|A busy month...|
|Thursday, 05 February 2009 17:49|
I’d like to begin this entry with an apology. I’m afraid the month of January has been so frantic that I have not managed to make as many entries in this section as I would have liked.
I have been as busy as ever in my job as Minister in Communities and Local Government. Highlights have been taking the Business Rates Supplement Bill through second reading and committee with my good friend and Ministerial colleague John Healey MP. There is still some way to go before this bill becomes an Act of Parliament. However, once passed, this will enable Crossrail to be built in London. You can click HERE to read my speech at the second reading debate in the House of Commons.
I also took part in a number of events to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day. You can find out further details about what I’ve been up to, including seeing some of the speeches I have given over the last month, by clicking HERE which will take you to the DCLG website.
It was good to welcome Minister of State for Health, Ben Bradshaw MP, to St George’s Hospital. Staff demonstrated a pioneering technology in patient care - the Patient Experience Tracker (an electronic hand-held device which surveys patients and logs their experience of the treatment they receive). The PET is part of the Productive Ward scheme, which is improving ward processes and organisation to free up staff to spend longer with patients.
I was pleased to be a key speaker at the launch of Labour Friends of Palestine, with my good friend and neighbour Martin Linton MP. The launch could not have come soon enough. The work Labour Friends of Palestine does is extremely important and will hopefully guide us towards a peaceful resolution to the conflict in the Middle-East in the years to come.
There has been some bad news locally. Broadway Studios, hidden away behind Natwest on Tooting High Street, has been the home to many small businesses and entrepreneurs over the years, supported by the Wandsworth Youth Enterprise Centre (WYEC). Unfortunately as a result of a lack of funds, WYEC have had to close down Broadway Studios and relocate to the Trident Business Centre, on Bickersteth Road in Graveney. Sadly, some of the small businesses have not been able to move and are struggling to stay open without the help that was given to them at Broadway Studios. I have met with WYEC and some of the business owners to try and find a solution to the predicament, but sadly in these difficult times these are not easy to find.
Former Councillor for Tooting ward, Honary Alderman, Bernard Rosewell, died suddenly recently. He was a Councillor for Tooting ward between 1971 and 1998, and served the people of Tooting with a huge commitment and passion. Those of us who knew him will miss him and always remember the contribution he made to the local area.
On Friday I held my annual Warm Front event, which was another great success. Over 100 local residents attended to received advice on maximising pension credits, getting home improvement grants and access to local services and community groups. I had a great afternoon meeting people, talking over their concerns and sharing stories. The recent inclement weather hammered home just how important good insulation and heating is, and it’s great to be able to help residents improve their homes in this way.
Transition Town Tooting goes from strength to strength. On Saturday I joined local residents for the inaugural 'Tooting Earth Talk Walk'. Tooting Transition Town was established last year with the aim of stimulating grass-roots awareness and action towards becoming a sustainable, low energy society and community. The focus of Saturday's walk was a dialogue between different faith and community groups about the responsibility towards the earth and its conservation.
The walk began at Holy Trinity Church with an inspiring talk by Rev. Hugh Grear, and moved on to other faith buildings, such as the local mosques, the khalsa centre, temple and local community groups.
Promoted by Tooting Labour Party on behalf Sadiq Khan and Tooting Labour Party, all of 273 Balham High Road, London, SW17 7BD. Hosted by 34SP.com, 349 Bury Old Road, Manchester, M25 1PY.