Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Encouraging School Sports

The Secretary of State for Education, the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, has announced more detail on the Coalition Government's new approach on school sports that will embed competitive sport in schools across the country and increase participation.
The Secretary of State said: "I want competitive sport to be at the centre of a truly rounded education that all schools offer but this must be led by schools and parents, not by top-down policies from Whitehall. It's time to ensure what was best in School Sport Partnerships around the country is fully embedded and move forward to a system where schools and partnerships are delivering on sports with competition at the heart."
The Coalition Government has confirmed that School Sports Partnerships will be paid for the full school year to the end of the summer term 2011, at a cost of £47 million. In addition, a further £65 million will be paid to enable every secondary school to release one PE teacher for a day a week in the school year 2011/12 and 2012/13 to work out of the classroom, encouraging greater take-up of sport and securing a fixture network for schools to increase the amount of intra- and inter-school competition.
Lottery funding will also be deployed to build a framework of competitions as part of the new School Games. All schools will be invited to compete against one another in district competitions, leading to county festivals and even the chance to appear in the first national finals in Spring 2012, with events at the Olympic Stadium.
I met recently with Alan Watkinson and Helen Ives, Partnership Development Managers from each of the two School Sports Partnerships in the Hounslow Borough, together with Rory Mawn, School Sport Coordinator and several of the pupils who are Young Ambassadors for sport across the Borough. Alan explained that the Hounslow Schoool Sports Partnerships rank in the top 10 in partnerships nationwide, both in terms of the number of hours of physical activity being undertaken and for quality of the leadership and volunteering skills for the Young Ambassadors.
I was very impressed with their enthusiasm for the programme. It's great to see the commitment of the Young Ambassadors involved in this programme. I am a strong believer in the value of all kinds of sport and the benefits it can bring not only to general health and wellbeing but also to academic achievement and teamworking skills.
I hope that the recent announcement by the Secretary of State for Education will ensure the continuation of the good work being undertaken in Hounslow to involve young people in sport. I look forward to hearing more about how our schools will get involved in the upcoming Schools Event to ensure a lasting sporting legacy from the Olympics in 2012.

The Big Tree Plant Campaign

Recently I raised a question in the House of Commons to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to emphasise how important our parks and green spaces are to our city life in London.
I asked the Secretary of State: "Green spaces and trees are vital in our cities, and I am fortunate that my constituency has many beautiful parks, including Dukes Meadows, Gunnersbury Park, Osterley Park, Boston Manor Park, Syon Park and Hounslow Heath. Can my Right Honourable Friend tell me what plans the Department has to plant many more trees across the city of London?"
The Secretary of State responded by encouraging the constituents of Brentford and Isleworth to participate in the Big Tree Plant Campaign, that was launched across the country at the beginning of December. The main aim is to encourage and support community groups to plant trees in neighbourhoods where people live and work. The hope is that at least one million trees can be planted in a mixture of strees, small groups of trees in green spaces and in other neighbourhood tree planting. The campaign will run over four years, 2011 - 2015, and will give £4 million in grants.
Not-for-profit groups or organisations in England, such as charity and voluntary groups that represent the interests of the local community, are eligible to apply. Although local authorities cannot apply directly, projects that are in partnership with local authorities are welcome to apply.
I would encourage everyone to get involved in the campaign, so that we can help maintain our idyllic corner of West London.
Further information is available on the website http://thebigtreeplant.direct.gov.uk/index.html and the initial deadline for submissions is 15 March 2011.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Hammersmith Cinema

Like a lot of residents in Chiswick, I enjoy visiting the cinema on King Street, Hammersmith.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council are considering plans by developers to demolish the 1930s Art-Deco landmark, together with other neighbouring buildings, to make way for a new housing complex and supermarket
Some residents have mentioned to me that they would be sorry to see the cinema go. If you are concerned or have questions about the new development please get in touch with Hammersmith and Fulham Council.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Speaking Out in Hounslow

