Angie Bray's Maiden Speech

New MP for Ealing Central and Acton mentions Tallo Centre and dangerous dogs

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Angie Bray made her maiden speech in the House of Commons last week.

She started by paying tribute to some of her predecessors, including the outgoing MP who is now hon. Member for Hammersmith (Andy Slaughter), Stephen Pound (MP for ealing North and the right hon. Member for North West Hampshire (Sir George Young) of whom Angie said "I am very aware that I have [his] large shoes to fill-literally, as well as metaphorically."

Ms Bray gave a picture of her new constuency: "Ealing Central and Acton is one of the most diverse constituencies one can imagine. The boundary changes have deepened that diversity-the constituency is truly a rich tapestry. We have a long-standing Polish community, an Asian community, an Arab community, a Japanese community and an African community, including a growing Somali community.

She went on to mention "the brilliant work of the Tallo centre in south Acton, which operates on little funding and eases the path of Somalis who come to this country and into our community.

"When I called there recently during the election campaign, I found two of the staff embarking on their new campaign against female circumcision in the Somali community. That is perhaps a useful reminder to us all that not everyone who comes here to live a better life can leave all their torment behind them. As the local MP, I look forward with all my heart to supporting the work of organisations such as the Tallo centre."

Ms Bray said that she felt it was "imperative" to keep Acton and Ealing's history in mind when considering plans to regenerate Ealing and Acton town centres, "for regenerated I believe they must be if they are to stride confidently through the 21st century. Crossrail will help. There must be development, but it must be done sensitively in order not to trample on the history and character of the place. I hope to work closely with the local council and other agencies to ensure that we get things as right as we possibly can.

"I look forward to continuing some of the campaigns that I started as a candidate. I have a local transport committee, which meets regularly to discuss Ealing Broadway and Acton main line stations, and I shall continue to campaign-for as long as it takes-to ensure that we keep our A and E departments at both Central Middlesex and Ealing hospitals."

One issue Ms Bray obviously feels strongly about is dangerous dogs, which she says "have become an increasing problem in Ealing and Acton. I was delighted to see that the coalition agreement goes into some detail about tackling that. I am a little disappointed that it is not an immediate priority-I hope it will be, and I am sure it needs to be. We have problems in the parks throughout Ealing and Acton, and I think it is unacceptable that in this day and age, people cannot enjoy their wonderful green spaces because of the blight of such dangerous dogs.

"We need to look again at what we do to protect people while supporting the vast majority of responsible dog owners. Principally, this is an issue of enforcement. I am not sure that yet another form of licensing will make any difference, because after all, as we all know, the good guys buy their licences and the bad people do not bother. It is an issue of enforcement. I hope that the Government will look at that, introduce measures, and see how we can toughen penalties and crack down on people who consistently flout the law."

She finished by saying that she was proud to have been chosen to represent Ealng Central and Acton. "I look forward to speaking out on behalf of my constituents whenever the occasion arises."


June 3, 2010