significant savings would not make the list either. However, extra points would be awarded to households where at least one member is in paid work for 16 hours a week or more. Serving and former members of the armed forces and bereaved partners of forces personnel would also attract extra points. "Our existing tenancy and allocation policies belong to a time when councils were able to build new homes and the turnover of the existing stock was far higher," said Cllr Tim Coleridge, Cabinet Member for Housing. "We now need to make sure that this scarce and precious resource goes only to the right people. For us that means those in the greatest need, those with real roots in our borough, those who work and contribute, and those who have served our country. That is what these proposals are all about. "We now want to hear what our residents and the wider public have to say." Should the new policies be adopted, the Council intends to remove from its housing register those households with such low priority that they have no realistic prospect of ever getting a Council or Housing Association home. Last year the Council let 550 properties but it has nearly 9,000 households on its housing register, nearly 6,500 of which are neither homeless, chronically overcrowded or in pressing medical need and therefore have little hope of being offered a social housing tenancy. "A lot of people are currently able to join our housing register who in fact have very low priority and therefore very few housing points or often no housing points at all," explained Cllr Coleridge. "It is better to offer people realistic housing advice as to where they can find suitable accommodation than to give out totally unrealistic expectations that leads to many people waiting years for an offer that will simply not happen." Subject to the Cabinet's decision, public consultation on the new policies gets under way on 1 April 2013 and will conclude on 25 June 2013. The Cabinet will then make a final decision on adoption in late summer 2013.

Wave of Investment in Hammersmith continues
Plans for hundreds of news homes and new retail space and parking have been given the green light in Hammersmith town centre as a ‘wave of investment’ continues to pour into the area. Proposals for 418 new homes, new offices, shops and restaurants on the site of the current Kings Mall car park and the West 45 office building, in Glenthorne Road, were approved by Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council’s planning committee on 12th March. Developer St George can now begin work to demolish the car park and office block, which has been empty for the past five years, to create the new homes – as well as 753 car parking spaces and 460 cycle spaces. The new building, which will incorporate sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) – including green and brown roofs where vegetation is planted on top of the buildings, will include thirty per cent affordable housing. There will be 52 studio apartments, 106 one-bedroom flats, 216 two-bedroom apartments and 44 three-bedroom apartments. 10 per cent of the apartments will be wheelchair accessible. All along King Street developers are pumping millions of pounds into regeneration projects. The Lyric is currently building a two-storey extension behind the theatre to house state-of-the-art facilities, with the building being re-rendered and new signage put up. The Kings Mall shopping centre is enjoying a renaissance as high-profile new shops open and a modern new look entrance is built and aluminium cladding fitted. Hammersmith Grove’s nine-storey office block is starting to take shape and work on its 11-storey counterpart, to create new student accommodation on the site of the former Hammersmith Palais, is due to start later this year. Cllr Nicholas Botterill, H&F Council Leader, says: “This exciting scheme continues the wave of investment that is currently pouring into Hammersmith. The town centre is riding high on this wave and is being well and truly revitalised.” The council worked hard with local amenity and residents groups to ensure that the scheme met with the approval of the majority of local people and was not too large for the area. Under a legal agreement, St George will also provide funding – known as a Section 106 contribution – for improvements to the area, including road resurfacing and environmental improvements to surrounding streets. Arun Sondhi, Executive Director of HammersmithLondon – the organisation which represents businesses in Hammersmith, says: “We believe the redevelopment of the site will be an important catalyst to bring forward regeneration of the centre of Hammersmith. A new public car park, more residents and high quality public realm, is precisely what the town centre needs. The continued selection of Hammersmith as a place to build upon and improve is a wonderful testament to the overall vibrancy and increasing competitiveness of the area.” Cllr Botterill continues: “New jobs, homes and retail and leisure facilities are being created and this is vital for the health of our town centre and the local economy. But regeneration must be right for an area. We constantly need to engage with local people and listen to their views so that we get the best schemes coming forward from developers.” Meanwhile, further along King Street, the updated designs for a new look civic square and new homes and office space around the historic old town hall will be presented at a series of public exhibitions this month before a planning application is submitted in the summer. A revised brief to regenerate the rundown area around Hammersmith Town Hall was unveiled by the council last year. The new set of parameters includes: A cast iron guarantee that the tallest building will not be higher than the current town hall extension (equivalent to eight residential storeys) The creation of a £1million regeneration fund for improvements to buildings in this stretch of King Street. Halving the replacement council office space requirement from the previous scheme to around 45,000 square feet. No bridge over the A4 Talgarth Road into Furnivall Gardens. Considering the option to include a cinema within the scheme. No need for the relocation of Thomas Pocklington tenants. Exploring the inclusion of buildings to the north of the town hall next to King Street flanking the new public square. Reconsidering the architectural approach to the design Some key components remain including: the creation of a new public square; opening up the historic northern façade of the Grade II listed old Town Hall, while improving access, and building new homes and retail/restaurant space. In December last year, King Street Developments Ltd held a public consultation to show the emerging designs for the King Street Regeneration Project. Since then, the ideas have been developed further, incorporating the comments and feedback received from residents. The team will now be returning with a second exhibition to present the progressed designs and provide another opportunity to hear feedback on the proposals. The exhibitions will be held at Hammersmith Town Hall on: Thursday, March 21, between 3pm-8pm, in the Playfair Room, and Saturday, March 23, between 10am-2pm in the Courtyard Room. To find out more visit www.kingstreetregeneration.co.uk.

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

www.greghands.com

More news from Greg Hands M.P., coming soon… Please forward this email on to anyone you think may be interested. If you have had this email forwarded to you and would like to be added to the mailing list, please send an email to: news@greghands.com with “JOIN” in the subject heading. To unsubscribe from this list, please return an e-mail to news@greghands.com with "UNSUBSCRIBE" in the subject heading.

Greg Hands M.P. – a strong voice for Chelsea & Fulham
Published & Promoted by Jonathan Fraser-Howells on behalf of Greg Hands M.P., both of 1a Chelsea Manor Street, London SW3 5RP