Sunday 19 May 2024

Local News from Hendon?

 Being a Mill Hill resident, I was a bit puzzled to see a magazine called local news for Hendon. Mill Hill isn't Hendon, is it? Back in the day when we had proper local papers, we had the Hendon Times and The Mill Hill and Edgware Times.

Opening the magazine, I initially thought it was an Estate agent flogging their wares, when I saw this

On closer examination though, I realised that there wasn't actually any real news from Hendon. There was a lot of guff saying what a marvellous job the current government are doing and a few suggestions that the other lot might do a worse job.

Now I am not going to use this blog to make political points. I am quite sure that everyone who reads it is perfectly capable of making their own minds up.   What does mildly irritate me is the blatant attempt to disguise a political pamphlet as a local news magazine. Now I wouldn't mind so much is there was some genuine, proper local news in the magazine. Maybe a list of local dog shows, school fete's, exciting new restaurants opening up?

After scouring the magazine, I eventually found a note saying who the publisher was.  I am not a fan of this sort of thing. I am absolutely sure that Ameet Jogia, who the leaflet is promoting is a lovely chap. He is the local Conservative candidate. I am pretty sure he wants to do a marvellous job as MP, if he wins. I'd love to interview him and find out what he really thinks about local issues, because the sad truth here is that, despite a lovely OK! style magazine, I am none the wiser.

So what would I ask Ameet. Here are ten questions that concern me, as a Mill Hill resident.

1. Why does Mill Hill Broadway station still not have proper step free access to platforms 1-3? Technically there is step free access from platform 4, but trains don't usually stop at that platform and the wheelchair entrance is usually locked. A bridge with lifts should have been installed years ago, so people could use the entrance in Bunns Lane Car Park if they have mobility issues.  The current MP promised this in 2010 and fourteen years later has not delivered it.

2. What will you do to improve the ambience of Mill Hill Broadway? It is looking tired and there are many closed and derelict looking shops. The current MP promised Mill Hill Residents that he'd deliver a vibrant High Street, where people would "open up businesses like cheese shops". Sadly no cheese shop has been seen and the Broadway has gone to rack and ruin.

3. The M1 dissects Mill Hill. It brings noise and pollution. Most similar motorway in urban areas have proper sound baffling and measures to mitigate fumes. Mill Hill Broadway bus station has one of the worst air quality measurements, having been built under the M1 and having diesel powered buses sitting in it. What will be done to improve it?

4. Last year, I had to have an operation to treat aggressive prostate cancer. I went to see the Royal Free Oncology team to discuss radiotherapy. The procedure, which has seen me free of cancer after nine months, completely continent and with sexual function, was not available on the NHS, I had to go private. What will you do to ensure that the best treatments for men suffering from Prostate cancer and other cancers are available to all, not just people like me, who have workplace insurance?

5. For the last ten years, myself and many others have been campaigning to get the grade II listed building, The Railway Hotel, in Edgware reopened and renovated. It has become an eyesore. What practical measures will you take as MP to stop property developers doing such things?

6. My sister in law works as a teaching assistant at Mill Hill County High School. She was telling me that it is almost impossible for the school to recruit teachers on the low rates of pay that the government policies mean  they are able to afford. What will you do to improve teachers pay, to ensure our schools have the best teachers?

7. My Father and my mothers Father were both immigrants, who came to the UK to fight for liberty and justice. Our local immigrant communities including the Indian, Jewish, Italian, Caribbean, African and Eastern European  (to name a few) have vastly improved our local community.  What will you do to ensure that migrant are not demonised and their contributions are recognised?

8. I run a small business that supports over 25 jobs in Mill Hill. We operate in the music sector, which generates about £5 billion worth of revenue per annum for the UK economy. What support for the sector do you support? Specifically, what will you do to support grassroots music venues in the constituency of Hendon.

9. What will you be doing to clean up our local waterways, such as Folly Brook that are contaminated with raw sewage? Do you support stiff financial penalties for water companies that cause pollution and do you think the government has done enough to regulate sewage discharge by water companies.

10. The local Labour candidate is campaigning to save the Midwife led birthing unit at Edgware Hospital. My son was born there. Such units are very popular and are far cheaper to run than Maternity units and remove the workload of low risk births from hospitals, exposing women to less risk of MRSA etc. What is your view of this closure and why do you think the government is making such false economies?

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