Opinion: Working to ease Havering’s housing woes
PUBLISHED: 08:00 10 December 2017
My last column set out the ‘housing asks’ I had of the Chancellor ahead of the Budget to help Havering deliver new homes.
Alongside the slashing of stamp duty for first-time buyers, the Budget lifted the Housing Revenue Account cap in high-demand areas to help our council with ambitious housing-delivery plans.
More cash will go towards infrastructure and unlocking brownfield sites, and there will be additional support for those who are homeless or struggling with private rents.
My local Conservative Association and I have been out collecting signatures to oppose the planned closure of Hornchurch Police Station.
I have written personally to him requesting that he looks instead at selling the land behind the station while retaining the premises, an idea suggested to me by local officers.
I also highlighted my concern about poor police response times from the tri-borough reorganisation.
To celebrate Small Business Saturday, I brought Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, to Hornchurch High Street to see the investment he made there when he was Mayor.
Small Business Saturday UK is a grassroots campaign encouraging people to ‘shop local’ and we spoke to some of the wonderful businesses that give life to the town centre including Danielle Everitt’s Final Checks salon, and Godfrey’s Bakery.
I have made it a priority to get to know local schools quickly, and last week brought Education Secretary, Justine Greening, to meet those teams so they could share their views on post-16 education, funding and social mobility, particularly among white working-class boys.
Together we visited Broadford Primary in Harold Hill and Scotts Primary, Hornchurch, to see some of the fantastic work being done in our primary schools.
Since this is my final 2017 column, I would like to wish you a wonderful Christmas and a New Year that brings happiness to you and your family.
I should also like to thank constituents for the warm welcome they have given me as the new MP for Hornchurch & Upminster - I look forward to meeting more of you in 2018!