Greg Hands M.P. <email@example.com> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Reply-To: <email@example.com> News Bulletin from Greg Hands M.P.
8 July 2013 11:32
6 Attachments, 273 KB
In this edition:
Greg Hands M.P.’s Diary Website of the Week: The Aviation Commission Photo news: St John's School Fete Boris approves Earl's Court redevelopment Message from David Cameron - Let Britain Decide Thames Water to hike bills 30% to pay for "Super Sewer" Photo news: Songs of Britain 12 Conservative Achievements How to contact Greg Hands M.P.
Issue 376 – Monday 8th July 2013
Since the last edition, Greg:
Met Sir Howard Davies to discuss the work of his Aviation Commission, which is examining the need for and possible locations of future airport capacity in London and the South East, including cases to expand Heathrow Airport, which Greg is opposed to. To make your views known, contact Greg and the Davies Commission. See website of the Week. Was pleased to be a teller for the votes to support James Wharton MP’s Private Member’s Bill to pave the way for a referendum on Britain’s EU membership before 2017. Attended the “Songs of Britain” choral concert, with the Fulham & Hammersmith Choral Society, the Fulham Camerata and the Fulham Children’s Choir, at the John McIntosh Arts Centre at the London Oratory School. For photo, see below. Attended and addressed the annual Summer party of the Harbledown Road Area Residents Association, SW6. Attended the Civic Service of the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, held at St Mary Abbot Church, Kensington. Met the founder of anti human trafficking charity “Just Enough UK,” Phil Knight, to discuss how Greg could help in efforts to educate children against the dangers of human trafficking. Attended the annual Fair on the Green on Parsons Green, Fulham. Welcomed to the Commons a local constituent, a surveyor, with ideas on how to encourage young people to save for a deposit on their first home. Attended the Prime Minister’s BarBQ for Conservative MPs held at 10, Downing Street. Welcomed senior German CDU politician and former Lower Saxony Prime Minister David McAllister to the House of Commons for talks on UK – German relations. Attended a reception for alumni of Robinson College, Cambridge. Attended a "Fourth of July" house party in Fulham as a guest of one of Fulham's many American residents. Attended the Spectator magazine’s summer party. 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, including the 2013 Finance Bill. Conducted a surgery for local Chelsea and Fulham residents at Fulham Methodist Church. Greg’s surgeries are generally weekly, at either Fulham Methodist Church, Fulham Broadway, or Peter Jones, Sloane Square. To make an appointment, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 020 7219 5448.
Website of the Week:
The Aviation Commission
www.gov.uk/government/organisations/airports-commission The website of the Aviation Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies. The Airports Commission examines the need for additional UK airport capacity and recommends to government how this can be met in the short, medium and long term. If you are concerned at the prospect of Heathrow expansion or any other aspect of aviation policy, please contact the Commission and Greg.
St John's School Fete
Greg Hands M.P. enjoying a burger at the St John's School Fete, Fulham, last week.
Boris approves Earl's Court redevelopment
The Mayor of London has given his consent to the redevelopment of Earls Court and the surrounding area, paving the way for a £8billion investment enabling the creation of thousands of new homes and jobs. In a giant step forward for the scheme, Boris Johnson has confirmed he is happy for the council to approve the outline planning application from developer EC Properties LP, a wholly owned subsidiary of Capital & Counties Properties PLC, together with a Section 106 package that includes £490million of community improvements. The redevelopment of Earls Court and the surrounding area is based on a masterplan by world renowned architect Sir Terry Farrell. It will create up to 9,500 new permanent jobs, with an additional 36,000 construction jobs during the build phase. It will also include 7,583 new homes, new shops, offices, leisure facilities, public open space, a new school, new transport links, healthcare centre and community centre on the 77 acre site. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “I’m in no doubt that the development proposed for Earls Court and West Kensington will provide a massive boost not just to this part of the capital, but to London’s wider economy as well. It is a landmark project that will deliver much needed jobs, new homes and improved infrastructure and will make this strategically important part of the capital an even better to place to live, work and visit." H&F Council Leader, Cllr Nicholas Botterill said: “The redevelopment of Earls Court is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for the local residents to benefit from a multi-billion pound investment in their own neighbourhood. We are delighted that the Mayor of London has given his support for one of the biggest schemes in London for decades. Earls Court has the potential to be as important for West London as the Olympics were for east London. This scheme will usher in a new generation of prosperity and opportunity for tens of thousands of west Londoners.” As part of the scheme, the Council has entered into a Conditional Land Sale Agreement (CLSA) with EC Properties LP to include the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates in the wider development of the area. This week residents living on the estates will be informed by EC Properties LP and Hammersmith & Fulham Council when they are likely to move into new housing provided by the development. The new phasing plan halves the target construction period from 20 years to an estimated ten. Just under a quarter (151) of the 760 replacement homes could be ready to be occupied between 2016 and 2018 in the first phase of construction. An exhibition is being held for residents on the estates at Earls Court this week (July 8-10) to provide information to residents about when they will move, what their next steps involve, how their rights are protected and the type of homes into which they will be moving. Cllr Botterill added: “We have said all along that we will only agree to the estates being included in the redevelopment of Earls Court if it benefitted people living on the estates. Estate residents are being offered some of the best terms ever negotiated in any regeneration scheme in the country. There can be no doubt that this scheme will have enormous benefits for both estate residents and London as a whole.” Gary Yardley, Investment Director at Capital & Counties Properties PLC, the parent company of EC Properties LP, said: “We are delighted that the Mayor has approved the regeneration of the Earls Court Opportunity Area. This remarkable project will bring major investment, jobs and high-quality homes to West London. With Hammersmith and Fulham Council we have agreed a generous package of community benefits that will support a vibrant, thriving, strong community creating a great place to live, work and visit. We are very pleased that the Mayor has put his seal of approval on this.” The Mayor, Boris Johnson added: “I am acutely aware of the concerns that some residents affected by the project have but I’m reassured by the measures being taken by both councils and the developer to make sure the needs of local people are properly addressed. Having weighed up all of the considerations I’m of the firm view that this is a project that will deliver huge benefits to the area and beyond for years to come.” "Redeveloping Earl's Court to provide much needed housing and other uses has been our policy for many years," said the Royal Borough's Cabinet Member for Planning, Cllr Tim Coleridge. "On both sides of the border we hope that the granting of this planning application will make Earl's Court a more desirable place to live with less congestion and more opportunity for work, commerce and leisure." Hammersmith & Fulham Council resolved to grant outline planning consent for the scheme in September 2012. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea granted outline planning permission for their element of the scheme in November 2012. The application will now be referred back to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for him to consider whether or not to call in the planning application.
