Launch of the ‘Red Bag’ Scheme

Launch of the ‘Red Bag’ Scheme

I was delighted to attend the parliamentary launch of the ‘red bag’ scheme.

The Hospital Transfer pathway, often known as ‘Red bag’ is a simple initiative that is helping to improve communication between care homes and hospitals at all points of the resident’s journey. It keeps important information about a care home resident’s health in one place, easily accessible to ambulance and hospital staff. This facilitates a smoother and more efficient handover between care home, ambulance and hospital staff, and reduces unnecessary delays in the patient journey.

I am also so proud that Sutton has had a leading role in inspiring this to come about.

In 2015, the Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, the Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and local care homes in Sutton got together to form the Sutton Vanguard.

Shortly after, they came up with the ‘red bag’ to allow patients to have all their medical notes, clothes, etc, in one place to help get vulnerable and elderly people the treatment they need and get them home as soon as possible.

Three years later and the Minister of State for Care, Caroline Dinenage MP, has launched it in Parliament to promote this being implemented more widely across the country.

We should all be so proud that this excellent initiative started here in Sutton and means more people can get home from hospital sooner.

HGVs Update

HGVs Update

I was pleased to meet with officers from Sutton Council and Transport for London (TfL) on Gander Green Lane to look at the ongoing problem of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs).

This is an issue that I have been working on since before I was first elected in 2015. A link road between the A24 and A217 was planned many years ago to allow traffic to flow without causing disturbance to residents, particularly on Gander Green Lane. However, with subsequent development, this is now seemingly impossible.

Therefore, I have been working to get HGVs trying to access the Kimpton Industrial Estate off of Gander Green Lane. A report was commissioned in 2016, which agreed that this was an issue and pointed particularly to the issue of the signage on Gander Green Lane being a problem.

However, progress has been slow.

On 3rd May 2018, I was delighted that Jed Dwight, Param Nandha and Ryan Stoneman were elected as the Conservative councillors for Stonecot. They have been working on this issue with me and have also been raising this as a concern of local residents.

Last Friday I met with Councillor Jed Dwight and Councillor Ryan Stoneman, Chairman of KIPPA BID, Colin Newton, along with officials from Sutton Council and TfL, with our local Conservative London Assembly Member, Steve O’Connell, to push for action.

I was pleased to hear TfL and the Council agree that signage was an issue and to go away and look at how this can be improved.

I will keep local residents updated along with Councillors Jed Dwight, Param Nandha and Ryan Stoneman.

Supporting survivors of acquired brain injury

Supporting survivors of acquired brain injury

I was pleased to attend a reception in Parliament for survivors of acquired brain injury (ABI).

Brain injury is a hidden epidemic in the UK affecting over 1 million people, so I went to talk with patients and carers and other interested parties about their experiences, particularly about the need for rehabilitation.

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Acquired Brain Injury (APPG on ABI) brought together survivors of ABI and their MPs at a reception in the Palace of Westminster thanks to the United Kingdom Acquired Brain Injury Forum (UKABIF). UKABIF aims to promote better understanding of all aspects of ABI; to educate, inform and provide networking opportunities for professionals, service providers, planners and policy makers and to campaign for better services in the UK. UKABIF is a membership organisation and charity, established in 1998 by a coalition of organisations working in the field of ABI.

The aim of the event was to raise awareness of ABI and the need for improved neurorehabilitation services across the UK.

An ABI is any injury to the brain which has occurred following birth e.g. Traumatic Brain Injuries such as those caused by trauma (e.g. a blow to the head from a road traffic accident, fall or assault), and non-TBIs related to illness or medical conditions (e.g. encephalitis, meningitis, stroke, substance abuse, brain tumour and hypoxia).

