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#392 Date: 31 January 2014 17:31 To: firstname.lastname@example.org
In this edition:
Greg Hands M.P.’s Diary Website of the Week: Hammersmith & Fulham Conservative Councillors Greg Hands M.P. speaks out at packed local Super Sewer meeting Night Flights submission from Greg Hands M.P. Economy on the mend: Local M.P., Greg Hands, welcomes positive UK growth figures Hands in the papers: Constituency matters Secondary Schools Results Published Pupils on Free School Meals in Kensington & Chelsea get best GCSE results Davies "ignoring costs of Heathrow expansion", say local councils ! How to contact Greg Hands M.P.
Issue 392 - Friday 31st January 2014
Since the last edition, Greg:
Attended and addressed a packed open meeting at Hurlingham & Chelsea School with the Planning Inspectors, called to look at Thames Water’s proposed use of Carnwath Road, Fulham, as their main drill site for the Super Sewer, or Thames Tideway Tunnel. For more, see below. Made a submission (see below) to the Government’s review on night flights, urging on behalf of Chelsea & Fulham residents an end to all night flights into Heathrow Airport. Met representatives of the Conservative Christian Fellowship and representatives of anti human trafficking groups to discus the Government’s Modern Anti-Slavery Bill. Carried out his duties as the Government’s Deputy Chief Whip. Held a regular, weekly, advice surgery for local Chelsea and Fulham residents, at Fulham Library, on Fulham Road, close to Parsons Green tube. Greg’s surgeries are generally weekly, on Monday mornings, at either Fulham Library, or Peter Jones, Sloane Square, Chelsea. To make an appointment, email email@example.com or telephone 020 7219 5448.
Website of the Week:
The website of the Hammersmith & Fulham Conservative Councillors and the campaign to see the Council remain Conservative this May. Don’t go back to the bad days under Labour before 2006, while the LibDems, meanwhile, haven’t won an election locally since 1906 and are far behind in 3rd place.
Greg Hands M.P. speaks out at packed local Super Sewer meeting
Greg Hands, M.P. for Chelsea and Fulham, has spoken out on behalf of local residents against the location of the proposed Super Sewer. During a meeting of local residents, held at Hurlingham & Chelsea School on Thursday evening (30th January), Greg told representatives of the Planning Inspectorate that residents were overwhelmingly opposed to the drilling of the main shaft for the Sewer at Carnwath Road, Fulham. The meeting was attended by almost 200 local people, including Council Leader Nick Botterill and Sands End Ward Councillor Steve Hamilton. Speaking at the meeting Greg explained to the Planning Inspectors that Carnwath Road is in the heart of a residential area, with 1,200 people living within 200 metres of the site, six schools within 700 metres, and hundreds of businesses within range of the proposed tunnelling operations, where the disruption faced by local residents, schools and businesses would be enormous. Greg made three main points: That this is “no ordinary construction site. The works will last at least seven years, in what could very well be London’s second largest infrastructure project, after Crossrail”. That Carnwath Road is in the heart of residential Fulham. Greg told the panel that his constituency is the fourth most-densely populated in Britain, and H&F roads were the second most congested in Britain. That a reasonable alternative is available elsewhere. “It’s not right to put it in the middle of a residential area in Inner London, when an are of open land in Outer London could be used.” Greg urged the Planning Inspectors: “The local community is overwhelmingly hostile to using Carnwath Road in this way. On behalf of a huge number of my constituents, I urge a re-think and the main shaft moved to a place far less disruptive to people and homes”. For several years, Greg Hands has championed the concerns of local residents over the proposed sewer in general, and against it coming to Carnwath Road in particular. This has included participating in two large public summits and numerous meetings with residents’ groups, as well as successfully lobbying the water regulator Ofwat against rising bills from Thames Water, as a result of the planned project. The Planning Inspectorate will now consider all of the submissions made. They have also visited the various sites in question. Further news is awaited.
Night Flights submission from Greg Hands M.P.
