This week has felt very much like the ‘back to school on Monday’ week. I have been in Parliament working on constituency matters and issues for the end of recess next week, including Home Office Questions and an important private Members Bill on protecting workplace rights in light of the EU Referendum.
Last week, Vic and I and our children visited Brendan Cox (Jo’s husband) and their children and spent the day with them canoeing and swimming in the Wye River. We were down in the Forest of Dean, which was calm and peaceful.
The next few weeks, by contrast, will be very busy!
As you may have seen from my letter in this week’s CNJ, in my first year I held a number of ‘Meet Your MP’ events around the constituency, where local residents could raise any issue with me. These were hugely successful, enjoyable and well attended.
I want to continue in the same vein this year and will be holding a public meetings every month on different policy issues that are of particular concern to the local community. The first of these will be on air pollution and the local environment and will be held at Netley Primary School (74 Stanhope Street, NW1 3EX) from 4-6pm on Thursday 8th September.
I will also be holding public meetings in October about the EU and on the NHS in November. Further details will be published in the CNJ and on my website (www.keirstarmer.com)
The meeting on air quality is really important: please come if you can. I wrote a column setting out the background in the Ham and High.
The air quality issue ties in well with local concerns about HS2. As you may know, next week, the House of Lords Select Committee will start hearing the Camden petitions. I will be presenting on Wednesday from 10am-1pm with Robert Latham, followed by Dorothea Hackman on air quality at 2pm. So this week, I have been drafting the submission on the need for an independent adjudicator.
In a nutshell my argument is this: Given the scale, extent and duration of the HS2 construction works in Euston, it is vital that all measures intended to protect local communities and businesses are capable of simple, practical and effective enforcement by those whose lives, livelihoods and environment are most affected. Nothing short of an independent regulatory body charged with reviewing and monitoring progress during the construction, with power to enforce the assurances, Environmental Minimum Requirements, Code and other commitments, will suffice.
The following week, Frank Dobson will present for the Drummond Street traders. I will report back on progress as we go along.
Meanwhile, there is a March for Europe this Saturday 3rd September which I hope will have lots of support. It sets off from Park Lane at 11am, marching to Parliament Square.
Lots more to discuss next week …