The new Parliamentary term has seen proceedings return to normal. It has been a pleasure to be back in the chamber, debating on the issues close to the heart of constituents.
Ever since I was first elected, I have been working to ensure our planning system delivers for all communities. I know that many constituents have raised their concerns with the sort of reforms to the planning system which had been previously floated, many of which I share.
We need to ensure that the planning system can not only deliver on the housing provisions we need going forward, but also protects the makeup and character of local communities. Local planners are often best placed to decide on the types of houses being built in their communities and the proposed development on the former Master Brewer site should serve as an example of how national interventions can force unsuitable developments onto an area. I am very pleased that the new Housing Secretary is going to be pausing this work within his department and will be taking the time to listen to the concerns myself and other colleagues have made.
Locally, it has been great to get out and about and to visit businesses who are continuing to enjoy a full reopening with confidence after the uncertainty of the past 18 months. To celebrate British Beauty Week, I paid a visit to Aanana Health and Beauty in Pinner, who have been welcoming back their loyal customer base over the past few months. As a key contributor to both our local and national economy, it is great to hear that beauty businesses like Aanana are thriving, despite the challenges of the pandemic.
More positive news came when I visited the Queen’s Head in Pinner to mark the first National Hospitality Day. Sean and the team are busy expanding their business, while also supporting both their current staff and taking on new staff in order to meet demand. I have also been continuing to hold coffee shops surgeries in our wonderful independent cafes, including Café Sombra in Pinner and TAG Drinks in Eastcote.
It was also a pleasure to visit Ducks Pond Market recently, where I met with the Hillingdon Recycling Team promoting the improved recycling to residents, which I know is an important issue for many.
Lastly, I hope that we are able to continue to move through the next few months in a positive direction. The Government recently outlined its Covid Winter Plan and I am hopeful that with the continued success of our vaccine rollout, and now the booster rollout, we will be able to proceed with ‘Plan A’ over the coming months.
First published: My Local News, October 2021