I recently visited Hounslow Manor School to judge a public speaking competition for local schools. "Jack Petchey's 'Speak Out' Challenge!" run by SpeakersBank, part of the Speakers Trust charity, is the biggest public speaking event of its kind in the world. Initial rounds are taking place in over 550 schools across London and Essex.
Twelve secondary schools in Hounslow took part in this year's challenge, which involved 500 year 10 students, who all received a full day of training in public speaking and effective communication. The strongest pupil from each school was selected to go forward to a regional final of sixteen students speaking out passionately about issues important to them. Topics included Buses, Facebook, Beauty, Chocolate and the BNP.
Fifteen-year-old Fatima Mahmood from Cranford Community College won the top prize in the Hounslow final. Fatima's speech on her chosen subject, "Stereotyping Teenagers," won her an iPod Touch and a chance to go through to the grand final of the Speak Out Challenge in July 2011. The speech was described by SpeakersBank as "challenging and dramatic," calling on adults to put aside their prejudice and talk to teenagers to discover they are "humans with souls and feelings." I presented Fatima with her iPod and a trophy.
Second place was Leah Black from Hounslow Manor School, speaking on Parenting, and in third place was Ella Whidett from St Mark's Catholic School, who spoke on Prejudice.
It was a fantastic evening. The students were inspiring and so talented - a credit to themselves and their schools.
This initiative teaches young people the vital life skills of confidence in speaking in public and effective communication. This is crucial for so many situations later in life, from job interviews to every day in the working environment. Thanks to the "Speak Out Challenge" for giving students the opportunity to participate.
Sponsored by the Jack Petchey Foundation, and now in its fifth year, up to 20,000 young people are expected to compete for over £25,000 worth of prizes in this year's Grand Final of Jack Petchey's "Speak Out" Challenge.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Dangerous Dogs

The problem of irresponsible dog owners and dog attacks seems to be on the increase in Hounslow, with some gang members using dogs as status symbols and weapons.

I have received several letters from local residents who are afraid to use local parks and green spaces for fear of being intimidated by dangerous dogs, and within the last month the Hounslow Chronicle has already reported on three savage dog attacks.

My colleague Angie Bray, neighbouring MP for Ealing and Central Action, and her Labour counterpart Steve Pound MP (Ealing North) will lobby the Government and Ealing Council for greater protection after a number of vicious attacks across the borough Ealing. Angie Bray MP said, "It is completely unacceptable that people can't enjoy their local park with their family and pets because of fear of attack by uncontrolled dogs. I shall continue to urge the Government to introduce tougher measures to tackle this growing menace."

I believe we need to be proactive on this issue and look into the laws to see what changes can be made to prevent further serious. Dog training is a simple way where dogs and their owners can be supported and helped.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

No Women No Peace

On Monday I went to support the launch of a new campaign for women living in conflict called No Women No Peace. It is a campaign by Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS UK), a network of 14 human rights and development organisations.

All over the world, women are prime targets during conflict. Rape, displacement, torture and kidnap are common experiences of women - yet when it comes to negotiating and building peace, women are often excluded.

The No Women No Peace campaign, launched to mark the 10 year anniversary of an important UN resolution, highlights the fact that without women's involvement peace will fail to meet the needs of 50% of the population.

The campaign launch in the House of Commons included a speech from the Foreign Secretary, the Rt Hon William Hague MP, and women's rights activist Wazhma Frogh.

I am proud an delighted to be able to lend my support to such a worthwhile cause. With women constituting half the world's population, it seems abundantly clear that they must be involved in peace making on both a local and global scale. I wish the campaign every success.

To get involved with No Women No Peace, visit http://www.nowomennopeace.org/

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Support Hitz Rugby!

Hitz is a social inclusion project run by the Rugby Football Union (RFU), operating in Redlees Park, Isleworth. It is designed to encourage young people who could otherwise potentially be at risk of exclusion and anti-social behaviour to get involved in constructive activities through the sport of Rugby Union. The project also aims to help break down barriers with the police and direct young people towards relevant training and volunteering opportunities. Hitz has been running since January 2010, across six London boroughs (Croydon, Ealing, Hackney, Hounslow, Islington and Southwark), and aims to reach 3,000 young people in the first year.

However, Hitz is in desperate need of further funding in order to continue its excellent work. The RFU has applied to the Mayor of London Sports Participation Fund, and last week I wrote to Mayor Boris Johnson to lend my support to this worthwhile project.

I will be attending a Hitz rugby match on Saturday 30th October to see the project in action.

Please visit their website, at http://hitzrugby.com/

Monday, 20 September 2010

Life at Westminster

On Wednesday 8th September, I was interviewed by Jonathan Sheppard, Editor of toryradio.com.

