Just over a year after Mr McDonnell was appointed as the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, getwestlondon sat down with him on (Wednesday) in his Westminster office to discuss the issues that matter most to you in Hayes and Harlington.
Heathrow Airport expansion
Sitting in his Portcullis House office, just across the street from the Houses of Parliament and in the same corridor as the office of the Leader of the Opposition, Mr McDonnell mentions the third runway expansion of Heathrow Airport as probably the biggest issue affecting the constituency.
Outlining his current schedule in addressing the airport's expansion and residents concerns, the Labour MP said he has met with local residents who have shared their fears over the demolition of houses in the constituency, but also the environmental impacts of the increase in flights that would follow.
Mr McDonnell added that he believed the legal action from a coalition of local authorities, including Hillingdon Council , would succeed in stopping the airport's expansion.
He said: “I'm certain we're going to win.
“The opposition is not just on the basis of people losing their homes but people understand the environmental impacts. People are raising the question of climate change.
“It's not just a Nimby campaign.
“I think the legal challenge is likely to be successful if if this one doesn't others will.
“I'm worried about the blight on the area.”
Hillingdon Council recently fired an ultimate to the Government, giving ministers 14 days to reverse their preference for expanding Heathrow Airport before formally launching their legal challenge.
But pro-Heathrow campaigners have suggested the council should spend its money on public services, not on fighting legal battles.
Health and social services
Mr McDonnell, who as Shadow Chancellor criticised the Government's autumn statement given by Phillip Hammond last week, said he was also concerned about health and social care across the UK and in Hillingdon.
Speaking about Government cuts to councils across the country, he said he is concerned about the impact on social services and on elderly people becoming “trapped in the NHS system” when services fail.
He said: “Hayes is no different to the rest of the country, which is experiencing social care cuts.
“This isn't party political. I'm concerned for councils whatever political party they are.
“If there isn't the social care available to patients after they leave hospital they become trapped in the NHS system.”
Hillingdon Council has faced around £73million in funding cuts from central Government since 2010, but the leader of the council, Ray Pudditfoot said earlier this year there are no planned cuts to services or facility closures.
Last rebuilt in the 60s, Hillingdon Hospital is in dire need of another total renovation, according to Mr McDonnell who is lobbying the Secretary of State to visit the facility.
Mr McDonnell said: “I think Hillingdon Hospital are doing a fantastic job.
“I think they're experienced, dedicated, and working long ours in difficult conditions.
“The facility has gone beyond its useful life and we need a new hospital.
“We hope we can get Jeremy Hunt down to see the conditions people are working in, the cracks in the building and the windows that have been taped up.
“It's one of the top priorities in the country for investment.”
And that concluded a very interesting discussion with the Shadow Chancellor on his work as your MP, just before he was whisked away to the Houses of Parliament for Prime Minister's Questions.
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