Monday, 29 December 2008

Nearing the end of the year...

It has been great to meet so many people during the past year whilst I have been out and about in the constituency. A way of listening to your concerns.

The strong message I am hearing throughout the constituency, is that it is time for change. As the Government’s disastrous economic policies bite, people are increasingly worried about their jobs, their homes and their families. Like them, I want to see a change for the better and that means a Conservative government. I am ready, willing and able to serve the people of Chiswick, Brentford, Isleworth, Osterley and Hounslow, so let’s have the election now.

As we move into 2009, I want us all to be able to hope and dream of better times. I want to help build a stronger society locally where people work together in communities, sharing responsibility, trusting and supporting each other. I want to create a future where people believe that anything is possible – a future where everyone is given the support, skills and opportunity to be the best they can be. I want to give more people power over their lives, I want to make families stronger and society more responsible and I want to make our community safer and greener.

I wish you all, no matter who you are or how you vote, a very happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year. I look forward to meeting many more of you in 2009 and beyond...

P.S. Thanks for reading my blog!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Boxing day comes early for youngsters at the Brentford Towers

Brentford Towers Residents Association began their festive celebrations in style last week by taking young people off the street and into a makeshift gym at one of the tower blocks on Green Dragon Lane. The Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing class, involved bringing two external instructors from St Mary’s University to give Brentford’s young people a lesson in self defence and fitness.

It is encouraging to see that local people are finding new, great ideas of how to improve their own community and taking responsibility for making it happen. This was an excellent initiative and really benefited the young people who took part. We should try and do more of them elsewhere in the Borough.

Well done to Jane Griffith, chairman of the Residents Association at the Brentford Towers. A great example to others.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Save a London Park please!

Please vote in Boris Johnson’s new initiative, where Londoners can vote for the park they think should get GLA funding.

Two parks from the London Borough of Hounslow have made it onto the shortlist and could get a grant of up to £400,000 to make the park cleaner, safer, greener and nicer places to visit. It is important that we get the maximum funding possible as good parks make such a difference to living in a city.

Redlees Park:

The aim for Redlees Park in Isleworth is to make the park fun, welcoming and a high quality environment for local people. A grant would help to improve the entrances, display sculptures by local artists, provide local history information, develop a trim trail, develop facilities for young people and re-open the toilets!

Crane Valley Park:
The Crane Valley Park is a valuable wildlife corridor through west London on Hounslow Heath. A grant could help more people to enjoy this interesting area with improved footpaths and cycle routes, resting points with attractive carved benches, new signage, a new footbridge across the river, improved wildlife habitat and increased staff presence to help people feel safe.

Voting closes on 30th January 2009 and you can vote online, request a postal vote or vote by text
Web: visit
Text: text 'parks' and your full London post code to 62967 to vote for your nearest park
Post: call the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100 and request a form.

Photo - Mary in Redlees Park in Isleworth at the Urban Games this summer with Cllr Lin Davies, the Mayor of the London Borough of Hounslow and Cllr Pam Fisher

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Brown’s Tax Bombshell

The Government has published their Pre-Budget Report. Their new tax and spending proposals show their plans for higher taxes and record levels of national debt. It includes:

- above inflation hikes (4.5%) in council tax which will be forced on local authorities from this April
- National Insurance will be increased for workers and for local firms
- National debt will hit £1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion pounds)
- Plans are being drawn up to increase VAT to 18.5%

I am extremely concerned about record levels of debt, higher council tax and higher National Insurance on families and businesses. How do we differ, you may ask? Our plan is to:

- freezing council tax for two years by cutting wasteful Government spending
- reducing employment costs for small businesses by cutting National Insurance and a tax break for new jobs
- getting credit flowing by guaranteeing lending to business

We need to find long term solutions to this economic crisis as the impact of this recession will be felt by individuals, families and businesses for the next 4-5 years.

Monday, 1 December 2008

We must learn from Baby P

The damning inspectors report was published today into the sufferings of Baby P.

Baby P died aged 17 months, although he was on the child protection register and had been seen by professionals 60 times. Incredible that a mother could inflict abuse on her own child. Baby P had over 50 injuries but yet nothing was noticed. This horrific abuse is yet another example of 'a broken Britain' as this case is not alone.

It brings up some serious questions about what we expect and demand from our public servants. We need to understand what happened, what went wrong, who was responsible, so that we can learn from it and make sure it never happens again.

The inspectors found systemic failings within Children's Services and Haringey Council must take responsibility for this. If only something had been done earlier by someone. A life might have been saved.