January Newsletter

Latest news below on: Refugee clothes collection, Crossrail2, BACTA awards, Children centres, Heritage Lottery Fund, Park Run, Tooting Common Playground, Heaver Estate Crime, Cycle Quietway consultation, Tooting Common Cafe, diseased trees on Tooting Common

Christmas and New Year has been a lovely mild holiday and Cllrs Fleur and Rosena have not stopped working for local residents in taking up lots of personal issues with housing, paving, litter, planning applications and going to local community meetings. We hold drop in surgeries on the third Saturday of every month at Balham library at 10am, and respond to emails as fast as we can: Fanderson@wandsworth.gov.uk  rallin-kha@wandsworth.gov.uk

Good luck to all parents filling in their primary school application forms and university UCAS forms!

Urgent!! Clothes collection for refugees – do you have a spare men’s coat?

Clothes collection for Calais refugees
Clothes collection for Calais refugees

Seem brilliant local women are coordinating a clothes collection to fill a van going to the Calais and Dunkirk refugee camps. Ravenstone and St Anslems School parents are getting involved and word is spreading fast.

The collection is on Larch Close, off Bedford Hill (near the Drs Surgery) on Saturday 16th January from 10am – 4pm. Items needed are mens jackets, trousers, gloves, hats, sleeping bags – not women’s and children’s clothes.



Crossrail 2

This is the new North-South railway from Wimbledon to Tottenham and will come to either Tooting Broadway or Balham. Whichever it goes to will mean building works for several years from 2020 and the whole line will be finished by about 2030. Rosena and Fleur sent a submission to the consultation which finished on January 6th and will continue to lobby TfL for more consultation with local people and on these points:

1.Tooting Broadway needs the development benefits more than Balham does. This needs to be more of a factor in the decision making than it is now. The benefits to Tooting Broadway may far outweigh the additional costs, and the impact on business in Tooting Broadway and Balham needs to be further analysed and then used in decision making.
2. Balham already has more rail links.
3. Although it will be disruptive in Tooting Broadway, having a building site in the middle of Balham for years will be more detrimental for less benefit.
4. Better access to St George’s Hospital is a positive benefit for Tooting Broadway.
5. TfL should keep doing more investigation into the actual building costs of Tooting Broadway before discounting it. They may not be as different from Balham costs as currently estimated.
6. The Balham route means an access shaft on the Bolingbroke Road part of Wandsworth Common which is very, very unpopular locally.
7. The consultation was too limited and did not even have a question about Tooting Broadway which will have reduced responses on this.
Now that the consultation is closed we will continue to lobby for more consultation, and for more information about the economic and social benefits of Tooting Broadway to be factored into the decision making. We should hear responses in a couple of months and it will take many more months after that for the whole scheme to be approved by the Government.

AMAZING BACTA award night

The highlight of December for both of us was the Balham and Tooting Community Association (BACTA) award night. Which was a packed, glittering and joyous celebration of local people who make a huge contribution to peoples lives. The award winners were all very humble and inspiring and it made us truly happy to be a part of such a wonderful community.

Housing Bill

We spend a lot of time supporting people with housing issues, and those most affected have been moved out of Wandsworth to temporary accommodation. We are really worried about the impact that the current government Housing Bill will have on families and young people having a chance of having a home  in Wandsworth which is already such a crisis that over 1,000 families are in temporary accommodation. The right to buy of housing association homes will cost Wandsworth Council dearly and cost residents even more. Already, according to Cllr Simon Hogg; ‘In the last 25 years, 14,791 local council homes have been sold off and only 5,170 affordable homes built in their place. We’re 10,000 short.’ Now this will just get worse.

Parents being turned away from children centres

Parents and mums net have contacted us with very worrying reports that parents from neighbouring Lambeth have been turned away from the Triangle children centre, and we have also seen a letter which says that nannies and childminder may not be welcome. We have queried this with officers and they have said that a policy was being wrongly applied and that Lambeth parents are welcome. However Rosena’s letter about the nanny and childminder policy has not been responded to yet – but this discriminates against children with working parents. On top of the closure of One O’Clock clubs and the Lesuire centre creche, this is yet another cutback in Council provision for pre-school children.

Tooting Common Heritage Lottery Fund

A major funding has been applied for to do a range of new projects to maintain and restore the heritage and ecology of the Common and improve it for all users. We will hear about whether this has been successful on 11th February and then expect to have a lot of projects consulted on for the next three years. We really do hope that the bid has been successful and have been involved with lots of other people in the work that went into local consultations on the proposals. One of the projects would be the closure of Dr Johnson Avenue to traffic – if the bid is successful, a full traffic survey and much wider consultation than last summer would be the next step.

Park Run

We hear that Park Run WILL be coming to Tooting Be in the very near future – watch this space!! It is a volunteer organised weekly 5km run at 9am every Saturday. You will need to register on the Park Run website, although the Tooting Bec run isn’t up there quite yet. Time to dust off your running shoes?

Tooting Common Playground

Good news for children! Plans are being drawn up for spending £30,00 for new equipment  for Tooting Common Chestnut Avenue playground.

Heaver Estate Crime

At this month’s Safer Neighbourhood Team meeting, local police and crime prevention team reported that the Heaver Estate has had a spate of 34 burglaries in 9 months recently. Police are patrolling a lot more, and contacting residents and offering to come and give advice on crime prevention – be aware everyone.

Cycle Quietway consultation

There are plans for new cycle routes across London, which are aimed at ‘leisure cyclists’ with routes through back streets and quieter areas. There are plans for a route across Tooting Common, and responses to a consultation are encouraged – it finishes on 14 February.


There are drop in sessions fro more information at Tooting Common Cafe on Thursday 14 January: 9.00am until 12.00pm and Saturday 30 January: 11.00am until 2.00pm.

Tooting Common Cafe

Tooting Common Cafe - awaiting approval for extension
Tooting Common Cafe – awaiting approval for extension

Talking of Tooting Common cafe, the current owners have been awarded a new long term lease, and the planning permission for the extension has been approved by Wandsworth Council but also has to be approved by the National Inspectorate (because it is on the Common) and they are waiting for this. In the meantime, the size of the extension has been marked out on the ground so you can see what it will be.


Diseased trees on Tooting Common

As a result of tree surveys on Tooting Common, disease has been found in some of the Horse Chestnut Trees. More surveys and consultation on future plans will be taking place during this year. There is more information here:


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