Night noise consultation Department for Transport Great Minster House (1/26) 33 Horseferry Road London SW1P 4DR 31st January 2014 Consultation Submission Department for Transport: Night Flying Restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted Stage 2 Greg Hands M.P. - Member of Parliament for Chelsea & Fulham General Position As the MP for Chelsea and Fulham, I welcome the opportunity to respond to this Consultation. As a local MP, I will only make reference to Heathrow. My view remains as it did for the first stage night flights consultation in Spring of 2013: I believe there should be a comprehensive ban on night flights at Heathrow from 11pm to 6am, to be brought in at the earliest opportunity. Living underneath the Heathrow flight path, I, like many hundreds of thousands of Londoners, am woken up by aircraft noise in the middle of the night on frequent occasions. Indeed, according to the European Commission, 725,000 people live under the Heathrow flight paths alone, that is, 28% of all people impacted by aircraft noise right across Europe. The vast majority of these people have jobs to do and families to look after, for which a sound night’s sleep is highly desirable. Night flights therefore do not only disturb people for the minutes during which the individual planes are flying overhead but the loss of sleep can affect them throughout their daily lives. The health impacts of sustained sleep deprivation are well documented from well respected organisations including the World Health Authority , the Civil Aviation Authority , and the British Medical Journal , and more compelling evidence is being researched all the time. In its consultation, the Department makes some reference to similar studies, and so is aware of the risks posed to health by night flights through sleep disturbance. I note that in the consultation document, the Department says it ‘does not consider the need to change the balance [it] currently propose[s] to strike between the costs and benefits’. I would urge than the Department remain mindful of the ever increasing testimony of harmful health effects of aircraft noise at night and that sufficient weight is given to these in the Department’s deliberations, now and in the future. I am aware that one of the key arguments for night flights revolves around the convenience each night of passengers travelling from destinations in the Far East, such as Hong Kong and Singapore, who would otherwise have to board their flights after midnight. Whilst I understand that business between London and the Far East is very important, and many of my constituents derive their living from it, I find it unacceptable that the convenience, sleep quality, and health of millions of London and South East residents under the flight path is sacrificed for the sake of a few thousand inbound passengers. Moreover as flights from these airports regularly take off until 2.30am in Hong Kong and 3.00am in Singapore, it is an established fact that such flights can take off later. Proposed Regime The central proposal in this consultation, namely that the Department intends to maintain the current cap on the number of movements and overall noise quota in a regime intended to last three years from October 2014 until October 2017. I share the disappointment of many residents around Heathrow who will be disappointed not to see the noise quota limit tightened. I shall therefore continue to press for a complete ban on night flights at Heathrow. Airports Commission The Department has justified the decision to maintain the current regime pending findings of the Airports Commission, firstly with its interim report in December 2013 and final report in 2015. At several points in this Consultation it refers to not to making any significant changes to the current regime before the Commission has completed its work. I acknowledge the decisions about the UK’s future air capacity will have a significant bearing on night flight restrictions, and so I can appreciate the logic of this decision. I would however urge the department to bring forward the consideration of the next regime as soon as possible after the final report of the Commission is published in 2015, in order to make more rapid progress to limiting the impact of night flights on residents of Chelsea and Fulham, in line with the Department’s own Environmental Objectives to “limit and where possible reduce the number of people significantly affected by aircraft noise at night”. The Airports Commission published its Interim Report in December 2013 which both short-listed schemes for new runways in the South East to consider in more detail, and suggest short-term measures to increase existing capacity at Heathrow. There was one proposal of direct relevance to night flights, namely that of ‘Early Morning Smoothing’, which gives me some cause for alarm . The Airports Commission has suggested that a trial to smooth peak in demand from aircraft arriving after 0600 by allowing more flights in the period 0500 to 0559. Although I recognise this is only trial, I am concerned by the proposals for the ‘smoothing’ of the early morning arrival schedule, which could see additional planes landing at Heathrow before 6.00am. The Commission argues that this smoothing would reduce disruption to the respite period later in the day, caused by delays during the morning peak to build up and carry-over through the day. The report says “This would therefore provide more certainty for those not expecting to be over-flown as part of their half day respite arrangements” . However, to my mind, to introduce flights landing between 5am and 6am, and therefore more noise when most people are trying to sleep, in order to reduce the noise later in the day is perverse argument