I had a great time discussing life in Westminster, although, as you may know, since the interview was carried out, I have had to leave the Home Affairs Select Committee as I have been appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to The Rt Hon Nick Herbert MP, Minister of State for Police Reform and Justice.

If you want to listen to my interview, please click on the following link:


Boris standing for Mayor in 2012

Great news that Boris Johnson is standing again for Mayor of London in 2012.

I think he has done a great job. He has been focusing on cutting crime, protecting green spaces, improving public transport, building more affordable housing and supporting London through a difficult recession. Much progress has been made...but there is more to be done, which is why we need Boris for another term as Mayor. This is after all as Boris says "the greatest city on earth"!

Try out his website on www.backboris2012.com

Monday, 6 September 2010

Support for Anti-Trafficking Campaign

On Friday, two members of my staff and I visited The Body Shop store in Chiswick to show our support for a campaign by ECPAT UK and The Body Shop UK to combat child trafficking. We met and chatted with staff (including the manager of the store), and discussed their new campaign. It was a great opportunity to hear more about the campaign and learn how they are supporting it. We had a wonderful time trying all The Body Shop lotions and potions, including a new limited-edition handcream called "Soft Hands, Kind Heart" - the profits from which will be going towards funding the campaign.

ECPAT UK (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) is a leading children's rights organisation campaigning against the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the UK and on its international aspects. In particular, it focuses on the protection of trafficked children and children exploited in tourism and the prevention of such crimes.
ECPAT and The Body Shop have partnered in a three-year global campaign to stop the trafficking of children and young people, uphold their rights to be protected from exploitation and inspire long-term change to strengthen the protection offered to these children and young people. Together, they are spearheading an international petition calling on governments across the globe to put child trafficking on their agenda and banish this modern-day slave trade.

In the UK, ECPAT UK and The Body Shop UK are specifically calling on the Government to offer greater care and protection to child victims of trafficking by ensuring every child is provided with a guardian to look after them.

I was really heartened to hear about the excellent work ECPAT UK and The Body Shop UK are doing to tackle the trafficking of children and young people for exploitation of many kinds. This appalling form of modern-day slavery must be stamped out and I am very happy to support such efforts by putting my name to the petition. I also call on people in my constituency to sign the petition too, which can be found at
www.ecpat.org.uk or in any The Body Shop store. It will be delivered to the UK Government in 2011.

Don't forget to buy your handcream!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Visit to Flooded Residents in Isleworth

On Saturday 14th August I went down to the site of the burst water main in London Road, Isleworth, to see first-hand the effects of the massive flooding in the area.

Residents of 65 nearby homes have been temporarily re-housed at a local hotel, including 40 sheltered flats at Fenn House. I took the opportunity to visit these residents on Saturday, at their temporary hotel accomodation. I wanted to find out how they, and Thames Water, were coping with the devastating water damage and to offer help and support.

I was glad to meet local residents who have had a very difficult few weeks as a result of the water damage to their homes and it was useful to hear first-hand about the difficult situation in which they find themselves. A number of issues arose from our meeting, and we will work hard to help as much as we can to support residents as much as possible during this distressing time.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Playday Celebrated in Brentford

Yesterday I took part in the local Playday, which was held in St Paul's Recreation Ground, on Lateward Road, Brentford. Locally coordinated by Alix Reeves of Westplay, the event saw a wide range of fun and engaging activities for children of all ages. Amongst other things, youngsters enjoyed participating in face-painting, t-shirt decorating, hat-making, steel drum playing, bubble blowing and real-life table football. Catering was organised by the Cafe of St Paul's Church in Brentford.

I met a team from Chiswick and Brentford Your Extended Services (YES), who were on hand to give information on Hounslow Council's Extended Services scheme (past events have included yoga for exam-age children, paediatric first aid courses and a Healthy Cooking Club). I also enjoyed lunch from the St Paul's Church Cafe, where I hold regular surgeries.

Playday is the annual celebration of children's right to play, coordinated by Play England. It is an annual campaign where, each year, thousands of children and young people get out and play at locally organised events, encouraging the development of community feeling in the process.

I think this is a wonderful initiative. Play is an essential part of every child's life and is vital to their development. When I was a child, we were able to play freely in the streets and in the parks, and enjoy the great outdoors. Many children now do not get that opportunity.