The APPG on ABI was officially launched November 2017. The key objectives of the APPG on ABI are to:

  • Raise awareness of ABI and seek improvements in support and services for people directly affected by ABI and also their families and carers,
  • Provide a voice for those affected by ABI,
  • Be the main forum for ABI in Parliament, raising key issues across health, social care and welfare which all affect people living with ABI in the UK.


Travellers at Evans Auto site

Travellers at Evans Auto site

Many residents have contacted me with concerns about the travellers that have moved into the old Evans Auto site in North Cheam.

The site is currently owned by Aldi, not Sutton Council, and was locked. The travellers broke the lock to gain entry and the owners reported the trespass to the police. The police turned up to evict them, however, they claimed squatters rights and the owners have had to go to the High Court to get an eviction order.

The Court has confirmed that:

a) The claim should be issued today (27/04); and
b) The possession hearing will be listed for 10 May.

Once Aldi has obtained the order, they will need to transfer it up to the High Court (so that it can be enforced by Constant & Co). It is expected they will obtain possession during the week commencing 14 May.

Whilst they may be reticent to do so due to the cost, the Police do have powers under section 61(1) of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 to direct the trespassers to leave land if any of the following apply:

a) The trespassers have caused damage to the land or property on the land;
b) The trespassers have used threatening, abusing or insulting words or behaviour to the occupier (or the occupier’s family, employees or agents); or
c) There are six or more vehicles on land.

The Police also have powers to direct trespassers to leave in certain situations where there is a suitable caravan site in the local authority area.

They are currently monitoring the site for any evidence of clear law breaking.

I share residents concerns about how long this will take, so I have written to the Borough Commander at Sutton Police to investigate further with a view to potentially removing them earlier, as feedback from residents suggests that some or all of the above has happened.

I will be sure to keep residents updated and encourage them to report any criminal activity to the police on 999 in an emergency or 101 if the need is less urgent.

Ban on Ivory Sales

Ban on Ivory Sales

The Environment Secretary Michael Gove confirmed that the UK will introduce a ban on ivory sales.

The proposed ban will be the toughest in Europe and amongst the toughest in the world – helping to protect elephants for future generations.

The move follows a consultation which had more than 70,000 responses – with over 88 percent in favour of the ban.

The UK has long been a global leader in the international fight against the illegal ivory trade. But over the last decade, the number of elephants has declined by almost a third and around 20,000 a year are still being slaughtered due to the global demand for ivory – showing there is more to do.

As part of our action to tackle the Ivory trade, at a recent European Environment Council, the UK called for EU member states to ban commercial trade in raw ivory – which is already banned in the UK – within the EU as soon as possible.

Following on from the ground breaking conference on the illegal wildlife trade held in London in 2014, the UK will host the fourth international conference on the illegal wildlife trade in October. This will bring global leaders to London to tackle the strategic challenges of the trade.

Environment Secretary, Michael Gove said: “Ivory should never be seen as a commodity for financial gain or a status symbol, so we will introduce one of the world’s toughest bans on ivory sales to protect elephants for future generations.

“The ban on ivory sales we will bring into law will reaffirm the UK’s global leadership on this critical issue, demonstrating our belief that the abhorrent ivory trade should become a thing of the past.”

This announcement confirms that this Conservative Government will make every effort to halt the heart-breaking decline in Africa’s elephant population in recent years.

We need to leave our planet in a better state for the next generation, with stronger protections for animal welfare, but also cleaner air, greener spaces and tougher action on plastic waste.

The CEO of Tusk Trust, Charlie Mayhew MBE said: “We are delighted that the Government has listened to our concerns and given the overwhelming public response to their consultation is now moving decisively to introduce tough legislation to ban the trade in ivory in the UK.

“The narrowly defined exemptions are pragmatic. The ban will ensure there is no value for modern day ivory and the tusks of recently poached elephants cannot enter the UK market. We welcome the fact that Ministers are sending such a clear message to the world that the illegal wildlife trade will not be tolerated and every effort will be made to halt the shocking decline in Africa’s elephant population in recent years.”