and one that would not be welcome by residents. I am therefore against this proposition and urge Government and Heathrow not to proceed with the early morning smoothing trial proposed in the Commissions Interim report, unless benefits of the trial to residents can be demonstrated. Night-time easterly preference at Heathrow The Department states that Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) and NATS are carrying out analysis on the feasibility and likely benefits of a night-time easterly preference at Heathrow. I understand this would mean planes operating during the night period would approach from the West, rather than over central London, as they do under the current westerly preference. It seems sensible that operating over the more sparsely populated area to the West of Heathrow, particularly during the night, when sensitive to noise is greatest would provide a reduced number of people exposed to noise. I therefore urge the Department to work with Heathrow Airport to conduct a trial of the night-time easterly preference during the next regime. Location of New Noise Monitors at Heathrow The Consultation asks for opinions on the locations of proposed new noise monitors at Heathrow. All of the sites are a significant distance away from my constituency to be directly affected, so I do not have a strong view in this particular case. However I would make the general observation, that whilst measuring noise impact in the vicinity of the airport is important, more monitors placed further towards central London would give an appreciation of the wider reaching effects of arrivals over London, especially at night, not just over the area immediately around the airport. Greg Hands M.P. Member of Parliament for Chelsea & Fulham
Economy on the mend: Local M.P., Greg Hands, welcomes positive UK growth figures
Chelsea and Fulham M.P., Greg Hands has welcomed the fact that the UK’s economic performance is improving and that official figures are expected to show the UK's economic growth in 2013 was the strongest since 2007, the year before the financial crisis. The Office for National Statistics has released its first estimate for Q4 2013 GDP growth showing a 0.7 per cent increase in the total size of the British economy. This means GDP was 2.8 per cent higher in Q4 2013 compared with Q4 2012. GDP is estimated to have increased by 1.9 per cent in 2013. The data is also expected to confirm that 2013 was the first year since 2007 that saw constant economic expansion. The full official figures will be released at the end of February. Greg Hands said: "These numbers are a boost for the economic security of hardworking people. This is great news for families my constituency and for those in work or trying to get in to work, as it will lead to further job creation. It is more evidence that our long term economic plan is working." Meanwhile however Labour revealed this week they plan to spend and borrow an extra £25 billion. The Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, has refused to rule out spending and borrowing more for capital spending (while promising to match this Government’s day-to-day spending plans). The Institute For Fiscal Studies have confirmed that this would mean Ed Balls’ rules ‘would allow significantly higher spending on both investment and day-to-day items than would George Osborne’s plan’. Analysis of the Office for Budget Responsibility’s figures shows that this would allow Labour to spend and borrow an extra £25 billion after the election. This is a spending commitment the country simply can’t afford. When the Coalition came into Government the country was borrowing nearly £160 billion a year and unemployment had increased by nearly half a million. Britain had suffered the deepest recession in our peacetime history and had been left with the biggest budget deficit in the developed world. Greg added: “Since this Government came to power the deficit is cut by a third, businesses have created 1.6 million new jobs, and unemployment is down 167,000 on the quarter. But the job is not done, and it is clear that the biggest risk now to the recovery would be abandoning the plan that’s delivering jobs and a brighter economic future. I am amazed that Ed Balls wants to put the recovery at risk by thinking you can borrow less by borrowing more. It’s little wonder unemployment up by nearly half a million under Labour.”
Hands in the papers:
Greg Hands M.P., The Chronicle Friday 31st January 2014 Borough residents will have noticed that the economy is starting to recover. Local shops are starting to fill up with customers again, and once again it is getting hard to get a seat, or even a space, on the Tube in the morning. For example, the two flagship shops greeting commuters at Fulham Broadway, Borders and HMV, closed and have now finally re-opened. King Street, Hammersmith, is looking up again. Local pubs and restaurants are also starting to recover. The economy, which grew last year at 2.8%, is still recovering from Labour’s Great Recession of 2008-2009, when in one year alone the economy shrank by 7.2%. So far this year, a number of encouraging signs have emerged. In Hammersmith & Fulham over the last year, unemployment is down 18%, and in Kensington and Chelsea it fell 20%. There is still much to do, as there are still more than 6,000 jobseekers across the two boroughs. Across the country, there are 1,300,000 new jobs since the election almost four years ago. I am proud to be a member of the government whose long-term plan to fix the economy is working, creating more jobs by backing small business and enterprise with better infrastructure and lower jobs taxes, and delivering a more secure future for people in Fulham & Hammersmith and Chelsea & Kensington.