The event was a chance for children to have a wonderful time together in a safe environment, and gives the community an occasion to come together. I look forward to seeing similar events locally in the future. Well done to the Playday team and the local volunteers!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Opening Indian Affair in Hounslow

I was delighted to be asked to attend the recent opening of the Indian Affair restaurant in Hounslow which is under new management.

Restaurants like Indian Affair are an important part of our economy and community.

I received a very warm welcome at the opening of the Indian Affair and certainly enjoyed the food that I tried. I look forward to returning in the near future to sample more of the delights from the menu. All the best to the team there in their new venture!

Monday, 14 June 2010

My Maiden Speech

Making a maiden speech is a landmark for any new Member of Parliament. I did mine on Thursday last week in the Chamber during the Poverty debate. Do have a listen and hear my summary of the constituency and what I would like to do for local residents.

move timer to 06:02:50

Saturday, 5 June 2010

My First Surgeries

Yesterday was my first surgery as the local Member of Parliament. It was a packed schedule in Hounslow Community Hall, with lots of residents wanting to meet with me to discuss their issues. I followed this up with another surgery today in Chiswick Town Hall. I listened to a range of issues - all of which were really important to each person.

This is a major part of what being a Member of Parliament is about. Trying to help local people with their specific concerns and to improve their lives on an individual level.

I will follow up with all these issues when I am back in the House of Commons on Monday as it is important to get a response back to people as quickly as possible. I always try and put myself in their shoes...."if this was the issue affecting me, how would I feel?". At the moment, whilst we still don't have an office, it may not be possible to get back to residents as quickly as I would like, but I will make every effort to do so.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

An Election Won....

Election day has been and gone..!

I would like to personally thank all those (20,022 people) who voted for me on Thursday. You have put your trust in me as your Member of Parliament and I appreciate your support.

The residents of Chiswick, Brentford, Isleworth, Osterley and Hounslow have voted for change and a new start. I will work tirelessly for everyone in this constituency and do all I can to bring real change that improves life here for us all.

My heartfelt thanks to you all and I look forward to working with you in the years ahead.

PS Thanks to my amazing team who worked so hard to get the right result.
Photo 1: Mary with her Campaign Director, Barbara Reid
Photo 2: Mary with her sister Liz at the Count just after results had been announced

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

William Hague meets Chiswick residents

I was delighted that William Hague, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, spent his Bank Holiday Monday meeting with us, meeting people in Chiswick. He walked the length of the High Road, speaking to local residents.

His message was clear. If residents want a change from Gordon Brown and this tired Labour government, it can only be achieved by voting Conservative at the General Election.

A crowd of local residents gathered at Sir William Hogarth’s statue, and William Hague took to his soapbox to tell everyone listening that only the Conservative Party can deliver the change that is needed for the country. He also encouraged everyone to vote for me!

Every vote counts in this General Election as it is a tight contest between Labour and Conservative. Only by voting Conservative on Thursday will you get a new government that will start to rebuild this country on Friday. A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for five more years of Gordon Brown.

Please vote for change.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Chiswick, Brentford, Isleworth, Osterley and Hounslow need change!

With only a few days to go, I wanted to give you a few reasons for why I would like you to vote Conservative on May 6th.

Reason No 1

The Labour government and Gordon Brown have backed a Third Runway all the way. Labour still does. So, returning a Labour government or a Labour-led coalition keeps a Third Runway high on the government agenda. Only a Conservative government will stop the Third Runway and introduce a better transport policy - not just for this constituency but also for London and the UK.

If you want a local candidate who will support local residents on this issue and stop the third runway, then vote for me.

And if you want to know more about our policies in this area click here:

Other reasons to follow!

Thursday, 29 April 2010

The first hustings meeting took place in Brentford last week. I thought it was a good session with some great questions from the floor.

Unfortunately Ann Keen, my Labour opponent, was not able to be there, which was very disappointing. I was looking forward to the opportunity of debating with her. These public meetings are good for democracy and allow local residents to get involved in the political process. It is important though, that all those invited make every effort to be there.

Thanks to Brentford Chamber of Commerce and others who organised the evening.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

St George's Day Celebrations at Brentford FC

I was delighted to be invited to join in the St George's Day celebrations at Brentford FC on Saturday 24th April, which were aptly sponsored by St George PLC - I even wore a red jacket in honour of the occasion and to show my support of The Bees! The sun shone for what was a fabulous family day out with face painting, balloons, art projects and of course the match between Brentford FC and Yeovil Town to entertain all.

