It has been business as usual over the past month, and I am glad to have been out and about in all corners of Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner thanks to a packed constituency diary. This includes a continuation of my regular surgeries and, as ever, I would encourage residents to contact the office if they would like to meet with me to discuss any issues or concerns they may have.
One of my most recent meetings was with the Borough Commander for the West Area, Chief Superintendent Sean Wilson, at Uxbridge Police Station. While there are low levels of crime in the constituency, I know concerns remain about catalytic converter thefts, particularly those of a more violent nature, and drug dealing. Following the meeting, I understand that there are operations on gangs who are behind many of these crimes, which I hope offers some reassurance to residents.
Looking at the bigger picture, post-Covid, it is good to see our local economy continue its recovery and the positive impact working from home also continues to have on our local high streets. Together with that strong sense of community spirit that was so palpable over the pandemic, one positive is that it has encouraged residents to rediscover their local high streets and I know from speaking with business owners in the constituency that they are seeing the benefit of this.
We can agree, I think, that there has been a significant change in the high street economy. This is not necessarily a negative, but instead more reflective of how our high street culture is developing to meet the needs of those it serves. While there are now less retail outlets, there are many more independent cafes and restaurants, which I know are seen as positive assets to our high streets and are enjoyed by residents.
Lastly, I recently met with a group of Ukrainian refugees, who have settled in the constituency, and their hosts. I was interested to learn about their different backgrounds and life in Ukraine and was moved to hear about their experiences of resettling in the UK. It is clear that support from residents has been fantastic but there is also opportunity for further support and I will be writing to Hillingdon and Harrow Councils on how we can facilitate this.
First published: My Local News, July 2022