Dean enjoys working hard for constituents and is very active across our town, from volunteering to regular surgeries, attending events to showcasing Watford nationally. Find out about some of Dean's many local activities below.
Events & Visits
Dean attends many events across Watford including many virtual visits.
On special occassions Dean has even been able to bring a guest along too, and in the past year both the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak and several Government Ministers have joined Dean to find out what is happening locally in Watford.
If you would like to invite Dean along to one of your events, join a community zoom or speak at a local Watford function, then get in touch via our contact page.
Community and Volunteering
Since being elected, Dean has been privileged to volunteer alongside local charities and groups to support our community.
Dean's volunteering and community work has ranged from weekly support for local charities including joining community groups reach out to local residents every Saturday, through to being a volunteer at Watford General Hospital since the beginning of the first lockdown. Dean has encouraged others to volunteer and created videos to showcase the amazing work of many local groups and to thank volunteers in Watford and beyond.
The videos here are a small snapshot of the incredible Watford community to highlight the incredible role so many people have played throughout the COVID crisis.
Creativity For A Good Cause
As an artist, Dean has raised thousands for good causes and fundraisers through auctions of his paintings.
During the past year Dean has auctioned his paintings of Sir Captain Tom Moore for the West Herts Hospital Trust 'Raise Charity' and a portrait of Watford FC legend Luther Blissett for the Watford Community fund which is now in Watford Museum.
Dean has auctioned other painting for charity and a local school.
Over the past year Dean has produced artwork for schools for auctions, or organised for signed items, if you would like to discuss potential auction prizes for your charity or school auction get in touch via the contact page.
£4 million To End Homelessness
Dean spoke in the Commons to thank
New Hope and One YMCA for their work
in reducing homelessness in Watford.
Dean continues to work closely with
both organisations and the council since
the start of the pandemic to help tackle
homelessness in the town and was
delighted to read that there have been
no reports of people sleeping rough in
Watford in recent months.
Earlier this year it was announced that
ONE YMCA will receive government
funding of £2.2 million to help fund the
creation of 34 new rooms for rough sleeps, as well as rehabilitation space at their Charter House hostel.
In 2020 it was announced that Watford Borough Council will receive an additional £1.65 million from the Government for local schemes that provide secure ‘move on’ style accommodation for people at risk of sleeping on the streets.
I took the opportunity to thank everybody most sincerely that has been involved in getting people off our streets and into safe accommodation. Since being elected one of my priorities has been lobbying Government for additional funding to tackle homelessness and to help deliver brighter futures for those that have been sleeping rough.
If we are to deliver on the promise we made in our manifesto to end rough sleeping by the end of this Parliament, then the people who have been helped need access to long-term housing that gives them security so that they can focus on rebuilding their lives.
I am delighted that The Housing Secretary acknowledged the incredible work happening in Watford following the news that zero rough sleepers were recorded on the count, in what he described as an incredible step forward. Nevertheless, we must continue to work to ensure that this becomes the norm.”
Did You Know?
DEAN'S MISSION IMPOSSIBLE
During the first lockdown Dean was asked to help the Mission Impossible movie producers ensure filming could continue at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden. Dean successfully organised for Tom Cruise to virtually meet with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Dean's intervention led to specific film and production industry rules during COVID which countries around the world soon followed. His actions subsequently meant the global film industry could continue to make movies and TV shows safely - saving jobs in Watford and around the World.
John Lewis Petition
Dean was as frustrated as the rest of the town when he heart John Lewis was looking to close their store in Watford.
When Dean heard about the petition by Caroline Sampson, to ask John Lewis to keep the store open, Dean asked if he could hand the petition in person at the headquarters. Dean printed out the full petition which had more than 11,500 signatures.
Mr Russell later met the chairman of John Lewis, Sharon White, to explore opportunities to reconsider the company's decision to close the shop.
Taking Woodmere Avenue
Dean Russell has been lobbying on behalf of residents frustrated with the width restriction at Woodmere Avenue since before he was elected.
Dean has been working with the County Council to secure a refreshed approach to the width restriction and in Parliament to argue that communities should have a greater say in decisions that impact the roads outside their house. This includes raising the matter to the Leader of the Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg about how we can get pavement politics back into government and more recently holding an adjournment debate to raise concerns directly with the Transport Minister.
Dean stated that for too long, the Woodmere Avenue width restriction has created a risk of damage to all those passing through.
Watford's MP has said that change for local residents is one of his top priorities despite the coronavirus pandemic rightly dominating recent discussions and being the top priority over the past year.
Standing Up For Commuters
In PMQ's, Dean Russell MP lobbied on behalf of local commuters to raise concerns raised around the trains from Watford to London directly with the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
Dean's question to the Prime Minister is shown here. Following Dean's lobbying, the local train services increased the capacity to 12 carriages. Sadly, this was immediately prior to the pandemic and lockdown, which saw the rail services change services accordingly.
Dean Successfully Lobbies For A Freeze On Planning Target
Following a consultation launched in the summer that sought views from planners, councils and the wider public, the government has announced it will review the way it calculates Housing Targets and an updated method will be introduced that prioritises brownfield sites, delivers on the governments ‘levelling-up’ agenda and encourages the construction of more family homes.
The government wants to build 300,000 new homes across England each year by the mid-2020s, but a proposed algorithm to calculate targets was met with concern earlier this year. As a result, the Housing Secretary has today updated the proposed methodology.