Tuesday, 21 December 2010
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.
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 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
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
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
Tuesday, 12 October 2010
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
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:
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
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.
Wednesday, 25 August 2010
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
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
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
move timer to 06:02:50
Saturday, 5 June 2010
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
Election day has been and gone..!
Wednesday, 5 May 2010
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
Reason No 1The 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
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
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
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.
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
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
On May 6th, the voters of Chiswick, Brentford, Isleworth, Osterley and Hounslow will get the chance to choose their Member of Parliament.
VOTE FOR CHANGE!
Photo: Mary at David Cameron's campaign launch today in Westminster
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
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
Monday, 29 March 2010
Saturday, 27 March 2010
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
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
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.