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


15 July 2013 10:07

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In this edition:
Greg Hands M.P.s Diary Website of the Week: Hammersmith & Fulham Conservative Councillors Photo news: Campaigning in Fulham Reach ward Hands in the papers: Making the case against Heathrow expansion K&C and H&F Libraries launch Summer reading challenge 2013 Photo news: Queens Club Gardens Summer Party New State of the Art cricket facilities in South Park in Fulham Patrona Luggage Thames Water 30% Bill Hikes to pay for Super Sewer Photo news: Hands welcomes Parliamentary delegation from the Republic of Korea to House of Commons Cremorne Residents take tea with councillors in Chelsea How to contact Greg Hands M.P.

Issue 377 - Monday 15th July 2013

Since the last edition, Greg:

Attended the charity fundraiser of the Royal Brompton Hospital foundation, held at the Chelsea Physic Garden. The hospital has been given a reprieve by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, after the Safe and Sustainable review threatened to close childrens heart surgery at the Royal Brompton. Met, together with local residents, the developers of the proposed Hurlingham Retail Park development to the immediate west of Wandsworth Bridge. Greg is concerned by the height and the density of this proposed development. Visited local Fulham entrepreneurs who run Patrona Luggage Limited. Patrona has benefitted from Coalition Government support for entrepreneurs, such as the EIS and SEIS schemes, and National Insurance taxbreaks. For more about Patronas innovative products and how to help provide capital, please see below. Attended the summer garden party of the Old Church Street Residents Association, Chelsea, held at the Chelsea Arts Club. Led a team of enthusiastic Conservative canvassers in Fulham Reach ward, campaigning to re-elect a Conservative Council in Hammersmith & Fulham in May 2014. To get involved, please contact Greg. Welcomed a delegation of South Korean parliamentarians to the House of Commons. For photo, see below. Attended the summer garden party of the Queens Club Gardens Residents Association. For photos, see below. Attended the Prime Ministers summer reception for Conservative MPs, held at 10, Downing Street. Welcomed the Government and Opposition Whips from the Sierra Leonean parliament for discussions through the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association on how to improve the management of parliamentary business in Freetown. 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 Financial Services (Banking Reform) Bill. Conducted a surgery for local Chelsea and Fulham residents at Fulham Methodist Church. Gregs surgeries are generally weekly, at either Fulham Methodist Church, Fulham Broadway, or Peter Jones, Sloane Square. To make an appointment, email mail@greghands.com or telephone 020 7219 5448.

Website of the Week:

The website of the Hammersmith & Fulham Conservative Councillors. Get involved to help us keep control of the Council in May 2014.

Photo news:

Campaigning in Fulham Reach ward

Greg Hands M.P. with Cllrs Greg Smith, Andy Brown, Andrew Johnson and local activists campaigning for the Conservatives in Fulham Reach ward this weekend.

Hands in the papers:

Making the case against Heathrow expansion

Greg Hands M.P., Hammersmith & Fulham Chronicle Friday 12th July 2013 Last week, I had a private meeting with Sir Howard Davies, who is heading up the Aviation Commission to put the case to him against further expansion of Heathrow Airport. Residents of South Fulham have suffered for many years now from aircraft noise and from night flights, and this Coalition Government took the welcome step to suspend construction of a third runway at Heathrow. Sir Howard is now re-examining the case for new runways and new capacity at various London and South-east airports, and we await the results of his study later this year. The construction of a third runway, which would have an approach path to the north of the current approaches would bring hundreds of thousands of new residents under the path of arriving aircraft, particularly over Sloane Square, Earls Court, Barons Court and central Hammersmith. I put to Sir Howard a set of points, including whether a hub model was really the most appropriate set-up for Londons aviation needs, and tried to get across how unusual London is in having its major aircraft approach being over the centre of the city. The Aviation Commission still has a lot of work to do over the summer, and we await their findings with great interest.

K&C and H&F Libraries launch Summer reading challenge 2013

Children in central London are being invited to keep up a good habit of reading out of school through a national programme run through local libraries. Libraries in Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster are inviting children, aged four to 11, to complete the Reading Agency's `Summer Reading Challenge' which tasks the youngsters with reading six books during the six-week summer break. Launched by `Spooky Spooky House' children's author Andrew Weale at Kensington Central Library last week, the challenge sets out to encourage children to keep reading regularly when the schools are closed. During the challenge children are tasked with reading six different titles borrowed from their local library over the summer break. They will then discuss aspects of each book, such as plot lines and their favourite character, with library staff or one of a hundred volunteers helping out with this year's challenge across the three boroughs. The programme is flexible, allowing children to complete each book in their own time and drop in during any of the library's opening hours to record their progress as they work towards completing the challenge and receiving a medal and certificate marking their achievement. Cllr Emma Will, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea's Cabinet Member for Libraries, said: "The Summer Reading Challenge is a fantastic initiative and goes from strength to strength each year. "I'd like to encourage as many of our young people as possible to get involved and discover the pleasure that reading a good book can bring." Cllr Greg Smith, Deputy Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, said: "We hope as many local children as possible will accept this exciting mission and enjoy a summer of reading. "Literacy is a fundamental cornerstone of a modern society and initiatives such as this get kids to open up their minds to a world of reading." Cllr Steve Summers, Westminster City Council's Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: "We often hear how the literacy levels of children who don't keep up the habit of reading during the summer holidays can drop over the six-week long school break. "This is obviously a concern for parents and teachers alike, but the Summer Reading Challenge helps to address this by encouraging young people to keep reading regularly over the holidays and familiarise themselves more with our libraries in doing so. "The challenge is something which those who take part really enjoy year-on-year, but importantly, it provides our children with an opportunity to improve, or at least maintain their literacy levels over the summer, allowing them to progress come the new term in September, rather than play catch up." The Tri-borough libraries launch of the Summer Reading Challenge comes ahead of the Get Reading Festival in Trafalgar Square which is being held by the Evening Standard and Mayor of London. Five librarians from the boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster will be on hand at the event working with colleagues from the Reading Agency in encouraging youngsters to sign up for the challenge.

