Alan Whitehead

Labour MP for Southampton Test

Coxford Coffee Morning

Thanks to everyone who came to my coffee morning in Coxford this weekend. 

This week we discussed hospital parking, HMOs, anti-social behaviour, apprenticeships and a proposed development in Coxford. 

Some residents who live near the hospital told me that it's becoming increasingly difficult for them to park, as patients/staff going to the hospital often park on the verges on Coxford Rd.  This makes the road narrow and dangerous and  it's becoming difficult for ambulances to pass.  I completely agree that there is a shortage of adequate parking and public transport to the hospital and this is something I've been speaking to the Chief Executive of the hospital about for a while now. I therefore welcome the decision to build a new multi-story car park. The hospital are holding a meeting on Tues regarding their plans for the new car park and I would urge affected residents to go along and make their voice heard. 

I know that the number and quality of HMOs is a big concern for a lot of people in our city. I've done a lot of work on HMOs in Parliament over the last few years and, before the change of government in 2010, I got agreement for legislation which would introduce mandatory licensing. However, the Tory-led government did not take this policy forward when they gained office so, this Parliament, I have supported the council in their roll-out of mandatory licensing and have met with the housing minister to try and get the policy reinstated. I have also campaigned for better quality HMO housing and have tried to force the government to make landlords bring their HMOs up to a certain standard. I will continue to campaign strongly on this topic if you re-elect me on 7th May. 

We also talked about the anti-social behaviour that some residents have been experiencing. Unfortunately these seem to be ongoing problems which your Labour councillors and I are trying to tackle. Part of the reason seems to be a lack of local activities for young people and this is why we successfully campaigned to save Oaklands pool. If you are experiencing problems with anti-social behaviour, you might be interested to know that there is a meeting with the police on the topic taking place tonight at Oaklands pool. Alongside your councillors I will continue to try and solve this problem. 

We also discussed the importance of apprenticeships for young people. I recently met with apprentices at Selex and Carillion and I am fully supportive of programmes such as these which give our young people the skills and experience they need to get on in the job market. That's why a Labour government would increase the number of apprenticeships and introduce new technical degrees. For more information on this policy, have a look here.

If you'd like to talk about any of the issues I raise above in more detail, please do get in touch. 

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