I would like to thank all of the council staff and volunteers who ran a successful polling day across Richmond borough last week. Running elections in a Covid-safe way has posed unique challenges to all involved. It is, however, important that this year’s elections were able to go ahead.

Thank you to everyone who came out to vote and congratulations to those elected to serve our area: Petra Fleming (Liberal Democrats) as councillor for Hampton Wick,  Nick Rogers (Conservative) as London Assembly Member for South West London, and Sadiq Khan (Labour) as Mayor of London.

The Liberal Democrats had a good night, almost doubling our vote share in the South West constituency to come a close second, increasing our vote share across London and increasing the number of Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly.  

Useful Information

Latest Covid Numbers

In the week May 2nd – 8th, there were 29 cases of coronavirus in Richmond upon Thames. The incidence rate in Richmond is 14.6/100,000, compared to a London-wide incidence of 16.5/100,000 and England-wide rate of 19.9/100,000. All figures are continuing a gradual decline.

Data source: https://www.datarich.info/covid-19/

Covid testing available to all

All residents in the borough are now eligible to book a free rapid COVID-19 test in Twickenham, Hampton & East Sheen. Book now:

In addition, three pharmacies in Twickenham and Teddington are also providing free supervised tests. Full details available online and again, please book in advance. https://richmond.gov.uk/lateral_flow_testing_pharmacies

A free ‘Community Collect’ service – providing take-home testing kits is available at Twickenham Civic Centre and St Mary’s University Broom Road sports campus and selected pharmacies. Find the nearest collection point to you: https://maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/

The test is for people NOT experiencing symptoms. If you have any of the main Covid-19 symptoms you should arrange a PCR test here:

Increased train services from 16th May

From 16 May, South Western Railway will be increasing the number of services it is running, in response to the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

For more information visit South Western Railways

Local meetings, events and news

Visit to Teddington School

I was delighted to visit Teddington School where I had the opportunity to meet with students and teachers. I had some tough questions from the year 12 A-level politics students, ranging from the impacts of Brexit to climate change, from proportional representation to House of Lords reform. I also met with headteacher, Kathy Pacey, who told me how the school was planning for the end of Covid restrictions and the mental health support services being put in place for students.      

Read more here:

Twickenham School headteacher wins national award

Twickenham School headteacher, Assal Ruse, has been nominated for a prestigious national award for her dedication and inspirational leadership in transforming the school. She has already secured bronze in the Headteacher of the Year category of Pearson’s Teaching Awards, and I was honoured to be invited with many others to provide feedback to the judging panel as they consider her for the gold or silver award. This achievement and recognition is hugely deserved and we await the final result with great anticipation!

Read more here

Other local visits and meetings:

  • Thank you to St Mary with St Alban in Teddington for inviting me to their Climate Sunday service to discuss action on climate change, COP26 and progress on the local climate change strategy.
  • I visited Thamesians RFC Ladies for one of their training sessions at St Mary’s sports centre. It was a wild and windy night but there was no lack of energy or smiles on the pitch.  More here
  • Following the devastating fire on Platt’s Eyot that saw three boatyards destroyed, Richmond Borough’s fire commander, Rob Davies, kindly took me to the island and discussed the challenges of fire safety on islands in the Thames. There are heritage buildings on the island and, with very few boatyards left on this stretch of the Thames, it’s incredibly important that we maintain commercial usage of these sites. More here

Could you volunteer for the new Parent Champions Network?

The Richmond and Kingston Parent Champions Network is a new volunteer-led project with parents supporting other parents through times of crisis with their adolescent children.

The non-professional support network will help guide parents whose children may be at risk of or who have experienced violence, arrest, school exclusion, challenging behaviours, exploitation, or other issues.

Parent Champions are matched to parents based on their own experiences of similar situations. An initial meeting will take place with the Parent Champion taking the lead by offering unbiased and friendly guidance and support.

If you would like to volunteer to be a Parent Champion or would like to find out more about the network, email parentchampionsnetwork@achievingforchildren.org.uk or call 07597 528 750. For further information, click

Diabetes Prevention Week

This week is Diabetes Prevention Week (10–16 May) and Richmond Council’s Public Health team is urging residents to find out their risk of Type 2 diabetes and make healthy changes to their lifestyle to prevent the condition from developing.

It is estimated that 15,000 people living in the borough and 2 million people living in England are at high risk of getting Type 2 diabetes, which can lead to serious health complications and a higher risk of dying with COVID-19.  

Find out your risk by using the Diabetes UK Know Your Risk Score

It is a quick and easy online tool with seven simple questions. Within a few minutes you will know if you are at low, increased, moderate or high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. 

Standing up for you

Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place on 10-16 May 2021 and this year’s theme is nature. There is strong evidence that engaging with nature can improve mental health and wellbeing. Learn more about how you can bring more nature into your life here

I am pleased to be speaking at the Westminster Parliamentary Reception for Mental Health Awareness Week on Wednesday 12th May. The event aims to kick start a national conversation about mental health and nature.

Calling for the Government to scrap plans for a third runway at Heathrow

In the House of Commons, I again spoke against Government plans for a third runway at Heathrow. The controversial plans were voted through in 2018 in spite of Liberal Democrat opposition.

The expansion of the airport would see a huge increase in traffic, both on the ground and in the air, in a move that would set back Government plans to hit net zero on carbon emissions.

I stated that the Government must work harder to tackle the climate emergency, and should consider how a third runway at the already busy airport would fit into environmental ambitions.

Watch the full exchange here:

Debate on cleaner air in London

I led a debate in Parliament on air pollution in London where I called on the Government to take the dangers of air pollution more seriously.

This follows the support from hundreds of local residents who signed my air quality petition, calling on the Government to introduce safer air pollution limits, in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

During the debate, I emphasised the serious health effects of toxic air noting that in London, up to around 4,100 early deaths each year can be linked with air pollution. Air pollution can increase the risk of people developing a lung condition, as well as effect those who already have pre-existing conditions such as asthma.

Watch highlights of the debate here: