1. PROTECTING OUR GREEN SPACES AND FIGHTING OVERDEVELOPMENT
For many years, I’ve campaigned to protect our suburban environment. I’m opposing plans for high density blocks of flats in Victoria Quarter in New Barnet and North London Business Park and fighting against other inappropriate development in my constituency. I am fighting strongly against the Mayor of London’s plans to build high rise intensive developments over tube station car parks in High Barnet and Cockfosters.
I’m backing new homes on brownfield regeneration sites in the borough, such as Dollis Valley. I helped secure £320m from Government for infrastructure to support 7000 new homes being delivered via Barnet Council's estate regeneration projects.
Following an amendment I tabled in Parliament, I persuaded Ministers to make significant changes to planning rules to give local communities a greater say in what is built in their neighbourhood. During my time as Environment Secretary, I had put forward ground-breaking legislation to protect biodiversity and the natural environment and to promote nature recovery.
2. EXPANDING LOCAL NHS SERVICES
Securing the best NHS services for my constituents has always been a high priority for me. In the past, I successfully campaigned for the new £100m high-tech hospital at Chase Farm, as well as expansion of A&E services at Barnet Hospital in 2015. Now A&E is expanding in Barnet again, after I raised this at Prime Minister's questions, and a brand new diagnostic centre is opening at Finchley Memorial Hospital.
I’ve been pressing the Government to focus on improving early diagnosis of cancer. This will now be a big part of the NHS Long Term Plan which is backed by a £33.9 billion a year cash increase the Conservatives have delivered for the NHS.
I am urging the Government and the NHS to ensure this extra NHS funding also delivers expanded GP services in Barnet, so residents find it easier to get appointments when they need them. I am supporting plans put forward by local GPs, for example in High Barnet and Whetstone, to extend their buildings to improve facilities for patients.
3. MORE POLICE AND SAVING OUR POLICE STATION
With local residents, I’ve been fighting to try save Barnet Police Station. I am appealing to the Mayor to reverse his closure decision and I have raised this issue at Prime Minister’s Questions.
I successfully campaigned for more funding and more officers for the Met Police. Thanks to the Conservative commitment to 20,000 more police, the Met now have more uniformed officers than at any time in their history. I’m fighting to make sure Barnet gets its fair share, so we have more police on the beat and larger local neighbourhood police teams. I am urging the police to focus on local priorities such as cracking down on burglaries, so people feel safer.
4. IMPROVING LOCAL TRANSPORT AND FIGHTING AGAINST ULEZ IN THE SUBURBS
I campaigned strongly against the Mayor’s expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone. I continue to campaign to get the scheme cancelled because of the impact of these new driving charges on my constituents. I’m pushing the Mayor to speed up the introduction of low emission buses to improve air quality. I am also opposing other anti-car measures such 'Low Traffic Neighbourhoods' and a bus lane up Whetstone High Road.
Working with commuters, I lobbied GTR strongly for the return of peak services removed from the timetable at Oakleigh Park and New Southgate and these were reinstated on December 2019. I was also part of the successful campaign to restore the 84 bus route between Barnet and Potters Bar.
5. GIVING BARNET CHILDREN THE BEST EDUCATION
I campaigned with parents to set up great new schools such as JCOSS, St Andrew the Apostle and Alma Primary School. I also helped secure funding to rebuild Cromer Road School.
Barnet has some of the best schools in the country, but their budgets have been under pressure. So I pushed for more money for every primary and secondary school in Barnet. I raised this in Parliament, and in face to face meetings with successive Prime Ministers. A real terms increase in funding for every primary and secondary school in Barnet was announced in 2019 and further increases in the Autumn Statement in 2022. Before that statement, I had met the Chancellor to make a direct appeal for more money for schools.
I continue to make the case for more resources for our local schools and secured vital new resources to save Barnet’s maintained nursery schools. I am also backing efforts to expand access to apprenticeships and also create more opportunities for children and young people to get involved in after-school sport so they can lead more active healthier lives.
6. SUPPORTING OUR LOCAL ECONOMY AND TOWN CENTRES
I have been working for many years to support our local town centres, including Barnet’s historic market. I called on the Government to provide help for town centres and they responded with cuts business rates in successive Budgets.
One of my top priorities as an MP has always been to secure a strong economy. The inflation caused by Covid and the Ukraine war put great pressure on household bills. I am backing Conservative efforts at a national level to deliver economic recovery so that families get the help they need with the cost of living, and local businesses have the opportunity to thrive.
In my former role as Environment Secretary, I brought forward measures to crack down on litter and flytipping, because I know how important it is to ensure our local high streets are clean and welcoming.