|Transport code of practice, NHS Bill and citizens advice|
|Friday, 28 April 2006 10:35|
In addition to a busy week spent carrying out
routine parliamentary duties and campaigining around Tooting, there have been a
variety of exciting events in Tooting that I have attended
Tuesday was the first official day of Parliament's return after the short Easter recess. I attended the launch of the Disability Rights Commission: Launch of the Transport Code of Practice (for more information please visit their website. The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 2001 gave the Government power to lift the provisions of the original DDA exempting transport providers from duties under Part 3 of the DDA relating to the provisions of a vehicle. The Government has published regulations to use these powers.
The DRC has published a Supplementary Code to explain what the new duties will mean for operators of various modes of transport and disabled people who face barriers when travelling.
In the afternoon I joined the Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt MP to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the 2nd reading of the NHS Bill that established the NHS under the post-war Attlee Labour government. Please click here for my press release and here for a photo.
On Wednesday I attended the inaugural meeting on the All Party Group on Citizens Advice (the CAB's website is here). I was pleased that my nomination for Chair, Vera Baird QC MP was successful. Margaret Hodge MP, Minister for Work, addressed the meeting. Representatives of CABs around the country summarised some of their concerns around disability and incapacity benefit; medical assessment and decision making; problems with the Personal Capability Assessment as well as other matters. I know from my own experience as MP for Tooting for one year and Councillor for twelve years what a fantastic job the CABs in Wandsworth do despite the savage cuts made by the Tory council over the years.
After Prime Minister's Questions I was a panellist on the Radio 5 Live Simon Mayo show with Tim Yeo MP and Julia Goldsworthy MP.
I also attended a meeting with representatives of the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone's Office and GLA Member Murad Qureshi to discuss underachievement of Muslim London Children in our schools. There are a number of initiatives in the pipeline to address this.
The Public Accounts Committee (of which I am a member) examined Prisoner Diet and Exercise. Although this may seem like a trivial matter when one considers the list of priorities facing our prisons, it is obvious that the diet and exercise regime prisoners endure can have huge implications on a wide range of other issues.
On Thursday morning I attended the re-opening of the British Heart Foundation (BHF) shop on Balham High Road, with the Deputy Mayor Councillor Del Hossain (For more information on the work of the BHF, please visit their website.)BHF shops provide huge income streams to the charity and the role volunteers play is truly awesome. I provided the quote below to the local press:
"This shop has raised more than half a million pounds in sales over the last 5 years. The 10 day refurbishment of the shop means that the shop goes from strength to strength and can continue to sell excellent merchandise at affordable prices and raise funds for such an important and worthy cause. It was fantastic to meet so many local volunteers who do so much for BHF. The British Heart Foundation shop has now become a welcome and permanent feature in Balham. I am pleased to announce that I shall be taking part in the London to Brighton bike ride this year to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation."
In the evening I attended the inaugural event organised by the new Balham and Tooting Community Association (BATCA). The fundraising event was to raise money for the victims of the Asian Earthquake and for local community initiatives.
BATCA was established in January 2006 with the aim of fostering closer relations between all sections of the local community by holding social and welfare functions, supporting the work of industrial stakeholders, dealing with community issues and working together to raise money for international humanitarian causes.
Friday night saw the tragic murder of Hayder Ali and Mohammad Ali in the heart of Tooting. Many readers will know about the horrific incident from media reports. At this early stage it is not worth speculating too much about the incident. I provided the quote below to the local press:
"The events of Friday night are a huge shock to the entire local community.
The night before the fatal stabbings I was with hundreds of local residents
at the town hall celebrating the wonderful atmosphere we have in Tooting.
The mayor was also present at the inaugural Balham and Tooting Community
Association Event. We must not let this one tragic event disrupt all that
is good. My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved family. I would ask
anyone who has any information to please come forward."
I have been working with local residents, community groups and the police. Events are moving very fast and on this particular topic it may not be appropriate to give regular updates via the blog. Local residents are understandably very concerned not just about the serious incident but also reports in the media about the police response. These are some of the issues I continue to raise with the appropriate authorities.
On Sunday London hosted its annual marathon. I would like to congratulate all Tooting residents who completed the course and have helped raise literally thousands of pounds for
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.