I met with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to discuss initiatives in Ireland, Colombia and the Vatican, and how the Department for International Development can assist in these countries.
22 January: Colindale Litter Pick
I was involved in the first litter pick of the year in Colindale, reaffirming my commitment to keeping the constituency clean. This is a monthly event and all constituents are encouraged to become involved in keeping the area free from rubbish and waste.
House of Commons – Prevent Programme
I requested as to whether there would be a review into how the Prevent programme engages with some religious communities:
‘ I am rather uncomfortable about the fact that some religious communities feel that the Prevent programme does not subscribe to their view of the world, and in some ways discriminates against them. Will the Minister use the review to engage with the Muslim Council of Britain and others?’
23 January: House of Commons – Holocaust Memorial Day
I read out a memoir of the Holocaust by Primo Levi, and considered how the horrors didn’t escape our shores, as the Nazis had occupied Alderney in the Channel Islands. Despite this I was able to celebrate members in my constituency who have received British Empire Medals for their services to holocaust education.
27 January: Holocaust Memorial Day Commemorations
I attended events in Barnet, London and Parliament in solidarity with the Jewish people and all those who suffered during the horrors of the Holocaust. I spoke in Parliament about the issue of concentration camps in Alderney, and signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment. So many in our constituency have family affected by the Holocaust, and with antisemitism on the rise in the country, I remain committed to ending such hate.
3 February: House of Commons – Agriculture Bill
I asked whether the Common Agricultural Policy reduces room for biodiversity:
‘can she confirm that the Bill will reverse that trend.’
4 February: Pressing for secondary school music funding
Following my question to the Department for Education, asking whether the Secretary of State for Education will make it a policy to roll out the Music in Secondary School Trust (MiSST) in state schools in England, I discussed the initiative with esteemed guests. Only a small number of children learn to play a musical instrument, despite many more adults wishing they had as children.
I attended the annual Apprenticeship Showcase in Parliament where 200 talented apprentices, including some from the constituency, showcased their skills. Apprenticeships are becoming increasingly important in the economy and it is pleasing to see such an array talent nationwide, and within my constituency.
5 February: Previewing the new £20 note
I met with Sarah John, the Bank of England’s Chief Country, to find out more about the Bank’s most secure note yet. I saw first hand the new security features incorporated in the notes and would encourage businesses in the constituency to learn how to use the new notes with the information on the Bank of England’s website.
8 February: Attending Iran Freedom rally in London
I spoke at a rally attended by Anglo-Iranians and supporters of the MEK and NCRI reiterating my commitment to bringing freedom back to Iran.
9 February: Visiting Hendon United Synagogue
I attended this synagogue and was delighted to meet members of the Jewish community in this constituency.
11 February: Meeting the Somaliland representative to the UK
I met with HE Abdi Abdillahi Hersi, the Head of the Somaliland Mission to the UK, discussing issues affecting Somaliland, which I visited in 2018 on an official delegation.
I am the parliamentary chairman of the CFC and was delighted to attend this annual celebration where I could reaffirm my commitment to unifying Cyprus.
I raised the concerns about leaseholders and cladding in Colindale by constituents in the Commons and will continue to do so with the Housing Minister:
‘I have 1,087 developments in the Pulse development in Colindale. A lot of people bought those properties after the building regulations were signed off by the local authority, as recently as 2017. Those people have not been protected by building regulations and now, as the right hon. Member says, simply cannot afford to either remortgage or sell their property. They are in redundant properties. The concern is that the assurances from building regulations were simply not worth the paper on which they were printed’
I visited Montrose Playing Field and Silkstream Park in Burnt Oak to see progress made on recreation facilities as well as how changes on the Silk Stream will prevent flooding downstream. This is the first of many park regeneration projects in the constituency.
20 February: Action on Edgware fly-tip
I was informed by Barnet Council that it had acted against the owners of the land behind the Railway Hotel in Edgware that was used for ‘fly-tipping.’ I want to reiterate that fly-tipping is illegal and has negative consequences, particularly on the environment. I was pleased that the owners were fined and hope this reduces fly-tipping across the constituency.
26 February: House of Commons – Environment Bill
I questioned the government on how they could reduce water consumption:
‘an opportunity to introduce targets for water consumption through labelling mechanisms that allow consumers to decide which products to buy and consume by comparing the amount of water those products use.’
28 February: Written Question – University Industrial Disputes
Due to the concerns of some constituents, I wrote to Minister of State Education, Michelle Donelan, over any guidance on refunds for students. Unfortunately it has come to my attention that refunds will be dealt with by universities on a case-by-case basis.