Photo news:

Queens Club Gardens Summer Party

Greg Hands M.P. at the Queen's Club Gardens annual garden party with local resident Erika Lang.

Greg Hands M.P. at the Queen's Club Gardens summer party with Annette Albert of the W14London community website.

New State of the Art cricket facilities in South Park in Fulham

With Ashes fever set to grip the nation, the glorious sound of leather on willow can now be heard reverberating around South Park in Fulham. As England took to the Trent Bridge field last week in their first Ashes test, Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council proudly unveiled some of the finest cricket facilities in west London at the park on Clancarty Road. The popular park now boasts two England Cricket Board approved artificial wickets and two state-of-the-art cricket nets. So if you fancy hitting the ball around the ground like Kevin Pieterson or bamboozling the batsman with some Graeme Swann-esque off-spin, South Park is the place to be this summer. The new facilities have been funded by a 55,000 grant to the Friends of South Park from the London Marathon Trust. Nearby Thomas School donated 2,000 towards the scheme while the council will contribute 6,500. The new facilities were officially opened on Tuesday, July 9 by H&F Council Deputy Leader Cllr Greg Smith, Thomass School Cricket Elite and the Friends of South Park. Cllr Greg Smith said: These brand new cricket facilities are some of the best available in west London and could be used to nurture potential Ashes stars of the future. Lords may be known across the world as the Home of Cricket but South Park is now the Home of Cricket in Hammersmith & Fulham. To make matters even better, the facilities have been installed at very little cost to the taxpayer Howzat for a good deal? Alex Kennaugh of the Friends of South Park said: As the only cricket pitch in the borough, the Friends of South Park are thrilled to see a joint effort by the Council and dedicated committee members come to fruition with the installation of the cricket nets in the park. We hope this is the only the first step in establishing South Park as a hub for cricketers of all ages across the borough and beyond. This really is boom time for South Park. Last summer, the park was officially named one of the best in the country after picking up a coveted Green Flag award. H&F Council recently spent 177,000 improving the play area at the park. New facilities include a timber climbing nest and rock walls, a shipwreck for children to climb on, a zip wire, a reflection pool and a sand pit. And further sports improvements are in the offing. The parks multiuse-games-area (MUGA) is to be completely revamped with markings painted for three full-size netball courts. Floodlighting and fencing will also be improved. The MUGA will still be able to host other sports such as football and mini-tennis. If you would like to book the cricket facilities at South Park call 0208 753 4103 or email sportsbookings@lbhf.gov.uk.

Patrona Luggage
Greg Hands M.P. visited Patrona Luggage in Fulham last week to learn more about the start-up company, which manufactures magnetised units to hold a smart phone to a dashboard (to create a SatNav) and a wallet to a smart phone, and other such accessories. The firm takes advantage of recent Government tax incentives for entrepreneurs, like the EIS and SEIS schemes. For more, watch the video below:

Thames Water 30% Bill Hikes 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 companys 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 Waters 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 Waters 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 Waters 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 Ofwats table of customer service levels last year and is owned by Kemble Water Holdings whose main investors are controlled by Australias Macquarie bank. Thames Waters 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 Waters 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 Waters plan helps is Thames Waters shareholders. Tell Thames Water what you think by calling FREEPHONE 0808 178 9055 or emailing consultations@thameswater.co.uk.

Photo news:

Hands welcomes Parliamentary delegation from the Republic of Korea to House of Commons

Greg Hands M.P. welcoming a Parliamentary delegation from the Republic of Korea to the House of Commons.

Cremorne Residents take tea with councillors in Chelsea

Some of Cremorne's older residents enjoyed a delicious afternoon tea at Petyt Hall, Chelsea Old Church last Friday, with local Councillors while they discussed ideas about developing new activities and initiatives in their neighbourhood. The event, which was organised by the three ward Councillors, was attended by 40 residents. A wide range of ideas were discussed, from book clubs and writing groups to a volunteer dog-walking scheme. Councillor Gerard Hargreaves, Cremorne ward Councillor and Cabinet Member for Voluntary Organisations and Resident Engagement, said: "I was very pleased that so many Cremorne residents were able to get together and enjoy a traditional afternoon tea. It was also a great opportunity to hear what people thought would make their lives better. Some great ideas were raised and we will now look to see what we can do to turn these into reality. "It may well be that we can support existing voluntary groups who have expertise or experience in providing the type of schemes and initiatives residents raised." The three Cremorne Councillors who organised and attended the event were Councillor Gerard Hargreaves, Councillor Maighread Condon-Simmonds, and Councillor Matthew Neal. The tea party was supported by City Living, Local Life which is a Councillor-led initiative that enables residents and councillors to work together to find local solutions to local issues. To find out more go to www.citylivinglocallife.org.

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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