On 20 October, Munira tabled an amendment to the Government’s Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill to ensure that publicly owned assets such as Teddington Police Station can be retained for public good.
The amendment, New Clause 51, was debated by a select group of MPs with special knowledge and interest in local government and planning issues.
As Munira was not on this committee, her Liberal Democrat colleague, Tim Farron MP, presented the amendment on behalf of Munira and the 2,100 residents in Teddington who have come out in strong support of the campaign.
Background: A new home for Park Road Surgery
In 2021, Teddington Police Station was put up for sale by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) and, in the months since, thousands of local residents have thrown themselves behind the campaign for the site to be kept for the benefit of the community. Specifically, Munira and local residents are supporting Park Road Surgery’s bid to transform the disused site into new premises for their GP clinic, alongside much-needed affordable housing.
Despite broad local support for this bid, the Mayor of London has repeatedly insisted that he can only sell Teddington Police Station for its maximum market value – most likely to developers of luxury flats. Read more about the campaign and the developments so far here.
Munira calls on the Mayor of London to support campaign
“I was pleased to hear that, following the debates I held in Parliament, the Mayor is seeking fresh legal advice on the sale of Teddington Police Station,” said Munira.
“However, I’m disappointed that the Mayor hasn’t come out publicly in support of our campaign – in spite of his stated commitment to building more affordable housing and to making London one of the healthiest cities. I call on the Mayor to commit once and for all to being a mayor who puts the needs of local communities above lining the pockets of developers,” Munira added.
Munira’s amendment would change the law to remove any doubt that public authorities such as MOPAC and the Mayor of London can take community value into account when selling on land in cases where a bid clearly is of greater benefit to the local economy, social infrastructure or the environment.
A positive response from the Minister for Housing
Following her colleague, Tim Farron MP’s introduction to the amendment in Parliament, the Housing Minister, Lee Rowley MP, invited Munira to send him further details of the Teddington Police Station campaign.
“As a new Minister,” Mr Rowley said, “I would be interested to understand in more detail from the Honourable Member for Twickenham the specific problems that she sees, […] and if she wants to write to me with that detail, I will happily read it and go through it.”
Munira has taken the Minister up on his invitation to bring him up to speed on the Teddington Police Station campaign and what local residents in Twickenham are calling for. Read Munira’s full letter below.