Greg Hands MP looks back on 2023 – what a great year!
February 5, 2024
As this is my first column for FulhamSW6.com of 2024, I wanted to wish you a happy New Year!
The arrival of the New Year is a time for optimism, and I am excited for the year ahead. I will continue working hard for all Chelsea and Fulham residents and I look forward to further improving our fantastic local area.
2024 is set to be an important year. It is likely that it will bring the next General Election so please do make sure your vote counts! Whilst looking ahead, I would like to take a moment to reflect on 2023. We witnessed history in May with the Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla at Westminster Abbey, which I was honoured to attend, as well as many fantastic local street parties.
Over the past year I have hosted and attended hundreds of local visits, events and meetings across Chelsea and Fulham, and I have helped thousands of residents, local organisations, and businesses with their cases, enquires and questions on both local and national topics. I enjoy meeting residents on the doorstep and have had the pleasure of seeing many familiar and new faces over the course of 2023.
Hearing residents’ concerns and priorities is so important for me. This is a key reason why I hold public meetings like my Crime Summits. They give residents the opportunity to raise their concerns about crime directly with the Metropolitan Police and local representatives. At my Crime Summit in November, it was good to update residents that there are more police officers in England and Wales than ever before, with the total number of officers in London up to 36,418, which is also a record high. The Government has delivered on its 2019 manifesto commitment to recruit 20,000 additional police officers. Keep an eye out for future public meetings!
The past year has been filled with exciting successes, such as saving The Brunswick Club from the Labour-run London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham’s (LBHF) funding cuts. Together with local Conservative Councillors, I campaigned to have vital funding re-instated, and I launched a petition, which a huge number of residents – 2,837- signed! Our local action did not go unnoticed. LBHF quickly u-turned and cancelled the threatened cuts and a ‘new’ funding package was promptly announced. Then in September, it was announced that funding was officially re-instated. Together, we achieved a fantastic result!
Another highlight has been working hard to retain a Post Office in the North End Road vicinity. I launched a petition, which was signed by 1,488 residents and I presented this to the Post Office last year. My action does not stop there; I have met Post Office Ltd many times, written to Lidl Uk, Lidl HQ in Germany, met Minister Hollinrake and kept residents updated with developments. I have also been in communication with the Post Office throughout. I will continue to work with the Post Office to ensure a Post Office returns.
I have also been supporting residents and businesses impacted by transport chaos caused by local Labour-run councils. Since the introduction of the controversial SW6 Traffic Schemes by LBHF, I have been contacted by countless residents and businesses about their negative impact on the local area. Therefore, I surveyed residents on the SW6 Traffic Schemes and over 3,800 residents across Chelsea and Fulham have responded to the survey, with every part of the constituency being opposed to the schemes.
I have been urging the council to conduct a full Fulham-wide traffic management study alongside a Fulham-wide consultation to end this divisive and piecemeal approach that has turned neighbour against neighbour.
LBHF have followed my lead and in 2024 have finally decided to consult residents on their SW6 traffic schemes. However, I am concerned, as their survey questions were either loaded or verging on ridiculous! The survey closed on Friday, 2 February. I continue to follow very closely for developments.
Other achievements have been securing funding for the floor-by-floor refurbishment of Charing Cross Hospital, fighting to save the King’s Road M&S and campaigning for improved pedestrian safety at Battersea Bridge junction, which we will see with the introduction of new straight-across push button pedestrian crossings on Cheyne Walk, Chelsea Embankment and Beaufort Street and fighting for our local buses!
I have also continued to campaign on issues that I know are important to our community, including calling for LBHF to fully re-open Hammersmith Bridge to cars, buses and emergency vehicles; raising the need for step-free access at Parsons Green and Putney Bridge Tube Stations with Transport for London; leading the fight against Heathrow expansion and night flights, and increasing District Line capacity.
I have a track record of delivery and promise of more in 2024! I look forward to hearing from you over the next year or seeing you across Chelsea and Fulham.
The Rt Hon Greg Hands MP
Member of Parliament for Chelsea & Fulham
You can follow Greg on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching for @GregHands
Value Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More
This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.
Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.
We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.
However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.
We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.
A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.
One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.
If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.
For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you'd like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.