Reporting Back - October 2022
Hello. In the time since my last community email we have witnessed the sad death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I know many of us were deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty. Her exceptional and unparalleled record of public service has been an inspiration to millions of people across the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, and the whole world. She was a figure of calm and stability, providing wisdom and thoughtful leadership in an often-turbulent world. 

I offer my sincere condolences to the Royal Family as they emerge from their period of Royal Mourning and particularly to King Charles III. 

God Save the King.

I know many people are concerned about the cost of living at the moment. So far, the Government has provided £37bn of support including a grant of £400 to every household in October, on top of this households in receipt of means tested benefits will receive an additional £650, all households in council tax bands A-D will receive an additional £150 payment, those receiving the winter fuel allowance will receive a further £300, and those on disability benefits will receive another payment of £150. 

Further support has been announced in the statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, including the capping of domestic energy so that average bills are £2500 a year, and a new package of support for businesses, details of which are available here. 

The Government has also cut fuel duty by 5%, increased the National Insurance Threshold and abandoned the National Insurance contribution rate, cut the Universal Credit Taper Rate, and raised the national living wage. The basic rate of income tax has also been cut from 20% to 19%. 

I recognise many people may need further support over the coming winter and I am committed to ensuring that the new Prime Minister puts those most at risk in Wimbledon and around the UK at the heart of their programme for Government and provides the necessary support to those in need. 

If there is anything you wish to contact me about my details are available here.
I am continuing to lead the local opposition to the All-England Lawn Tennis Club’s current proposals for the development of Wimbledon Park with local residents’ groups. I have published a statement on my website here.

I have also published two videos explaining my stance on these proposals which you can watch here: 

I encourage all local residents to make their views known to Merton Council by emailing and quoting reference 21/P2900.

I have also made previous statements on my website:
A number of local residents have contacted me to share their concerns about crime and anti-social behaviour in Wimbledon. Thanks to our strong campaign Wimbledon Police Station remains open and I meet regularly with our local police commander to share concerns I receive, and I am conscious that there are increased concerns on this issue at present. 

If anyone has any specific issues, they would like me to raise, please do not hesitate to contact me. 
Step Free Access and Access for All
I am continuing to campaign for more accessible transport for people across Wimbledon. 
I am pleased that Network Rail have indicated they will be starting work on step-free access at Motspur Park Station next year with work due to complete in early 2024. 

I am supporting GTR’s bid, which has now been submitted, for step free access at Wimbledon Chase station. We shall know if this has been successful at the start of 2023. I am also meeting with the developers in charge of the proposed Wimbledon Chase housing development, which will finance step free access, and will provide an update on this following the meeting. 

I have written to South Western Rail, Merton Council, and the Department for Transport this week to make the case for Raynes Park to be included in the next round of ‘Access for All’ funding, and will continue to push for all stations across Wimbledon to receive step free access.
Climate Change
At the start of the Summer Recess I held another one of my local climate drop-ins. It was great to hear from local residents in Raynes Park about their ideas for tackling climate change and protecting our environment locally.

Some of the issues which were raised included:

  • Should Merton Council allow solar panels to be installed on rooves and should they be mandated as part of new developments?
  • How can we deliver better insulation at a local level to keep emissions and bills low?
  • How to ensure EV charging is available to those without off-street parking and if the Council should work with private sector partners to install more charging points locally.
  • Would you like to see more pocket parks and enhanced protection for our existing green spaces?
  • How to support those who wish to use an Electric Vehicle but don’t have off-street parking.
  • I will be hosting more events in the Autumn and into next year – so keep an eye on my website and social media.

For more information, please see my statement here.
Delivery Drivers on Wimbledon Bridge
I am campaigning for a change in the local bylaws to stop delivery riders using the drop-off bays on Wimbledon Bridge to park. Many local residents have contacted me to express their concerns about congestion, noise, pollution, and anti-social behaviour.

I am working with Merton Council to find a solution. 
Following a letter I wrote to Clarion regarding the current repairs backlog and the status of their phonelines they have provided the below update which I hope may be useful to some tenants: 

“With effect from Thursday 1st September, residents can book all types of repair via the Live Chat system on our website here.

The Live Chat service will operate seven days per week and is available at the following times:
  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: 08:30 – 20:00
  • Wednesday: 10:00 – 20:00
  • Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 – 14:00

Phone lines

At this time, we are still asking residents to contact us by phone only if they have an emergency repair. 
We are very aware that not all of our residents are online and since the cyber incident we have made 10,000 outbound calls to update older and more vulnerable residents on the situation.

We are sorry for the continued disruption to our phone system, but we expect to have more positive news in the coming weeks. 

Latest information
We will write to you again when we have a further update and continue to ask our residents to check for the very latest information.”
Lime Bikes
A number of constituents have contacted me about for hire electric bikes being left on the pavement and in other areas around Wimbledon. 

Lime have assured me that retrieval of any obstructive bikes will be made within 1 hour of notification. They have also committed to proactively monitoring areas where bikes are often left, and adding more existing cycle parking infrastructure to their app so users know where they can leave bikes. 

My team have been in contact with the company and they have provided the below details which can be used to report any abandoned or inappropriately parked bikes, I have included this below: 

  • For any bikes that are causing an obstruction and require an immediate retrieval they can use 
  • For other questions or concerns they should use our customer service email, 
Royal Mail: Local Service
Since last December I have met the Chief Executive of Royal Mail and local management to discuss the need to improve their service in Wimbledon. 

Whilst the service has since improved, it is often still not at a level that all local people have the right to expect. I am continuing to monitor the situation and will be seeking a further meeting to review Royal Mail’s current performance. 
Summer Visits
I have included a selection of photos below from my visits to local businesses and organisations throughout the summer.
Battersea Cats and Dogs - to see all of the great work they do across South West London.
Merton Chamber of Commerce - I joined MCC at Metro Bank for their business networking event.
Samarkand Queen’s Award – to see a local e-commerce business receive recognition for their initiative and innovation. 
Local Business Whisk Deli in Wimbledon Park as Part of Independents Day. 
Royal Mail – visiting their delivery hub and seeing their new fleet of electric vans and charging points. 
Promoted by David Jones on behalf of Stephen Hammond MP, both of 3 Summerstown, London, SW17 0BQ