Reporting Back - June 2022
Welcome to my June Newsletter which provides an update on a number of local campaigns and issues. The unprovoked attack on Ukraine and the atrocities committed by the Russians continues to shock us. The UK is leading the international effort to equip Ukraine militarily and diplomatically. Unfortunately there appears to be little chance of an easy or early solution.

The cost of living and inflation increases are causing real hardship for some of our citizens. The Government has provided £37 billion in support already this year and I expect the new economic package to target support to those who need it.

If there is anything you wish to contact me about my details are available here.
I know many local residents are continuing to follow the development proposals from the All-England Lawn Tennis Club closely. I know the proposed new park has been welcomed by some people, however there is widespread concern that local residents may only be able to use it on a permissible basis which is not good enough.

I will be publishing a joint statement on the planning process with Fleur Anderson MP in due course.

Everyone in Wimbledon enjoys the tennis but, as it stands, I do not believe that the application should pass, and I have already contacted the Government to request it being called in. Once the current application fails, I shall work with local residents and the All-England Club to find a proposal that can succeed for everyone. I am sure we can find a solution which benefits our community.

I have also made previous statements on my website:
Wimbledon Police Station
I have been continuing to make the case to ensure that Wimbledon Police Station remains open. In my regular meeting with Chief Superintendent Elisabeth Chapple recently, I again pressed the case to ensure our Police Station remains open.

Given the operational importance of Wimbledon Police Station to policing in Merton and Wandsworth, I am hopeful the Mayor will have listened to our campaign and that the station will remain open.
LESSA Sports Ground
I was extremely pleased to hear that the application to build 107 houses on the LESSA Sports Ground in West Barnes was rejected by Merton Council’s Planning Committee.

We are all conscious of the need for housing for local people, but this cannot come at the expense of community sports facilities as would have been the case here. I am pleased to have been part of the campaign and pay credit to those who led it, including Gilli Lewis-Lavender.
Step Free Access at Wimbledon Chase
I am continuing to campaign for step-free access at Wimbledon Chase Station. A bid has been submitted to complete this work and I will keep campaigning to ensure this happens.

Step-free access is incredibly important to many local residents, and I am pleased that this has been recognised by the developers and the railways. I also remain committed to bringing step free access to Raynes Park and Haydons Road.
Rail and Tube Strikes
I know many local residents have been impacted by last week’s strikes. I am disappointed that the Rail Operating Companies and the RMT have not been able to find a solution to the dispute.

The RMT’s actions threaten jobs in the medium to long term and are irresponsible. I know many of us are struggling with the cost of living and it is vital that core public services continue to run for those workers who cannot work from home, such as teachers, doctors, nurses, and those in the construction industry. I call on the union and the railways to find a solution to get the trains running again as soon as possible and avoid any further industrial disputes.
Royal Mail
I have recently met with Royal Mail to discuss the ongoing problems on Cranbrook Road and the performance of the Wimbledon Delivery Office.

In discussions with local managers and Cranbrook Road residents we discussed problems they have had over the last two years with illegal parking on their road by Royal Mail vehicles and instances of anti-social behaviour which have frustrated residents. Royal Mail’s management took this seriously and have promised to work with residents to find a solution.

I have proposed that Royal Mail work with the Council to make space for Royal Mail workers to park in local car parks. We have arranged a follow up meeting to discuss the progress and I will update you on this when it happens.

I also met with Royal Mail CEO Simon Thompson and local management to discuss the delivery performance of the Wimbledon Office. This was the third in a series of meetings with Simon and their local team. I’m pleased that performance has significantly improved with Royal Mail hitting their 48-hour delivery target in almost all cases. If anyone is still having issues with their service, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Concert Hall for Wimbledon
I recently met with Anthony Wilkinson to hear about his exciting plans to bring a Concert Hall to Wimbledon. His innovative and world leading proposal would make Wimbledon a major cultural centre.

I will be working with him to try to persuade Merton Council to give their team an exclusivity term on the lease so the Concert Hall can put financing in place.
Rutlish School Memorial Garden
It was an honour to be invited to Rutlish School recently as part of the opening of their refurbished Memorial Garden.

