Our local community has been 'London's larder' for a century - with Borough Market having been on the south side of London Bridge for a thousand years and with biscuit, jam, canned foods and more all produced locally for generations. Now local breweries, a gin distillery and new markets are popping up from Maltby Street to Mercato Metropolitano on Newington Causeway. Our area remains the beating heart of the food and drink sector - providing thousands of jobs as well as first rate leisure and entertainment venues.
On the 21st November I am holding a Bermondsey Food and Drink reception in Parliament to celebrate our local thriving industry. I hope it will be a great opportunity for MPs, peers and anyone working in Westminster to see some of our fine local products like ales from Southwark Brewery and souvlaki from Maltby & Greek. If you'd like to host a stall or are a constituent interesting in attending then please let me know by emailing me at: Neil.Coyle.MP@parliament.uk
Sadly, however, it’s not all celebrations. The referendum result and Brexit negotiations are providing significant uncertainty. Yesterday, Environment Secretary (and one of the Leave campaigners) Andrea Leadsom MP, had an opportunity in front of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee to clear up this uncertainty and present the Government strategy for this crucial sector.
Unsurprisingly, and in a similar fashion to other Brexit and Leave Ministers in this shambolic Tory Government, she failed to address any concerns or outline any plan. 'Taking back control' was an empty slogan from the empty heads of the Leave campaign. The loss of control experienced by local businesses trying to grapple with Brexit uncertainty is considerably damaging and needs urgently addressing.
By failing to present any coherent thinking to the committee, the Environment Secretary has contributed to further instability for the food and drink sector which generates over £77 billion every year and employs millions across the country. The Government needs to act fast to reassure the industry that jobs will be safe, trade will not become prohibitively expensive and that consumers won’t be hit with higher prices for life's essentials.
Our local community has been 'London's larder' for a century - with Borough Market having been on the south side of London Bridge for a thousand years and with biscuit,...
Hundreds of people have been in touch to support the proposed bridge linking Rotherhithe with Canary Wharf for pedestrians and cyclists.
I've met with many local people on this issue, have surveyed local views (by post and online), met the architect designers, the new Mayor's team, the Sustrans supporters, the council, written to the Treasury, raised it with Transport for London, as well as sought the views from developers on the bridge. The response has been almost overwhelmingly positive.
I am delighted to tell you that London’s new Labour Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has today announced that the bridge will be going ahead - to be delivered by 2020. I hope you'll agree that this is great news! Sadiq's statement is online at: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/mayor-commits-to-east-london-crossings
This bridge will ease the overcrowding on the Jubilee Line and local buses, as well as providing a cheaper, more environmentally friendly link to work and leisure opportunities in Canary Wharf.
I have been pushing hard for this bridge to be prioritised, alongside local campaigners and the Rotherhithe Labour team in particular. It is fantastic to see the collective, team effort pay off and work in partnership with a Labour Mayor to help deliver this commitment today.
Please do let me know if you have any thoughts on this news, or if there is anything else I can help with locally. My transport survey, which includes this bridge, can still be completed online here: http://www.boslabour.org.uk/transport_survey_2016
Hundreds of people have been in touch to support the proposed bridge linking Rotherhithe with Canary Wharf for pedestrians and cyclists. I've met with many local people on this issue,...
Yesterday I met with Val Shawcross about transport issues in the constituency. Val was the Southwark and Lambeth Labour London Assembly Member before standing down in May and is familiar with local issues and well known to many local people. She’s now Deputy Mayor of London for Transport and a very useful ally in City Hall.
We discussed a whole range of transport issues affecting local residents – including the good work already done by Val and London’s new Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan in introducing the new ‘hopper’ bus fare providing people with cheaper travel and opening the night tube. We also discussed a number of other local issues, including:
1. A new pedestrian and cycle bridge linking Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf. This bridge could be a fantastic, more environmentally friendly addition to our transport infrastructure as well as reducing pressure on severely overcrowded buses and tubes. It will also better link Rotherhithe to work and leisure opportunities in Canary Wharf.
I’ve been consulting local people on the bridge and keen to support it being brought forward. I was extremely pleased to hear Val confirm it is at the top of Sadiq’s priorities and more news should be out soon.
2. Extending the cycle hire scheme. I highlighted that the Santander cycles currently don’t reach many local people in Rotherhithe and that the extension eastwards of the hire system would be welcome. Many constituents have raised this issue – and Val agreed that it would make a sensible corollary to the new cycle and pedestrian bridge on the peninsula. No guarantees at this stage but watch that space and help me campaign on the issue please!
3. Tower Bridge closure and local road congestion. Tower Bridge is due to close completely from Saturday 1st October 2016 to Friday 30th December 2016. I raised concerns that this would increase pressure on already very heavily congested local roads – and further increase delays on local bus routes especially. I’ve had complaints about Great Dover Street, Harper Road, Borough High Street, Jamaica Road, Long Lane and Tooley Street all being affected already by other transport diversions in particular.
Sadly, Transport for London have claimed the impact is ‘negligible’. This seems patently untrue. But the City of London Corporation have also suggested the maintenance work on the bridge has been delayed a long time and that the works are now unavoidable and essential. I highlighted the buses dumping passengers at the Bricklayers and ending other routes early due to the existing delays and Val agreed to examine this specific issue to try and mitigate problems for local bus passengers.
If you have concerns or thoughts on these and other transport issues locally, please let me know through my local survey: http://www.boslabour.org.uk/transport_survey_2016 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Southwark Council’s scrutiny committee is also looking at local transport issues and their survey is also online at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/7CSGMYT
Yesterday I met with Val Shawcross about transport issues in the constituency. Val was the Southwark and Lambeth Labour London Assembly Member before standing down in May and is familiar...