As I write this piece at the end of the Summer Recess, I wanted to update constituents on a couple of the local matters which I know many residents have raised with me.
The first of these concerns the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre. In the past I have spoken at great length about the clinical need to move services to a new acute hospital site. While this will mean a slight increase in travel time for the most local patients, the quality of care they will receive at a new site will be greatly improved. I hope I have reassured most constituents who have raised their concerns with me directly, because I continue to believe this offers the best value for patients.
I am very grateful for the recent invite to visit the Cancer Centre and I met the team and representatives from NHS England to hear about their latest plans to re-provide the cancer services to Watford.
NHS England have worked very closely with over 800 stakeholders and have an incredibly strong business case for the move. There is consensus amongst the main NHS bodies responsible including East and North Herts NHS Foundation Trust, UCLH, NW London ICS and NHSE. I am also very conscious that staff are supportive of the change.
I think the case for change is now recognised locally. If this project is successful, then the attention must turn to looking at the future of the Mount Vernon site in the long term.
The second matter that I wished to touch on is the ongoing work in the constituency to build HS2. Over the past couple of weeks, I have received a huge number of emails from constituents who wanted to highlight the upcoming Westminster Hall debate. The vast majority of these constituents have never emailed me before I want to assure you that I shall do my best to attend the debate.
There remain some serious issues with the accountability of HS2 and I know that many residents and landowners continue to feel they are being treated unfairly. I recently met with some local farmers who continually feel the goal posts are being moved by HS2 Ltd and they have to fight for the assurances which have been given to them in the past. The worry is that these cases are not isolated, and I know that colleagues all the way up the line have constituents with exactly the same experiences.
HS2 is going to be with us for many more years and we need to continue to work on improving the way HS2 Ltd go about their engagements with communities and in particular those whose property is being taken from them.
As always I am very happy to help constituents and if there is anyone who would like my support in their dealings with HS2 Ltd then please do get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
First published: My Local News, September 2021