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Remembrance Sunday

On Remembrance weekend, we paid tribute to all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and we stand with our armed forces, veterans and their families.

I was honoured to lay wreaths across our community in remembrance of all those in Erith and Thamesmead who gave their lives to protect our freedom. Standing together with members of the constituency, we expressed our gratitude for those who serve and their families.

On Saturday 12th November, I laid wreaths at Thamesmead War memorial followed by the War Memorial at Plumstead Cemetery.

On Remembrance Sunday, I attended the remembrance service at St. Michaels & All Angels Church in Abbey Wood and then laid a wreath at the Abbey Wood Memorial Gardens.

I want to express my thanks to Thamesmead and Abbey Wood Royal British Legion for arranging the services. I was also happy to support their poppy appeal in Thamesmead, who continue to do an invaluable service as they raise funds for our armed forces community.

We will remember them.  

                                   

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Visit to St Augustine’s new library in Belvedere

I was delighted to be invited to officially open a new library at St Augustine of Canterbury Primary School in Belvedere.  

A library is an instrumental place for students of all ages to read, learn and reflect on all that they are interested in. Through reading about different lives and characters, children learn to connect and better understand the people around them. Libraries played such an important role in my life, and I am heartened to know that the children at St Augustine will have this opportunity too.

The outdoor adventure theme of the library was decided by the School Parliament. The theme was executed by Acorn Book Club and included a mountain camp hideaway, reading tent and cosy campfire! 

I was particularly impressed by the enthusiasm and dedication of all the staff at St Augustine of Canterbury Primary School and Acorn Book Club to this project and the students. It was lovely to discover that employees from the Belvedere and Northumberland Heath branches raised over £1000 in support of the library. 

Abena Oppong-Asare visit St Augustine new library in Belvedere.

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Media Interview with Hend Kheiralla

I sat down with Hend Kheiralla, host of the Ladies of the Lakes radio show, to discuss my journey into politics, getting started as a new MP after my election in 2019, my experience representing Erith and Thamesmead so far, and advice for those interested in politics. I also spoke about the importance of allyship, networks and mentorship.

Abena said:

I think female representation is important in Parliament as well as diversity… because I think it is important to have people from all walks of life.

Ladies of the Lakes is a series of interviews exploring stories of women who grew up and lived in Thamesmead.

You can listen to the full interview here.

HEND INTERVIEW

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Campaigning Summer School 2022

 

At this jam-packed 3-day summer school, young people aged between 16 and 18 had the opportunity to gain the skills needed to make a real difference in our community.

This was a hands-on, first-hand insight into the exciting world of political and social campaigning. The school brought together a wide variety of speakers from businesses like Graylings UK, showing the students tools they can use to influence the Government and make change, and from Meta, to discuss how important Facebook and social media is to campaigning in the 21st Century.

We were also joined by important influencers who have been at the frontline of campaigns that have caught the public’s attention. We heard from Laura Coryton, who started the very successful #EndTamponTax petition, and from former Love Island contestant Shaughna Phillips, who is now advocating for a better public discussion on body image and mental health.

I know from my own experience that whether you’re dealing with environmental issues, crime, or education, effective campaigning is the key to influencing and challenging those in power. So, I am determined to do all I can to empower our young people to be the change they want to see in the world.

Over the course of 3 days, attendees designed their very own local campaigns on important issues such as women’s rights and increasing accessibility access in our community. What’s more, I am personally helping action the best ideas into real campaigns to benefit our residents.

For the students, this was a unique opportunity to see their ideas turned into action and to learn how they can make their voice heard in our democracy.

 

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Abena’s ‘Meet your MP’ Coffee Morning in Thamesmead

This month I organised my first ‘Meet your MP’ Coffee Morning at the Moorings Sociable Club in Thamesmead.

I’m always looking for new ways to engage with constituents and so I’ve decided to start a series of these coffee mornings events to meet and talk about all the issues that impact our community.

From issues such as local transport links and housing, to wider issues like the cost-of-living crisis, the war in Ukraine and recovering from the pandemic, I want to hear more about how together we can improve our local area.

It was great to spend the time to engage further about the many pressing matters and also the great opportunities available in Erith and Thamesmead.

