Reporting Back - Summer 2019
Welcome to my latest community email, with news on Brexit, Heathrow Airport expansion, Ride London, as well as some of the events I have attended both recently locally and in Parliament.

You can also keep up with the latest community news on my Facebook page here:

As ever, I am always happy to be contacted if I can be of any help with anything, or to answer any questions or comments you may have – just simply reply to this email. 

Finally, I hope you and your family have a restful summer break.
Local and Parliamentary visit highlights
Heathrow Airport Consultation

The statutory consultation into Heathrow Airport Expansion has now opened and will run until 13th September.

This consultation will cover their Preferred Masterplan for expansion, their plans to operate the future airport, their preliminary assessment of the effects of the airport’s growth and their plans to manage the effects of expansion. Please note that this consultation covers the effects of a third runway.

You can find out more about the consultation, and respond to it on their website:

The consultation is broken down into subtopics and responses can be made to as few or as many as you wish. While all the topics are worth looking at, I think the following are particularly important for Wimbledon:

  • Directional preference
  • Night flights
  • Noise
  • Air quality and climate change.

Responses can also be made by email to

There will be a Wimbledon consultation drop-in session on Saturday 17th August, between 10am-4pm at the Everyday Church on 30 Queen’s Road, SW19 8LR . This is a good chance to find out more, respond to the consultation, and ask any questions you may have.

As the consultation is taking place in August when many are away, I have organised a public meeting on the issue in conjunction with The Wimbledon Society. This will be taking place in the main hall at Ricards Lodge High School, Lake Road, London SW19 7HB from 6.30 – 8 pm on Friday, 6 September . Representatives from Heathrow have agreed to attend.
Prorogation of Parliament
One of the arguments from Brexit supporters was that it would return sovereignty to the UK and to our Parliament. Whatever your view on Brexit, whether you want no deal, another referendum or a deal, this is a decision that must be taken by our sovereign Parliament. It would be fundamentally undemocratic if any of these outcomes were to occur without the direct approval of Parliament. 

On 18th July the House of Commons considered an amendment to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill which would make proroguing Parliament, to secure No Deal, impossible. Despite being a Government Minister and being asked to vote against this, I chose to abstain.

Parliament must continue to have its say over the Brexit process, and I am pleased this amendment passed to make this possible. This builds on my work with colleagues of all parties since the 2016 referendum to deliver accountability to Parliament: 

  • Ensuring Parliament would have control over the Brexit process by requiring Parliamentary approval for the Withdrawal Agreement.
  • Developing a procedure and timetable should the Withdrawal Agreement be rejected. This gives opportunities for the House of Commons to amend the Government’s Brexit motions and have its say.
  • Ensuring that Article 50 could be extended, firstly by amending the Withdrawal Act allow “exit day” to be changed, and secondly by persuading the Prime Minister to bring a vote on extension. This avoided ‘No Deal’ in March and April.
  • Despite being a Minister, in March I did not follow a three-line whip and refused to vote for a motion that would effectively approve of ‘No Deal’.

However, while important, this amendment does not stop ‘No Deal’.

There are only three ways to avoid ‘No Deal’. Approve a deal, revoke Article 50, or extend Article 50. I am one of only eight MPs to have voted for all three of these options. I voted for the motion entitled ‘revocation instead of No Deal’, I have voted for an extension twice, and for a deal three times.

Our new Prime Minister has said he is determined to get a deal, and I support these efforts. A deal is the best way to avoid 'No Deal' and secure an orderly exit. Had the Withdrawal Agreement been approved by Parliament we would have left the EU by now, there would be no threat of No Deal, we would be focusing on the future relationship and having to stop prorogation would be unnecessary.
Ride London 2019 - Sunday 4th August
Ride London returns to Wimbledon and Raynes Park on Sunday 4th August. Please see the flyer below for how this will affect your area.

The all-day vehicle crossings will be at:

  • Approach Road to Lambton Road (northbound), Pepys Road to Approach Road (southbound)
  • Ridgway to Belvedere Grove, access in both directions

There are also vehicle crossing only available 07:30-08:45 and from 18:30:

  • Copse Hill to the A3 (no access from the A3)
  • West Barnes Lane to Durham Road, access in both directions
  • Lower Downs Road to The Downs, access in both directions

There will also be a free minibus service in the affected areas, with details in the flyer on my website here:
Climate Change Lobby
At the ‘Time is Now’ climate lobby this month, one of the issues which was raised with me were reports that the VAT on solar panels was to be increased from 5% to 20%. I have written to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury to ask whether these reports are accurate.

I have also investigated the Environment Bill and the briefing documents sent through to me by constituents.

I have written to the Secretary of State for the Environment to make the following points about the Environment Bill:

  • The watchdog should be entirely independent and have “teeth” to effectively enforce environmental law, particularly relating to emissions.
  • The environmental principles in the draft Bill are weaker than those in EU law. I noted that I was under the impression that the Government’s stated aim was to ensure the UK strengthens environmental standards and laws, rather than weakening them, as we leave the EU.
  • That the targets in the second part of the Bill should be able to be measured against objective targets.
  • I sent the Secretary of State a copy of the Wildlife and Countryside Link’s pre-legislative scrutiny submission on the Bill.

Finally, concerns over National England’s funding and ability to meet its statutory duties were raised with me. I have raised these with the Secretary of State too.
I am pleased to report that your local councillors have successfully challenged the Labour administration’s decision to impose their Parking Charges tax hike on Wimbledon.

Alongside your Conservative councillors I have consistently opposed this unfair, discriminatory tax which will cost Wimbledon residents an extra £1.6 million every year and I recently spoke about against these plans at the Raynes Park forum. There have been four attemps to scrap the decision, by challenging it twice in committee, and twice in full council meetings.

Every time the Labour administration ignored the opinion of over 3,000 local residents who responded to the consultation, and voted for their tax grab from Wimbledon.
This latest challenge now means that the decision to increase the charges will be put on hold until a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission, where I am sure your councillors will continue to fight these plans.
Local Residents Survey
I have set up a survey to find out your local priorities. Please do take a few minutes to fill it in, it really helps me make sure I am working on the things that matter most to you.

You can find the survey here:
Fraud Prevention
I have been receiving some reports from constituents of criminals attempting to obtain bank details over the phone by pretending to be representatives of BT or other utility providers. They will start with seemingly innocent questions to build trust before moving on innocuously to more significant questions which can give them access to your bank account.

This is a good opportunity to set out the advice from Action Fraud:

  • Do not give any personal information (name, address, bank details, email or phone number) to organisations or people before verifying their credentials.
  • Always question unsolicited calls, texts or emails requesting your personal or financial information (name, address, bank details, email or phone number). Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.

You can find out more from the ActionFraud website:
Local Events
The Love Wimbledon Market on The Piazza outside Morrisons is back this weekend – 11am–6 pm on Saturday, 3 rd and Sunday, 4 th August. This will be packed with new and familiar local traders offering delicious food, clothing, accessories, original art, homeware and gifts from local makers and sellers.

The Wimbledon Village Farmers Market will be operating this Sunday, 4 August, from 10 – 3 pm but, because of Ride London, will be changing venue to the end of the High Street leading to The Green/Southside Common.

Promoted by David Jones on behalf of Stephen Hammond MP, both of 3 Summerstown, London, SW17 0BQ