View from Westminster: Neil Coyle on lockdown, fireworks, and a parking win

News Desk (12 November, 2020)

'I’ve also been fighting for people living on Kennington Park Road who woke up in October to find the parking bays outside their homes had disappeared overnight'

31612Neil Coyle, MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark

When the first lockdown began it was late but vital. This new lockdown was preventable but the Covid infection rate is now too high and the NHS is again over-stretched treating people affected.

If the government’s test and trace system had been effective, infections would have been lower, the new lockdown could have been avoided and, most importantly, lives could have been saved. So much has already been sacrificed this year and sadly we are now entering winter in almost the same situation we faced back in spring. Other countries have avoided this, but Johnson’s incompetent cabinet ignored success elsewhere and poured billions of pounds of public money into companies failing to deliver test and trace.

Whilst it is deeply saddening to be in this situation, it is crucial to keep doing your part. Stay home when you can, keep your distance and wear a mask as needed. Please also ensure your children and grandchildren do the same. The more of us play our role, the sooner we can all move forward together.

This October has seen some very nasty anti-social behaviour and criminal incidents around Canada Water station. Shocking videos show fireworks being launched directly at people and even at the police. Some people snipe at the police for not taking enough action but forget response times are longer and criminals more brazen after years of cuts. I will continue to work with the local police, including our Borough Commander, community representatives and the council to secure action to tackle the problems. The police have shifted their focus and deployed more officers to Rotherhithe and have identified eight culprits. Action is being taken against them, including at least one prosecution and others have been warned by the council their family could face eviction if they continue to cause problems, as reported in the News. Please always report problems you see online or call 101, or 999 if it is an emergency or people are endangered. Reporting issues helps secure additional resources which is vital to prevent future problems!

In parliament, I recently helped those of you who like wine! The government was going to impose new import certificates for European wines on 1st January. I’ve been working with a Bermondsey based trade association to prevent this resulting in higher costs in shops and thankfully we have won a reprieve. I hope the government recognises its current damaging plans must be dropped or consumers and distributors will be hit with new costs just when all efforts should be focused on rebuilding our economy.

I’ve also been fighting for people living on Kennington Park Road who woke up in October to find the parking bays outside their homes had disappeared overnight without warning. Transport for London brought in a new 24-hour bus lane but forgot to inform anyone in Southwark. They did consult on the Lambeth side of the road, but failed to on the Walworth side sadly. Having raised concerns about this fiasco, I was glad to see the bays reinstated.

The lockdown means this month and beyond are going to be very hard for many people. Please continue to do your part to save lives and protect our NHS. Thank you for your continued patience and fortitude. Please stay strong and help keep Southwark safe!


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