Friday, 11 December 2015

Christmas Deliveries

This morning, first thing, I dropped by the Esher and Molesey Royal Mail delivery office. It's an opportunity to see first hand just how busy our local postmen and women get at this time of year.

Mark Peters, the office manager, showed me round, how the systems work, and the kinds of challenges they have to grapple with - from rotweilers to bad handwriting on envelopes. I met a few of his team in the process. Good luck to all our postmen and women at this festive but hectic time!

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Government Consultation on South West Trains

Following its decision to seek a new operator to take over from South West Trains in mid-2017, the government has launched a consultation questionnaire to give local people the chance to have their say on our rail services and make suggestions for improvements.

The questionnaire covers a wide range of issues, from the overall priorities people want to see the new operator address, such as overcrowding, value for money, and reliability of service, to matters such as ticketing, the layout of trains and improvements to specific stations and journeys.

The consultation document can be read here, and the consultation survey completed here (the deadline for responses is 9th February 2016). I would encourage everyone with concerns about overcrowding and the value-for-money of our local rail services to respond and have your say.

I will submit directly to the consultation, and continue to push for action to tackle overcrowding and a fairer financial deal, as I have since becoming the MP for Esher & Walton constituency in 2010. But, the more responses the Department of Transport receives from Elmbridge, the better.

Although train services are of particular importance to Elmbridge, given our proximity to London and the number of people who commute daily for work, the South West Trains network covers a wide area, stretching as far as Portsmouth, Dorset, Somerset and even as far as Exeter and Bristol. Each of these areas will have their own set of priorities for investment and improvement, so it is important that we take this opportunity to make Elmbridge’s voice heard loud and clear.
Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Elmbridge Community Fund comes to Parliament

Last Thursday, I hosted an event at the House of Commons to spread awareness of the Elmbridge Community Fund, a local fund designed to raise funds to provide grants to help local groups and charities supporting pockets of social need in Elmbridge. We were joined by local panelists - including Chair Richard Waller, Wendy Varcoe from the Community Foundation for Surrey, entrepreneur Tony Kelly and Walton Charity's Jackie Lodge - and many others interested in supporting the initiative.

As well as trying to spread the word, we were honoured to have the High Sheriff for Surrey, Elizabeth Kennedy, present our third grant to SAY Youth Club in Cobham (pictured below). From stroke victims, those who have suffered domestic abuse, and groups providing positive activities for youngsters, the Elmbridge Community Fund can shine a light on neighbourhoods in need of a helping hand across our borough.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Small Business Saturday

Today, I joined Sue Towner and a team from the Federation of Small Businesses in Claygate for Small Business Saturday. We started off at Trew Art, pictured below, and toured the parade. Small Busines Saturday is a great opportunity to hear from small businesses (from art galleries to the local butcher), see what's going on along the high street, and promote local retailers. We discussed issues ranging from off-street parking to devolution of business rates, and it was terrific to see the parade going from strength to strength.

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