The Bees fought back from a goal down to maintain their impressive unbeaten run, with Sam Saunders scoring his first goal for the club and picking up the Man of the Match award in the process.

It was a great day out and I am very happy to see Brentford FC in such an impressive position in the League after their promotion from League 2 last year.

I look forward to working with everyone at the Club, if I am elected as MP, to build for the future and the new stadium at Lionel Road.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Cameron in the Constituency

It was a great pleasure to welcome David Cameron to the constituency on Monday.

We had a great time being shown around the Fuller’s brewery – one of the constituency’s best known employers and most iconic landmarks.

David also spent time taking questions from staff and talked about how Labour has failed both employers and employees. Under Labour, the state has got too big and the private sector – the wealth creater – has got too small.

When Labour came to power, state debt as a percentage of GDP was just over 40% – but it is now over 53% and STILL growing. The recession simply made things worse, as the country is now saddled with debt which costs more in interest than the education budget. Labour’s plans to tax jobs by increasing the rate of National Insurance contributions rather than making the billions in efficiency savings they admit they could make prove they don’t understand (or care) about the needs of employers. Rather than tackle waste, Labour simply put up taxes instead and go into more debt.

Our message is clear. A Conservative Government will not make it more expensive to employ people, will not increase the cost of National Insurance and will make it easier for employers to employ new staff. We will tackle unemployment - not by politically manipulating figures or through centralised Government schemes, but by setting free businessess and small firms to create new jobs.

Business simply cannot afford Labour’s job tax – and only the Conservatives will protect the interest of the business community, enabling them to create wealth, jobs and prosperity for all.

The NHS – don’t believe Labour’s spin!

It has been a very busy first few days of the election. As well as canvassing and delivering, on Saturday ‘Team Macleod’ ran a street stall talking about the NHS - which David Cameron has made his ‘number one priority’.

Voters are naturally interested in what we have to say about the NHS – afterall, the vast majority of people depend upon it for their healthcare. Well, despite Labour’s lies and scare tactics, our manifesto commitment is clear – a Conservative Government will invest even more money in the NHS, improve front line services by cutting waste and bureacracy, empower patients by giving them more say over where and when they get treated and set free clinicians to make decisions based on clinical need – not political expediency. We will be challenging the targets' culture and through a £300 million fund, ensure that those suffering from cancer yet denied life-saving drugs are given the treatment they need!

We had some great conversations with people, and one lady – a life-long Labour voter who works in the NHS as a paramedic – told us why she was going to vote Conservative on May 6th. She was fed up with paperwork getting in the way of treating her patients, fed up with her workload being dictated by political targets rather than clinical need, and fed up with the waste and inneficiency she sees at work every day.
The Labour Party like to think that the NHS is their natural territory – but after 13 years of failure, waste and political meddling, it is only the Conservative Party which has the energy and ideas to make the NHS work better for the people of this country.

Monday, 12 April 2010

On the Campaign Trail

The first week of the election campaign has gone. It started on Tuesday, attending the David Cameron's campaign launch at County Hall and since then we have been at tube stations, train stations and on the streets to meet local residents.

The next four weeks will be the chance for each politician to put their manifesto to the British people. We do not know what the result will be ...but people will have their say at the ballot box.

This is your opportunity to vote for change. Change the Economy, change Society and change Politics. Your vote matters, now more than ever. Your vote can change the local Member of Parliament and can also change the government of this country.

Photo: with supporters outsideTurnham Green tube station

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

We now get the chance to VOTE FOR CHANGE

So, we're off.
On May 6th, the voters of Chiswick, Brentford, Isleworth, Osterley and Hounslow will get the chance to choose their Member of Parliament.

I can offer ten good reasons why it is time for change:

1. A Conservative government will say NO to a Third Runway.

2. We will fight crime and control immigration.

3. We will back the NHS

4. We will tackle poverty and support business

5. We will change politics and rebuild trust

6. We will keep council taxes low

7. We will improve safety

8. We will cut graffitti and improve the environment

9. We will increase recycling

10. We will introduce a new free, non-selective Academy school in the borough


Photo: Mary at David Cameron's campaign launch today in Westminster

At the Boat Race in Chiswick

The Boat Race is always a great day and this year was no exception.

