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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: neil.coyle.mp@parliament.uk

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

Transport with a familiar face

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...

 

Yesterday I hosted the launch of the Migrant Entrepreneurship Report in Parliament. The report was commissioned by the Institute of Directors (IoD) and undertaken by my constituent Rafael Dos Santos, a Brazilian-born entrepreneur, and his team at mi-HUB. The report can be found here and highlights the positive contribution migrant entrepreneurs have made in Britain and recommends how to tackle the challenges other migrant entrepreneurs experience when trying to set up businesses here.

There are around half a million migrant-founded businesses in the UK. Migrant entrepreneurs have created thousands of jobs and at a time of economic uncertainty due to the Brexit vote, we should welcome and recognise the contribution migrant entrepreneurs offer.

Sadly, one survey suggested that only 45% of the public believed that migrant entrepreneurs contributed positively to the UK. All parties must take an active role in changing the tone of the discourse around immigration. It is vital that positive contributions to our economy and society are recognised.

The launch of the report was covered in yesterday’s media and I will continue to work with mi-HUB and the IoD on the issues covered – and hope further entrepreneurs will be welcomed to set up thriving businesses in Southwark in particular. 

Migrant Entrepreneurship Report

  Yesterday I hosted the launch of the Migrant Entrepreneurship Report in Parliament. The report was commissioned by the Institute of Directors (IoD) and undertaken by my constituent Rafael Dos...

On Saturday, I joined members of CAMRA for a tour of pubs around my constituency to highlight the community value of local pubs and the challenges they face. Bermondsey and Old Southwark has many historic pubs which have served as focal points for communities for decades (and in some cases centuries!) and it is vital that their importance is recognised.

The Glad (pictured) was the last pub we visited as part of the tour. It was put at risk by a developer seeking to turn it into flats last year but I was pleased to support the swift work by regulars, other local residents and the council to try and protect this asset. The pub is thriving and is a popular live music venue. I used to live behind the pub, and the night I moved in an excellent Doors tribute band played – an excellent welcome to the area!

However, we need to stay vigilant for the Glad as there is a continued threat to its future, with the lease approaching expiry. The tour began at the China Hall on Lower Road which is similarly at risk and locals are being urged to provide their testimonies as to why they value the asset.

I hope that people across the constituency will keep campaigning for their local pubs.

For more information about Saturday’s pub tour or to find out more about the many different pubs in the area, you can read London SE1’s article here. You can also find out more about CAMRA in south-east London and get involved in their campaigns here.

Glad to help local pubs

On Saturday, I joined members of CAMRA for a tour of pubs around my constituency to highlight the community value of local pubs and the challenges they face. Bermondsey and...

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