I was very impressed with how passionate everyone was, and I hope all constituents can feel like they can reach out to me as I hold further events in the future.

If you are interested in coming along to a future meeting, I’ve just launched my webpage where you, your family and friends can sign up to register your interest in attending a meeting.

Here is the link: https://www.abenaoppongasare.com/upcoming-events/coffeemorning/

 

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Next Stop Thamesmead – Abena meets the Deputy Mayor for Transport, Peabody and leaders from Greenwich and Newham Council

The campaign to bring the DLR to Thamesmead continues, this month I met with the Deputy Mayor for Transport, Peabody and leaders from Greenwich and Newham Council for a tour of the key sites in Thamesmead and the proposed location for the DLR station.

It was great to have stakeholders come together to discuss the next steps. I also raised the campaign in a recent Transport debate asking the government to commit to the project and back it with proper funding.

Abena Oppong-Asare said:   

“The residents of Erith and Thamesmead deserve the benefits of transport connectivity that many others across London already enjoy. For too long, Thamesmead has been left off the transport map. Extending the DLR to Thamesmead would unlock significant new housing on both sides of the river and would open up access to work and educational opportunities for my constituents.

“Now is the time for the Government to commit to this project, back it with proper funding, and get on with building the DLR extension to Thamesmead.”

Cllr Anthony Okereke, Leader for the Royal Borough of Greenwich, said:    

“The Royal Borough of Greenwich and the London Borough of Newham share many of the same objectives. I look forward to collaborating with the Mayor of Newham, as well as Abena Oppong-Asare MP, and our partners to bring forward essential transport links to an area that has so much potential to offer.

Cllr Averil Lekau, Deputy Leader for the Royal Borough of Greenwich and Cabinet Member for Cabinet Member Climate Change, Environment and Transport, said:   

“Having represented Thamesmead for eight years I am well aware of how crucial better transport links are for the area. SE28 is the only postcode in London without a train station. We’re already seeing how the Elizabeth Line is benefiting Woolwich and Abbey Wood and we need to bring these benefits to Thamesmead too.”

Seb Dance, Deputy Mayor of London for Transport, said:  

“A DLR extension from Gallions Reach in Newham to Beckton Riverside, and across the river to Thamesmead, would be transformative for the area, considerably improving access to public transport in both boroughs and helping people access jobs, education and culture across London with the potential for thousands of new homes on each side of the river. City Hall will continue to work with TfL, the boroughs, Homes England and key landowners to develop a strong business case for this extension.

“Investment in the capital’s transport infrastructure can help to improve the lives of Londoners and support businesses. This lies at the heart of the Mayor’s vision to build a better London for everyone – a city that is greener, fairer, healthier and more sustainable. Investing in our transport network is also crucial to supporting the economy in London and across the UK. We will continue to call on the Government to work with us to agree a fair, sustainable, long-term funding deal for TfL – for the benefit of London and the whole country.”

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Abena officially opens renovated bottling facility at Erith

Edible Oils Limited (EOL) recently hosted me at the site in Erith where I officially opened the newly renovated bottling facility following an investment programme worth almost £24m. I took a tour of the both the Erith and Belvedere facilities ahead of a ceremony to mark the completion of works.

Abena Oppong-Asare MP said: “It is fantastic to see Edible Oils bring new investment into Erith and Thamesmead with the expansion of the Erith site. It is quite the achievement to have successfully completed this venture during the pandemic. As one of the largest employers in the constituency, the expansion demonstrates their commitment to the area and it is great to see more high-quality local jobs and opportunities for residents.”

Managing Director Mark Church said: “We’re delighted to have completed this investment programme which is a major milestone for the business and reflects several years of hard work by our teams and partners, including of course through the height of the pandemic. The investment has significantly boosted our capability and capacity by bringing 5 litre production in house we have been able to lightweight the bottle and will eliminate around TBC tonnes of plastic every year”

“It has been a pleasure to demonstrate the scale of this investment to Abena and our continued commitment to provide high quality employment opportunities in the area.”

 

 

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Celebrating the Jubilee in Erith and Thamesmead

With everything from jamborees, storytelling, markets and street parties, there was no shortage of fun in Erith and Thamesmead for the Jubilee weekend. I loved seeing communities across the constituency come together and celebrate such a momentous occasion.

