This week started early with a visit to the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead. Readers will know that I previously visited the hospital with Health Minister, Anna Soubry (see here for the press release). This was a follow up meeting to discuss issues raised, namely the upsurge in people attending A&E and the impact upon elderly patients being referred from care homes. There is room for improvement here and this is something I will be keeping an eye on on behalf of Barnet residents. Following the meeting at the Royal Free, I headed down to Westminster to meet Equalites Minister, Helen Grant, to spousal veto rules on the issuance of gender recognition certificates, along with Trans Media Watch. Later that day I met with the excellent Stourbridge MP, Margot James, who visited my Finchley Office for a supper club (pictured below)
Tuesday saw me chair an event hosted by the Henry Jackson Society regarding Putin’s Russia. Fiona Hill, who is an expert in this area, spoke in detail about President Putin and the colossal impact he has had on Modern Russia. She has published on this subject and on Modern Russia more broadly. Her books are well worth a read for anyone interested in this area. That evening, I hosted a reception on the Commons for supporters of Equal Marriage. It has been an interesting and challenging time so it was nice to commemorate the hard work of many people who have contributed to the Bill’s passing through Parliament.
I finally had my first session on the Work and Pensions Select Committee on Wednesday Morning. We discussed the role of JobCentre Plus in the context of welfare reforms. This was in advance of Prime Minister’s Questions where David Cameron was largely well received on the economy in particular.
On Thursday I had one of my regular meetings with the leader of Barnet Council to discuss local issues. I then had a briefing on the Brent Cross/ Cricklewood Redevelopment. The plans have now been made public and further information can be found on their website (http://www.brentcrosscricklewood.com/exhibitions.php). I would urge local residents to put forward their views at one of the exhibitions. This is an exciting scheme and I look forward to it developing in the future.