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Tooting Bec and Balham

Getting to know your Labour candidates

With the local elections coming up in Wandsworth on 3 May next year, we thought we’ tell you a little more about ourselves and our interests (both in and out of politics!) so that you can get to know us a little better.

Cllr Fleur Anderson

What  are your interests (outside of politics): I have four children and love getting interested in what they are interested in. I’m in a book club (we don’t actually discuss the books a lot!), love cycling, going to free events in London and walking my dog on Tooting Common.

What national Labour achievement are you most proud of, and why? I can’t just have one!! Sure Start was a major achievement. Sure Start centres across the country supported young families and changed life chances at the pre-school time that can make most difference.  Sure Start centres built stronger communities and made peoples’ lives better. I’m still so angry that the Tories came into government and closed most down.

The other Labour Government achievement I am proud was being global leaders on international development and making a commitment to spend 0.7% of our GDP on aid. I’m glad that the Tories have also supported this commitment as for little money we do save lives around the world. I’ve been fortunate enough to see a lot of the government’s development work in action when I worked for Water Aid.

What’s on your 2018 wishlist? I was very honoured to elected as a councillor in 2014 and to serve my local community. I have worked hard, learnt so much, tried to be as actively involved in standing up for people, supporting community groups and making changes that make our local area an even better place to live. After 40 years of Tory Wandsworth it’s time for a change and Labour Wandsworth would keep the same low council tax, listen to residents more, get out of the pockets of developers, and stand up against school cuts and for EU citizens. So winning the Council is top of my wish list for 2018.

Aside from that I have double exams in my family this year – A levels and GCSEs, so getting to July in one piece will be a success!

Clare Fraser

What are your interests (outside of politics): When not out campaigning with the Labour party I play for a nearby hockey team, enjoy running round Tooting Common and in the summer months love going to Tooting Lido. I also enjoy discovering new places in London and going to see live music.

What national Labour achievement (national) are you most proud of, and why? As Fleur says, it’s difficult to have just one. As a woman involved in politics, I am proud of the achievement made by Barbara Castle in introducing the Equal Pay Act. Also, the passing of the National Minimum Wage Act and the investment made by Labour in education and teaching staff over the years are achievements I’m particularly proud of.

What’s on your 2018 wishlist? Being selected as a candidate has been one of my proudest achievements to date and it’s great being part of a Labour team in Wandsworth who are all listening to residents across the borough. I’m looking forward to continuing to work together to get elected and help Labour win Wandsworth Council in May 2018.

I also like to set myself a challenge to complete (the last 2 years it has been the London Triathlon) and am currently trying to pin down what I should do in 2018. My favourite element of the triathlon is the swim leg, and I really enjoyed participating in the first Serpentine Swim in 2016, so I may sign up for the longer distance swim in 2018.

Hector Wakefield

What are your interests: Outside of politics I enjoy reading, climbing, and the occasional bit of woodwork. I am a qualified skydiver and my long-term aim is to one day fly a wingsuit down an alpine mountain. Only another 600 jumps or so to go!

What national Labour achievement are you most proud of, and why? From when Labour were last in government, civil partnerships and the minimum wage were hugely important steps forward. From more recently, I am incredibly proud of Labour’s 2017 manifesto. It was full of progressive and fair ideas to make life in the UK better for everyone.

What’s on your 2018 wishlist? In 2018 I have two goals – get married, and get elected. How hard can that be. I am lucky enough to have found my soulmate and we are tying the knot in 2018. I hope the luck continues and Wandsworth Labour Party take control of Wandsworth Council. I am confident this will happen, and when it does there’s no end to the improvements we can make for so many of our 300,000+ residents.

Categories
Tooting Bec and Balham

Pride in every street: what would make Wandsworth Council a success?

Council Meeting Speech, 6th December 2017

 

 

 

 

The Tories in Wandsworth have ruled for the few and not the many for too long, and I’m glad its coming to end at the next election. 40 years is enough.

The Conservatives claim to be a success. Lets look back over these 40 years and judge their success in building a stronger community.

Success would be valuing children and young people and not presiding over school budget cuts and the closure of One O’clock clubs, Sure Start centres, and youth services across the borough.

Success for the local community would be a strong sense of ownership of our green spaces. But instead we have less and less say in what happens in our parks and commons. Prices to use sports facilities rise above inflation every year, car racing tracks can be put down in our parks and we can’t say no, beautiful trees are chopped down, air quality is getting worse and running our parks is contracted out by the contractors and we have no say.

Success would be making the most of partnership with community organisations, valuing what everyone thinks, finding the energy of local groups and enabling them to flourish. Instead, Conservative Wandsworth council have had a deliberate policy of not working with local voluntary organisations. The relationship between the voluntary sector should be strong but instead is broken. Other boroughs have Council for Voluntary Services – a CVS – which is excellent value for money as the council provides some support for community organisations who in turn can work together more easily, bring in more money and most importantly do more by local for local people. This is especially important in times of ever reducing council budgets. But not in Wandsworth.

Success would be lots of events and the ‘being together’ which makes friendships, builds communities and makes life fun. The council should be supporting culture and community events – our streets should be alive with temporary closures, parties, trying out playstreets, diverse cultural occasions. The unused council properties on High Streets should be pop up art spaces, start up businesses, creative places bringing our High Streets to life and making a trip to the shops an event. Instead bureaucracy and cost puts people off holding street events and High Street buildings lie unused.

Success would be sharing our good fortune with the world, welcoming refugees fleeing for their lives from their homes Syria. We would be a richer place if we were a more welcoming place. It’s the kind of compassion that would be contagious.

Success would be no need for foodbanks, no need for emergency supplies for people who have nothing left. Instead, between 1st April and 30th September 2017, over 2,000 three-day emergency food supplies were provided to local people in crisis by Wandsworth Foodbank.

Success is not the bedroom tax, increasing in-work poverty, reducing child benefit, failing roll-out of Universal Credit, and now cutting funding for womens’ refuges.

Success is not 2,500 Wandsworth children now, right now, in bed and breakfasts because they are homeless – and these families have to keep paying for daily transport to schools and storage of their possessions.

Success is not the utter shambles of Brexit.

Tory Britain and Tory Wandsworth is nothing to be proud of.

In the Labour Party we have an alternative vision for the Wandsworth Borough we love. The same low council tax, collecting of our rubbish, championing our libraries and leisure centres and resurfacing our roads but a lot more.

We will invest in creating stronger communities.

We will invest in public services not run them down and sell them off. We will be the healthiest borough in London, greening our streets and cleaning up our air.

We will protect the vulnerable, champion the London living wage, challenge discrimination and be a borough that takes pride in every street, and where stronger communities mean better opportunities for everyone.

Roll on the local elections on May 3rd.