There was an excellent atmosphere at Chiswick Pier, as Oxford and Cambridge battled it out on the Thames, cheered on by locals. Thanks to the residents who offered me a glass of wine as I passed with a mass of blue balloons!

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Local Issues by Candidates

ChiswickLife TV asked Ann Keen, Andrew Dakkers and I to come into their studios in Chiswick and answer some questions about our policies. The interviews with Andrew and I are now available on their site:

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Brentford School for Girls

London Mayor Boris Johnson visited the constituency again yesterday. He did a Question & Answer session with pupils at Brentford Girls School, yesterday, which I had the pleasure to be at along with members of Housnlow council.

It was a typical energetic performance from Boris, who answered a bag full of questions from the smart, well behaved girls at the school: the Olympics, food, cycling, trains, buses, walking and crime all came up. My only surprise, given last week’s High Court decision, was that there were no questions on Heathrow!

Education is a key policy area for a potential Conservative administration so if you want more details see here: http://www.conservatives.com/Policy/Where_we_stand/Schools.aspx

Monday, 29 March 2010

A victory on Heathrow

Congratulations to everyone involved in the campaign to stop the third runway at Heathrow. Friday's decision at the High Court shows clearly that Labour's transport policy is now in tatters. The decision is one I welcome as I have been part of the team fighting against a third runway for the last three years.

Labour should stop and listen to local people. The majority of residents are against the third runway and so they should take account of what they say. Within hours, transport secretary, Lord Adonis, was quoted by the BBC saying "Today's judgement marks no change whatsoever in the policy on Heathrow." This government has clearly been in power too long. It has lost touch with the electorate.

As long as Labour remain in power, a third runway remains a real threat. A vote for Ann Keen is a vote for a third runway.


If you haven't read details of the decision yesterday, this article from the Independent covers it well. In the picture, you'll also see Barbara Reid, a local Conservative Councillor, on the far right waving the judgement papers along with Justine Greening MP.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

An Empty Budget

It was incredible this week that the Chancellor announced such a weak and empty budget.

With all the problems that we have right now as a country, there was no sign in this budget of a new vision to boost our economy. We were the last economy out of the recession and we are now facing real issues. The Government is constantly borrowing more money ...but you do not build an economy through continual borrowing. The budget showed that Labour have no plans for how to get us out of this huge deficit problem and what needs to be done to support businesses going forward.

What we need right now is strong leadership and a strong vision. The only Party offering this is the Conservatives under David Cameron.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Nick Hurd MP on Charities and Volunteering

Nick Hurd MP, Shadow Minister for Charities and Volunteering, visited us in Chiswick this week to talk to us about the General Election and about the need for change. He emphasised the Conservative Party's commitment to saying 'no' to a third runway.

Polls are not looking great right now, so there is still a lot of work to do if we want to avoid a hung Parliament. Every vote will count in the next General Election. It will be a vote for change.

Photo: Mary with Nick Hurd MP

Thursday, 11 March 2010

The Iron Lady in Chiswick

A crowd of local residents gathered in Chiswick on Saturday to meet Baroness Thatcher. I invited Lady Thatcher and Gerald Howarth MP, the Shadow Minister for Defence (who is also a local resident) to meet people at The Station House in Chiswick.

Lady T is an amazing woman who, in her time as Prime Minister, truly changed and shaped the world. She had courage, determination, a real vision and an inner strength to make difficult decisions.

Naturally, not everyone agreed with everything she did when she was Prime Minister, but I believe she was deeply respected as someone who believed strongly in the United Kingdom, stood up for our country, did what she thought was right and had a profound impact on the world.

We need more people in politics who, like her, speak their mind, who are focused on doing the right things for the people of this country and create a lasting legacy for future generations to come.

If I am given the honour after the next General Election, of being a Member of Parliament, my aim will be to also create a lasting legacy – one of a stronger community, where there is less poverty, more aspiration and hope, where people believe anything is possible, no matter who they are or where they come from.

Photo: Mary and Lady Thatcher in The Station House

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

A vote for Keen is a vote for Heathrow

Starting today, the Labour Government’s plans to expand Heathrow stands on trial. A coalition of local authorities and other opponents of this potentially disastrous policy have taken the Government to the High Court.

