Reporting Back - March 2020
Welcome to my latest community email, with some fantastic news about Motspur Park Station. There is also news about Coronavirus, St Helier Hospital, Heathrow Airport expansion, and the Budget. 
Funding for step-free access at Motspur Park secured
I am delighted that Motspur Park Station is set to benefit from extra funding for step-free access in the Budget.

Since I was first elected, I have been campaigning for step free access at all local stations alongside local Conservatives, especially former local councillors Gilli and Brian Lewis-Lavender.

As soon as I was re-elected in December, I wrote to the Transport Minister to make the case for funding and met with him recently.

This is fantastic news for Motspur Park residents with disabilities and those travelling with young children in pushchairs. I am very pleased I have been able to secure this outcome.

I will also continue to make the case for Raynes Park and other local stations to benefit from better accessibility.
I know many people are concerned about Coronavirus.The Government are following the advice from the UK’s Chief Medical Officers and Chief Scientific Officer.

This advice could change very quickly, so I would encourage you to follow the Department for Health on Facebook or Twitter , or check their website on:

The latest advice is to s tay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms.

You should stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough

In this eventuality, do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital and you do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.

Use the 111 online service if you feel you cannot cope at home, your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not improve after 7 days.

It is also important that we maintain high levels of personal hygiene. This means washing your hands more often, especially:

  • when you get to work or arrive home
  • after you blow your nose, cough or sneeze
  • before you eat or handle food

You should wash your hands for 20 seconds, using soap and water or hand sanitiser.

You should also cough or sneeze into tissues before binning them.
The Budget
On Thursday the Chancellor delivered the Budget. This budget:

  1. Makes sure the NHS has all the resources it needs, with 50,000 more nurses and 40 new hospitals.
  2. Keeps the cost of living low, increasing the National Insurance threshold to £9,500 this April and freezing fuel, beer, wine, spirits and cider duties.
  3. Increases the National Living Wage to boost the wages of the lowest paid. 
  4. Pledges £9.5 billion to build affordable homes, helping people onto the housing ladder.
  5. Boosts recycling and reduces plastic pollution by introducing a new plastic packaging tax and planting around 30,000 hectares of trees and restoring 35,000 hectares of peatland.

The Budget additionally set out a plan to provide support for public services, individuals and businesses affected by coronavirus.

The Government will provide any extra resources needed by the NHS to tackle the virus.
Statutory sick pay will be available for those diagnosed with coronavirus and those who are self-isolating in line with Government advice. This will be payable from day 1 and sick notes will be available by contacting 111.

To support businesses, over the next twelve months, nearly half of all business properties in England will not pay a penny of business rates. Statutory Sick Pay costs for businesses with fewer than 250 employees will be met by the government in full for up to 14 days per employee and businesses and the self-employed will be able to defer tax payments over an agreed period of time. 
St Helier Hospital 
Last year the Government announced a £500m investment into the Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust. This is an unprecedented investment and is fantastic news for patients and NHS staff locally.

The money will allow the much-needed refurbishment of St Helier Hospital to continue and builds on the £100m investment we have already had committed. Those who have visited St Helier Hospital will know that the hospital building itself is outdated, older than the NHS in fact, which makes it harder for the staff to do their jobs effectively.

The refurbishment will mean less money and time needs to be spent on repairs and will mean that ambulances will not need to transport patients from the back of St Helier to the front because the lifts are too small for modern hospital beds.

Under the new proposals to build a new hospital, 85% of services would stay at Epsom and St Helier hospitals in refurbished buildings, with both hospitals running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with urgent treatment centres at each hospital. Despite much scaremongering this confirms that St Helier Hospital is safe.

Six core major services, for the most unwell patients, those who need more specialist care, and births in hospital, would be moved together on one site in new state-of-the-art buildings. This would mean that specialist doctors, nurses and clinical staff would be able to work together to provide round-the-clock specialist care. The proposals are for this to be based at Sutton.

Some have suggested that Sutton is too far away for these services for those who use St Helier Hospital. The services at Sutton would be those for which patients usually arrive by ambulance, and in my view, the priority must be to ensure patients get the best care from the best staff providing the full range of critical care services in one location.

I have already raised the need for a bespoke bus service to the new Sutton Hospital if the plans go ahead with the Chief Executive, to cover the Cannon Hill and Morden areas. I am confident that this will be provided.

The consultation runs until 1st April, and I encourage you to look at the plans and have your say by visiting
Heathrow Airport
The decision by the Court of Appeal has attracted much attention and some misunderstanding. The Court ruled that the decision to expand Heathrow Airport was not lawful as the Aviation National Policy Statement did not consider the commitments made in the Paris Climate Agreement.

Therefore, this decision does not guarantee Heathrow Airport will not be expanded. Firstly, Heathrow Airport will be appealing the judgment and could be successful. Secondly, the Government could either amend the current Policy Statement or introduce a new one to consider the Paris climate commitments.
Last year at the General Election I committed to campaign to stop more low flying planes over Wimbledon and oppose the construction of a third runway. I will be pressing the Government to clarify how it will react to the Court’s ruling and continue to make sure the interests of local residents are protected. 
Promoted by David Jones on behalf of Stephen Hammond MP, both of 3 Summerstown, London, SW17 0BQ