The space will be a great facility for students and adds welcome green space.
Platinum Jubilee Celebrations
On 2 June I was privileged to lead the procession from Wimbledon Village War Memorial to the Windmill as part of the Beacon Lighting Ceremony for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

There were many fantastic celebrations across Wimbledon during the Jubilee weekend, and I was particularly delighted to attend so many street parties throughout the constituency that were held across the long weekend.
Elizabeth Line Opening
The Elizabeth Line, which runs from Reading to Shenfield through the heart of London opened at the end of May. I was proud to play my role in this project between 2012 and 2014 as Transport Minister and am pleased that the project has been completed.
Merton Hongkongers at Raynes Park Church
I am continuing my series of meetings with Merton Hongkongers, most recently meeting them alongside local resident Sivas Ranjan for an informative discussion on the national and local government in the UK and the British tax system.
Raynes Park Climate Event
I am hosting my next Climate Drop-in at the Lantern Arts Centre in Raynes Park between 10am and 12pm on the 23rd of July. It will be an opportunity for local people to discuss and share their thoughts on climate change, net-zero, the environment, and many more issues.
Wimbledon Guild Summer Raffle
The Wimbledon Guild Summer Raffle is open to enter until the 10th July. There are fantastic prizes on offer and the chance to support a great local charity!
London Summer Art Tours
Local resident Ursula Weekes is running art tours of London for adults/students over the summer and a Summer School for 15–19-year-olds. Details are below:

The Art Tours are for adults and students and will last 1.5 hours
(£20 adults and £10 Students - pay in cash on the day or in advance by BACS)
Please email me to book a place.
Dates on offer are:
  • Monday 4th July 4pm - Tour of the Indian Galleries at V&A
  • Friday 8th July 6pm - Summer Tour of the National Gallery
  • Thursday 14th July 11am - Tour of the Indian Galleries at the V&A
  • Saturday 16th July 10am - Summer Tour of the National Gallery

Ursula's Art History Summer School (pdf flyer attached) AGE 15–19-year-olds
This is running daily from 15-19 August 2022, 10.30am to 1pm
The max class size will be 14 people.
There will be interactive seminar class sessions on the Mon, Wed, Fri, in an airy private room at Wimbledon Library plus two onsite gallery visits in London on Tues and Thurs:

  • Day 1 - 15 August - Big Themes in Art History - classes with snack breaks
  • Day 2 - 16 August - The National Gallery – onsite visit in London
  • Day 3 - 17 August - The Art of Mughal India - classes with snack breaks
  • Day 4 - 18 August - V&A Museum – onsite visit in London
  • Day 5 - 19 August - Avant Garde Art – classes with snack breaks
  • Price £60 per day; £250 for five days
Some recent highlights from My Diary: 
  • I visited a local high tech medical company GripAble. (I am pictured here with one of the co-founders Dr Paul Rinne)
  • I spoke to the partnerships team at King’s College School.
  • Along with the Mayor I attended the opening of Southey Bowling Club’s New Headquarters. (pictured below)
  • I met with Dundonald Church and Merton Council to discuss new opportunities for providing local services.
  • I held my regular session to discuss Wimbledon’s concerns with Hannah Doody, Merton Council’s CEO.
  • I attended the South London College’s Best Learner event.
  • I met with a local group of parents to discuss secondary school provision.
  • I attended the Wimbledon Society AGM and the outgoing Mayor’s Thank You Reception.
  • I visited Pub in the Park Festival in Wimbledon Park.
  • I attended several Resident-Association AGMs.
  • I met with Lord Greenhalgh to discuss progress on Building Safety.
  • I attended Armed Forces Day in Morden to celebrate the dedicated service of our Armed Forces.
  • I attended and spoke in the House of Commons and answered over a thousand constituent emails. 
Promoted by David Jones on behalf of Stephen Hammond MP, both of 3 Summerstown, London, SW17 0BQ