Flash flooding in June has caused damage and disruption to homes in several places across the constituency, and my team and I have been working with local councillors to help those residents affected. We are currently coordinating a meeting with key stakeholders to see what can be done to mitigate any future risk of flooding along Abbs Cross Lane, parts of Harold Hill and Harold Wood. In some locations, there is confusion over responsibility of the underground sewage network and we are encouraging Network Rail, Thames Water, Transport for London (TfL), and Havering Council to work collectively on this issue.
I also held a meeting with TfL to get an update on the replacement of the Gallow’s Corner flyover. In 2018, I secured up to £50m of government funding to upgrade the 1970s flyover but it requires the Mayor of London to put forward a strong business case to unlock the cash. While TfL’s finances were severely affected by the virus, the Government has provided a number of bailouts, and I wanted to make sure that progress remains on track for the project. TfL are expecting to submit their updated business case next spring so I am glad that things are still moving in the right direction. We have to make sure this key piece of local road infrastructure does not fail.
After meeting the head of new local network, Havering Means Business, we arranged a great Q&A event with Hornchurch firms to learn about how members have coped during the pandemic and understand what they need from central government as we emerge from lockdown restrictions. My team and I are working with HMB on future events, including a supply chain meeting with the Lower Thames Crossing, so that local businesses in Havering can bid for work in the construction phase of the project.
In July, in response to constituents’ concerns, I visited Pages Wood to see first-hand the damage to the bridge which links the wood to Harold Wood Park. We are in touch with the Thames Chase Community Forest team to see whether the bridge can be replaced but funding seems to be an issue. My team and I have offered any help we can provide with making the case to the Forestry Commission.
Finally, as I mentioned in my last column, the Boundary Commission published plans in June that would see Emerson Park moved out of Hornchurch and into the Romford constituency at the next General Election. I am working with local residents and campaigners to oppose this plan. The Boundary Commission’s consultation closes on 2 August, and if you have concerns about their plan, please do drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or write to the Boundary Commission directly via their website www.bcereviews.org.uk