This month, there has been a major development in Harrow regarding the Canons Park station planning application, with the news that the campaign against redevelopment of the car park is far from over as the developers have appealed the planning committee’s initial rejection.
My office has also been extremely busy dealing with the situation in Afghanistan which has developed rapidly over recent weeks. We have been working alongside the Home Office as it works to set up its resettlement schemes to get vulnerable people out of the country.
Canons Park Station Car Park
We have recently learnt that the developers and TFL have lodged an appeal regarding the Planning Committee’s refusal of the proposed Canons Park Station development. This is despite the fact that the plans would cause huge disruption to the local area, with major concerns about the impact on traffic and local amenities, as well as being completely out of step with the existing character of the area.
Your local Conservative Councillors, who have been fighting against these proposals from the beginning, will be giving evidence at the appeal hearing. In order to support their objections, I urge all constituents to make their objections heard known in advance. You can do this on the Council’s website at the following weblink, which also has details of the appeal: https://planningsearch.harrow.gov.uk/planning/search-applications#VIEW?RefType=GFPlanning&KeyNo=969476
Another way you can give your voice in opposition to the proposals is by signing the petition on my website if you have not done so already: https://www.bobblackman.org.uk/campaigns/save-stanmore-station-car-park-sign-my-petition
Over recent weeks, the situation in Afghanistan has become extremely serious and I am sure everyone will have seen the images on the news of the work by British officials and armed forces to evacuate vulnerable people. The Government have stated that the UK will continue to stand by the Afghan people – ensuring safe passage for those who wish to leave, humanitarian access and human rights protections.
The first priority in Afghanistan remains ensuring that all those who wish to leave Afghanistan can do so safely. The Government have been clear that the Taliban must adhere to their own stated commitments to ensure safe passage, beyond 31 August. I am pleased the Government have announced that Afghans coming to the UK who worked closely with the British military and in Afghanistan, and risked their lives in doing so, will rightly receive indefinite leave to remain.
With the situation in Afghanistan developing all the time, my office has been very busy with about 600 constituents contacting me about the plight of relatives in the country, with approximately 500 pending referral to the Home Office resettlement scheme.
Information regarding the Afghan citizen's resettlement scheme will be posted on the Government's website when it opens. This will be posted on the following page, which I would strongly urge people to check regularly should they or their relatives wish to use it: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/afghan-citizens-resettlement-scheme
The latest advice and support for British and non-British nationals in Afghanistan can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/support-for-british-and-non-british-nationals-in-afghanistan
Following July’s easing of restrictions and the end of the roadmap out of lockdown, I am aware that many will have been affected by the so-called ‘pingdemic’ in recent weeks. These rules on isolation changed on 16th August, meaning fully vaccinated people no longer need to isolate after close contact with someone who has Covid-19, fortunately making it easier for businesses and individuals to carry on as normal, with greatly reduced disruption. Those not fully vaccinated will still need to isolate, however, if they have been in contact with someone who tests positive, while everyone will still have to isolate if they themselves test positive.
As ever, there has been a terrific uptake of vaccines both locally and across the country. The vaccination programme has now been extended to 16 and 17 year olds to build up protection even further. If you haven’t had both your jabs, you can book them now at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/
As previously planned, the Government will undertake its review assessing the country’s preparedness for autumn and winter in September. This will take into consideration whether to continue as we are or strengthen public and business guidance as we approach the winter.