With spring having finally sprung, I have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in activities across the constituency, including a litter pick in West Kingsdown and some tree planting in Westerham. More details below.
While on the topic of protecting our green spaces, I was delighted this month to hear that Sevenoaks District Council have turned down the large-scale development which had been proposed on Green Belt land alongside Brittains Lane. Earlier this year, I visited the site and met with local councillors Avril Hunter and Andrew Eyre to see for myself how inappropriate the proposal was. Many worried residents wrote to me, and I was pleased to make representations on their behalf to the council. Green Belt land must not be developed without community consent, and if this application goes to appeal, I will oppose it in the strongest possible terms.
In other local campaigns, I recently posted on Facebook asking for your experience locally of our hospitals – especially in relation to visiting friends and family who have been admitted. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to reply. I read all your comments carefully and last week raised them with Miles Scott, CEO of the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust. Following our meeting I am pleased the Trust have now updated their guidance for visitors in the Emergency Department. Each patient can now be accompanied by one guest, which brings it in line with in-patients who are allowed one visitor at a time. I firmly believe that visitors and family and friends are vital advocates for patients in hospital and I will be speaking to other surrounding Trusts to try to ensure this issue is addressed in all other local hospitals. While I would still like all restrictions to be lifted as soon as possible, this is welcome progress – and I thank the MTW NHS trust for making this change.
Finally, I cannot let this months newsletter pass without acknowledging the wider political context. As I have said before, the events in 10 Downing Street should not have happened. There was, and remains, no excuse for anyone breaking the law. And, I remain completely clear that those who make the rules must not break them. Last week a motion was put to the House of Commons to refer the Prime Minister to the Committee of Privileges to investigate whether he knowingly misled the House. I supported the motion being approved and it will now be for the Committee to determine whether the PM knowingly misled the House of Commons. Please be reassured, I am continuing to listen closely to my constituents’ views on the matter.
My office and I, are continuing to work with families across the constituency, as they support finding homes of Ukrainians. However, if there is anything I can do to support you or your family, please do contact me at email@example.com.
MP for Sevenoaks and Swanley
To see Laura's newsletter in full click here