Secondary Schools Results Published
Recent figures published by the Department for Education show that students in Hammersmith & Fulham are continuing to do well at GCSE and A Level. There was a solid performance from pupils sitting GCSEs in August last year (2013), with the percentage of students gaining five or more A*-C in GCSEs, including English and maths, improving on last year with an increase from 65.6% to 66.5%. That is well above the national average of 59% and above the inner London average of 63%. The results, published late last week, show that the biggest improvement came from Burlington Danes Academy in Wood Lane, Shepherds Bush, where the percentage of teenagers gaining five or more A*-C grades went up by 11% from 66% to 77%, which are the school’s best ever results. The highest overall achievers were at Sacred Heart High School in Hammersmith, where 91% of the girls there achieved five A*-C grades, including in English and maths. That was an improvement of 6% on the previous year. They also improved by 2% in the English Baccalaureate, known as the EBacc. Furthermore, 57% of students achieved A*-Cs in the traditional core academic subjects of English, history or geography, two sciences, maths and a language. There were also notable improvements in the students getting five or more GCSEs at A*-C including English and maths for Fulham schools Lady Margaret - which went up 9% from last year’s results to 81% and Fulham College Boys’ School, going up 6% to 59%, while 96% of its pupils got five or more A*-C grades. These results were the best ever for the boys’ schools. Councillor Georgie Cooney, H&F Council’s cabinet member for education, said: “More than 70% of children in the borough are now attending state schools - up from less than 40 per cent just a few years ago - showing that our Schools of Choice programme is proving popular with local parents. “We continue to work closely with our schools to offer the best possible education to our borough’s young people, and there have been some incredible success stories once again this year. The borough figures are strong and our schools have put in solid performances with the majority of our schools posting improved results.” At A Level, the borough’s average points score (APS) is 686.5 - rising from 2012’s results, which saw the borough come out with a score of 648.6 - while per pupil it is 202.7. The best performing school is Lady Margaret in Parsons Green, Fulham, at 237 - up almost seven points on the previous year’s score. Thirty per cent of students at Lady Margaret’s and 35% at London Oratory achieved three A Level grades at AAB or higher with at least two of the subjects being ‘key facilitating subjects’. These are subjects more frequently required by universities for entry to degree courses than others and are known as ‘facilitating’ because choosing them at A Level opens students up to a wide range of options for university study. These subjects are maths and further maths, physics, biology, chemistry, history, geography, modern and classical languages and English literature. For more information and to see the full set of results, visit www.education.gov.uk.
Pupils on Free School Meals in Kensington & Chelsea get best GCSE results
Pupils who receive free school meals in Kensington and Chelsea do better in their GCSE exams than pupils who receive free meals in any other local authority in the country according to figures published by the think tank Demos. The attainment gap, as it is known, measures the contrasting performance in GCSE exam results between children on free school meals and those whose parents are considered able to afford to pay for a school lunch. The figures are based on pupils who achieved five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C, including English and mathematics. In Kensington and Chelsea the attainment gap is four per cent while nationally the gap is 27 per cent. Commenting on these figures, Cllr Emma Will, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea's Cabinet Member for Education, said: "We have known for some time that children in Kensington and Chelsea, who receive free school meals, perform very well in their GCSEs. "I am very pleased that young people in our borough achieve such good results, in particular those who face disadvantage or additional challenges. I believe that high- quality teaching in extremely well-led schools will always deliver the best results for children and young people, whatever their background." In Kensington and Chelsea an impressive 77 per cent of children on free school meals achieved five or more GCSEs including English and mathematics, while 81 per cent of children in the borough who did not receive free school meals hit this target. Nationally only 38 per cent of pupils receiving free school meals passed five or more GCSEs including English and mathematics while the national pass rate for those not receiving free school meals was 65 per cent.
Davies "ignoring costs of Heathrow expansion", say local councils
An all- party group of local councils says that Sir Howard Davies has shortlisted potential sites for new runways before properly assessing their environmental or financial costs. In a letter to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin the councils, including Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F), question why the commission’s ‘appraisal framework’ for comparing airport expansion plans came out a month after the runway shortlist was decided. Two options for a new Heathrow runway made the shortlist and one for Gatwick. The 2M councils says the shortlist could be very different if the commission had calculated the true financial and environmental costs of each runway. They argue that if the EU standard for measuring annoyance from noise were applied to either Heathrow proposal the cost of insulating all the homes affected could be as much as £580million – far more than any other runway scheme. The commission did not consider these costs and is currently relying on a noise metric based on residents surveys carried out more than 30 years ago. “There are half a billion reasons to oppose another runway at Heathrow,” said Cllr Nicholas Botterill, H&F Council Leader. “Heathrow’s location guarantees that any major expansion will have the most severe noise and air quality impacts on west London residents. It’s astonishing that Heathrow can be shortlisted without understanding the true costs of minimising the environmental damage that expansion would bring. “Sir Howard is proceeding as if residents’ attitudes to noise hadn’t changed since the 1980s and we are urging the commission to order a new study so that the noise standards are based on credible up-todate evidence.” The letter also points out that the commission’s interim report makes no attempt to assess the cost of reducing road traffic around Heathrow to ensure compliance with legal limits on pollution which are already being breached. The 2M Group is an all-party alliance of local authorities concerned about the environmental impact of Heathrow operations on their communities. Members are not anti-Heathrow but work together to improve the environment and protect the quality of life for local people. The 2M authorities were successful in 2010 in overturning plans for a third runway in the High Court.
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
Published & Promoted by Jonathan Fraser-Howells on behalf of Greg Hands M.P., both of 1a Chelsea Manor Street, London SW3 5RP
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