Thursday marked the lighting of the Queen’s Beacon and Lesnes Abbey Woods and Cygnet Square were among thousands of beacons lit across the county to celebrate Her Majesty’s Jubilee.

Thank you to the thousands of volunteers across Erith and Thamesmead that made the Jubilee weekend such as success.

 

 

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Crossrail opening date set for 24 May

Crossrail to open on 24 May, with local bus route changes from 14 May – Abena responds

 

At long last Crossrail, or the Elizabeth Line as it will now be known, is opening. I know that for people living in Abbey Wood and nearby places this has been a long time coming. The initial planned opening date was nearly four years ago!

Since being elected in 2019, I have pushed TfL and Crossrail Ltd to open this vital new railway as soon as possible. I’m glad this is now happening, and I know it will benefit people and businesses in our area.

I’ve also been clear that TfL must ensure that local people across Erith and Thamesmead can benefit from Crossrail by ensuring that there are good bus links to Abbey Wood from across the constituency. I have written to TfL and recently met with the Deputy Mayor for Transport to discuss this.

TfL have now published changes to local bus routes. You can find the full details of changes here and the main changes affecting the constituency are in the table below.

If anyone has any concerns about these changes, or further suggestions for bus route changes, please do not hesitate to contact me at abena.oppongasare.mp@parliament.uk

Finally, I am continuing to campaign for better transport across our area including the extension of the DLR to Thamesmead and beyond. I will keep you updated with this campaign as it progresses.

Abena

 

Route and destinations before change take place  Change  Date 
180 (Lewisham Shopping Centre to Belvedere Industrial Estate) Route 180 will be rerouted from Woolwich Road, Charlton via the current route 472 to North Greenwich Bus Station. Route 180 will also be extended from Belvedere Industrial Estate to Erith Quarry via Church Manorway and Erith Town Centre. Buses will no longer run along Mulberry Way and onto Fisher’s Way where the current route terminates. However, new bus stops nearby will come into operation when the changes to the route come into effect on Church Manorway through the newly created link through the Erith Quarry development which will help serve businesses and large distribution centres in the area. There will be no change to the current frequency of the route.

 

Customers can change at Stone Lake Retail Park for route 177 to Westcombe Park and Greenwich Town Centre or at Ikea on Greenwich Peninsula for route 129 to Greenwich and all stops to Lewisham.

14/05/2022
469 (Queen Elizabeth Hospital to Erith Town Centre) A new link to the Elizabeth line station at Abbey Wood will be created with route 469 rerouted between Abbey Wood station (for the Elizabeth line and National Rail) and Belvedere Station via New Road, Woolwich Road and Picardy Road instead of Abbey Road and Gilbert Road. There will be no change to the frequency of the route.

Customers can continue to use route 229 instead, which will continue to serve Abbey Road and Gilbert Road.

14/05/2022
472 (North Greenwich Station to Thamesmead Town Centre) 24 hour bus route 472 will be rerouted from Central Way to Abbey Wood station (for Elizabeth line and National Rail services) via Crossway, Carlyle Road, Harrow Manorway and Knee Hill. It will not serve Thamesmere Drive or Bentham Road. Customers can use route 301 instead, which will continue to provide a link to Abbey Wood along these roads as well as the previous route 472 link between Plumstead Bus Garage and Thamesmead Central Way via Nathan Way.

Buses will run every eight minutes instead of every six minutes on Monday to Friday daytimes, every 10 minutes instead of every seven to eight minutes on Saturday daytimes and every 12 minutes instead of every 10 minutes on Sundays. The night service routing will change as per the day service with buses continuing to run every 30 minutes on all nights of the week.

14/05/2022
B11 (Bexleyheath Bus Garage to Thamesmead Town Centre) Route B11 will no longer run between South Thamesmead, Yarnton Way / Harrow Manorway and Thamesmead Town Centre. Customers can use routes 177, 229, 244, 301, 401 and 472, which will continue to provide a link between Harrow Manorway / Yarnton Way and Thamesmead Town Centre. Buses on route B11 will run every 20 minutes instead of every 15 minutes during the day Monday to Saturday. There will be no change frequencies at any other time. 14/05/2022