Put simply, their case is that the consultation on Heathrow expansion was flawed and that the creation of a third runway is at odds with climate change targets.

Local Conservatives and I have been helping in this fight for a long time now with many others. It is clear to me that the majority of local residents don’t want the third runway and I know it will only lead to more noise, pollution, congestion and environmental damage.

A third runway can only mean a lower standard of living for too many local people and I am against it.

So I am backing the campaigners in court today in their efforts to stop this potentially disastrous policy.

I’d urge locals to remember that a vote for Ann Keen is a vote for a Third Runway. A vote for the Conservatives will stop a third runway.

Barbara Reid, local conservative councillor, has been a long and fervent campaigner against Heathrow. Here's a short film of her and I on the issue.


Friday, 12 February 2010

Let's be more transparent

Billions are being wasted each year on bureaucracy and failed projects in government. It is about time something was done about this. We need change so that tax-payers money is used more effectively. I believe we should decentralise, be more accountable and transparent, to reduce dramatically the cost of government.

A Conservative government has promised to:
- put online all national government spending over £25,000
- put online the salaries and expenses of the 35,000 most senior civil servants
- abolish any quangos that do not perform a technical function or act independently
- open up government data and publish datasets in full and online
- not start any ICT projects without checking lower cost options

This is a start and will make an immediate difference.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Should MPs be put on trial?

Three Labour MPs and a Conservative member of the House of Lords are to be prosecuted for their expenses. The Conservatives have already withdrawn the whip from Lord Hanningfield after he was charged with false accounting over his expenses.

It is incredible that the three Labour MPs are trying to hide behind 'parliamentary priviledge' to avoid prosecution. It is a complete abuse of power.

If Gordon Brown is so keen to reform Parliament, then why does he not come out and insist that they must face court? It is so important to resolve this expenses issue as soon as possible or the public will never trust politicians again.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Funding the Campaign

I was interviewed by Channel 4 in Chiswick today about how we fund our campaign. Not included in the final film footage were some key points:

1. The Conservative Party is funded by many donors, not just Lord Ashcroft.
2. The election campaign locally is funded by a range of individual donors, as well as receiving some financial support from Conservative HQ.
3. My Labour opponent's campaign is funded by the £10,000 taxpayer-funded Communications Allowance. The Labour Party is also sponsored by the Unions, including the Transport and General Workers Union.

Fighting a 3rd Runway

If you're interested in taking steps against a 3rd runway at Heathrow, Cllr Barbara Reid, a Hounslow Councillor and long term campaigner against Heathrow expansion, explains what local Conservatives have been doing and how you can get involved.
Heathrow expansion is a critical issue nationally and locally, and so I have pledged my support to put a stop to the 3rd runway.

See Barbara here:

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

William Hague on Brentford and Hounslow

Last week, Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague visited Brentford to give a talk on local issues. He outlined Conservative policy on Heathrow and other issues such as the economy.

To hear him talk see below.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Willliam Hague speaks out against a 3rd Runway

Rt Hon William Hague MP, Shadow Foreign Secretary, visited the constituency this week.

He condemned Labour for its support of a third runway at Heathrow and restated the Conservative Party's opposition to it. He said that a fourth Labour term would mean a third runway and Labour will look for ways to expand Heathrow.

Just like him and so many others in the constituency, I’m opposed to plans for a third runway which will damage the lives of millions with noise, pollution and congestion, and will harm the environment. If you are against a third runway, then please vote Conservative at the next election...as this is the only way to stop it happening. I will continue the fight for you.

Photo: Cllr Mark Bowen (candidate Feltham & Heston, Rt Hon William Hague MP, Mary Macleod

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

A New Year - 2010

A belated Happy New Year to you all!

Where have I been since the 1st January, you may ask? Well...between work and the campaign, it has been a very busy start to 2010 and I have hardly had a moment to spare to keep my blog updated. I hope to do better in the forthcoming weeks!

I want this to be a year for change politically and locally in our communities. We need change to get the country back on its feet again...to allow people to be responsible and be able to aspire. We need a united team leading this country. I hope when the General Election comes, that it will be the Conservative Party that will take the helm and take Britain forward to a brighter and stronger future.

2010 may also be a year of change for me personally. You, the voter, can determine that! Time will tell...

I do hope that 2010 brings to you good health, much happiness and a belief in a better tomorrow.