Message from David Cameron Let Britain Decide
Tomorrow, the Conservative Party will vote to give the British people their say on Europe. As I made clear in my speech on Europe earlier this year, we want an In-Out referendum by the end of 2017. And tomorrow Conservative MP James Wharton will propose a Bill that would write this commitment into law. The Bill has my full support – and it has support from across the Parliamentary Party: Ministers and backbenchers; Conservatives of all views. We are united behind it and together we will vote for it. The political picture here is a simple one. Conservatives want to give people a choice on Europe. Labour don’t – they’re refusing to back our Bill. For decades, politicians have denied the British people a voice on Europe. Tomorrow the Conservative Party will fight to give them one. And let us all be proud of that. David Cameron
Thames Water to hike bills 30% to pay for "Super Sewer"
Britain's biggest water company has drawn up plans to pile more misery onto bill payers with inflation-busting price rises, in a move that ignores the views of its customers, it was revealed today. Despite admitting that many customers ‘struggle to pay bills’ and want bills to be ‘affordable’, Thames Water is planning 30% increases by 2020 – mainly to pay for the highly controversial Thames Tunnel. In a glossy brochure that sets out the company’s draft five year plan for 2015-2020, Thames Water says its consultation with customers revealed that ‘the economic downturn means that paying bills, including water bills, is already a struggle’. Thames Water goes on to admit: ‘The state of the UK economy has put pressure on many customers’ ability to pay water bills at the current level. We know that any increase will make this problem worse’. The document also explains that bad debts have been getting worse with ‘no signs of improvement despite strenuous efforts to recover debts.’ Despite these frank admissions, Thames Water plans to ignore its customers by proposing that annual average household bills rise by £13 by 2020, without accounting for the cost of the Thames Tunnel. In addition, the Tunnel will add an extra £70-80 per year (at 2011 prices and excluding inflation) on top of the £13 – representing a total increase of almost 30% over five years. Finance experts say Thames Water stands to make millions in additional revenue by building the Thames Tunnel due to a ‘perverse incentive’ in the way the water industry is financed. Current regulations encourage water companies to build their way out of problems rather than consider greener, more sustainable options, according to Professor Colin Green who is a national expert on water economics. Thames Water made profits of £549million last year while paying nothing in corporation tax – and even received a £5million tax credit. Cllr Nicholas Botterill, Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council Leader, says: “A crippling 30% hike in water bills is a slap in the face to hardpressed bill payers especially when Thames Water’s own consultation shows that people want water bills to be more affordable. To make matters worse a large chunk of this whopping increase is to pay for the havoc that the Thames Tunnel threatens to wreak in riverside communities along the Thames.” Thames Water argues that the tunnel is the best solution to stop sewage being pumped into the Thames when it rains heavily. But H&F Council says the tunnel – or super sewer as it is also known – will have a long term, negative impact on many of the areas covered by Thames Water’s five year plan including on affordability of bills, water supply and protecting the environment. The tunnel will channel millions of tons of rain water underground to be pumped through to sewage treatment works before being released back into the Thames. In times of drought the water will be drawn out again when it reaches the tidal reaches of the river and be put through a desalination plant and into the fresh water supply again. This circular and costly route to using fresh rain water would be wholly unnecessary if sustainable drainage solutions (SuDs) – that redirect rainwater away from the sewerage system and store it for use in times of drought – were adopted. This would negate the need for both the Thames Tunnel and the desalination plant and save billions of pounds at far less environmental cost, according to the council. Thames Water’s Chief Executive, Martin Baggs, receives in excess of £1million in pay and perks for the year. Meanwhile, leaks from Thames Water pipes rose to 646million litres a day and sewer floods increased 55 per cent to 549 times. The group ranked bottom of Ofwat’s table of customer service levels last year and is owned by Kemble Water Holdings whose main investors are controlled by Australia’s Macquarie bank. Thames Water’s business plan will be presented to the water regulator, Ofwat, in December. Cllr Botterill concludes: “The Thames Tunnel is based an old fashioned approach and should be ditched on cost grounds alone. Given that we know there are also cheaper, greener and far less disruptive alternatives – which offer a better economic, social and environmental outcome – the case for scrapping it now is truly overwhelming. “Ofwat needs to reject Thames Water’s five year plan on the basis that it is not affordable and not in the interests of the environment or Thames Water customers. In fact the only people Thames Water’s plan helps is Thames Water’s shareholders.” Tell Thames Water what you think by calling FREEPHONE 0808 178 9055 or emailing email@example.com.
Songs of Britain
Various Fulham choirs performing together at the 'Songs of Britain' concert at the John McIntosh Arts Centre, London Oratory School, last week, whcih Greg attended.
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