Categories
Tooting Bec and Balham

March 2018 Newsletter

MARCH NEWS: Read on for news about local road changes, Tooting Bec Lodge, Newlands Estate Residents meeting, the recent water shortages and Balham and Tooting Community Association

Fleur Anderson, Clare Fraser and Hector Wakefield are your candidates in the local elections. On May 3rd, you’ll have the chance to vote for change. Labour will make our roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists, defend local schools from cuts and keep the same low council tax.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you think we can help you out with anything else. As local residents, we’re committed to working hard for everyone in our community.

Elmbourne Road and Tooting Bec junction road changes

As a result of campaigning by local residents and your local Labour councillors, the council have agreed to take action to reduce the number and speed of cars coming through the area.

A petition from residents of Elmbourne and Hillbury Road and parents of St Anselm’s School on Louisville Road led to the council assessing the traffic on Elmbourne Road. At peak times of day there is over three times the amount considered acceptable. Rather than just put in traffic calming on one road, the Council has now agreed to take this further and look across the Heaver Estate.

The Council is working with Transport for London to forecast the effects of changes to the ‘no right turn’ at Tooting Bec station which causes traffic jams and is the reason for so many drivers turning up Elmbourne Road. All local roads near Elmbourne Road – including roads off Elmbourne and Avoca and Montana Roads, Tooting Bec Road are included. The effect of traffic changes on Dr Johnson Avenue is being assessed but there is no proposal to close the road as this was rejected by local residents recently.

As your Labour team we have been supporting local residents and working with the council to make the case for less rat running, slower speeds of traffic, and ensure roads are safe for pedestrians to cross. We will let you know the council’s plans as soon as possible, and involve you in the plans for our roads.

Labour is committed to ensuring our roads are safe. It was a campaign run by Councillor Fleur Anderson that ensured that all residential streets in the neighbourhood have a 20MPH speed limit on them. Something that has now been replicated across the whole of Wandsworth.

Tooting Bec Lodge

After years of delays the developer has repaired the Lodge to Heritage standards. Everyone who walks past this eye sore now wants to see the hoardings come down and they should be down by June 23rd – hopefully sooner.

 

Thames Water

The Thames Water issues were a busy weekend for our MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan as she worked hard to keep residents informed and liaise with them to get a water bottle distribution point in Balham, water to old peoples homes and to secure compensation for affected residents. you should have received a letter from Thames Water telling you how much that will be depending on how long you didn’t have water for. I helped out by delivering water to people who couldn’t get out and I know that lots of people helped neighbours and showed how much we do care for each other in our community. I’m grateful to the Thames engineers who worked through several nights to fix the many leaks, and hope that Thames Water will invest much more in our Victorian water system so that this doesn’t happen again.

Newlands Estate Residents Association meeting

The Residents Association met recently, with the main issues been the very inconsistent cleaning service and recent water issues. The cleaning issues have been ongoing for a very long time, and During the recent snow, water pipes in Treherne Court froze and left residents without water for several days. Residents have been assured that the lagging will be done before next winter and are seeking compensation.

Balham and Tooting Community Association

The BACTA AGM was a very happy meeting, with plenty to celebrate in last year’s events and plans for this year. Here is news from BACTA:

We decided to do a Community Walk on Sunday 13th May, led by Geoff Simmons of Summerstown 182. We chose a multifaith theme, with visits inside three or four places of worship of different faiths to see the building and meet the members.

Many expressed enthusiasm for a summer sports event, either football or cricket, and a number made offers to help.

A family swim and picnic at Tooting Lido, or a family sports day on Tooting Common were also suggested.

If you could help organise any of these or have further ideas, please let BATCA know: secretary@batca.org

The year ahead : old favourites
The Community Fun Day, in collaboration with the schools of the Al Risalah Trust and St Augustine’s Church, will take place on Saturday 22nd September.

The multi faith Peace Ceremony is planned for 10th October

The ever popular Community Awards will take place early in 2019. Nominations will open at the beginning of January, leading to a celebratory presentation event around late February.

Categories
Tooting Bec and Balham

Wandsworth Labour will work to protect the environment

Speech given by Cllr Fleur Anderson, Labour spokesperson on the Environment, at the Council Meeting on March 6th 2018 – the last council meeting before the May 3rd election 

 

A balanced community is one which is not run in favour of one group or another, and feels fair to everyone. A balanced community may be diverse, made up of very different people and groups, but everyone feels that they have a stake in the community, people don’t feel left out.

 People have every opportunity to get on in life, but don’t feel that they are getting on at the expense of others. People in a balanced community can feel stable and secure and not worried that change they don’t agree with could come at any time.

 A balanced community is a better place to live, to get on, to raise a family, to enjoy later years.

 Wandsworth residents are feeling that something is unbalanced in the way the Conservative administration is running our borough. Things have gone too far in favour of developers and developments that aren’t for them or their children. They want the balance back.

 I know its not just the fault of the Conservative administration here in Wandsworth, it’s the National Conservative Government that has imposed austerity and cuts. Tories have stripped local power away for years – with Wandsworth Tories cheering on from the sidelines – and left our local services, and us, struggling.

The council doesn’t seem to be taking enough action, isn’t as concerned as we are about pollution, clean streets, trees and our green spaces. In so many ways the balance is wrong and the Tories’ lack of action on the environment is an example of this.

 TREES

The council should have a target for more tree planting across the borough. Instead there is a pattern of planting more trees in the year before an election and removing more trees than are planted in the other years. Between 2014-17 540 trees were planted but 713 removed. There are missing trees in so many streets and estates. Instead, we should always plant more trees than we remove (we should care for trees better and not remove so many) and align with the Mayor’s London plan and aim to increase tree cover by 10% by 2050 and check our tree planting plans against this.

 AIR QUALITY

Putney High Street is one of the worst areas for the unseen killer that is air pollution. Last week the council should have agreed the £1.2 million needed for the first three (out of five sets) of actions to tackle air quality – not just £540,000 for a bare minimum of actions that on their own can’t tackle pollution. The council has the money in the community infrastructure levy budget and Putney residents want URGENT action – and in Clapham Junction and Tooting High Street too.

 CYCLING

The main cause of pollution is road traffic – and so moving to non-polluting travel – cycling and walking – should be a priority, yet walking and cycling don’t get much of a look in in road changes and housing policies. Here are three examples of lack of action:

 Cycling parking is one example of lack of action. No secure parking is a major obstacle to people cycling more – if you think your bike will be nicked when you go somewhere it puts you off. In 2014 the council was awarded £50,000 to trial 10 secure bike hangars. In four years only two have been put into streets. So out of 1,956 streets in Wandsworth, only two have secure bike parking. There has been no explanation of this to the community services committee as if it doesn’t matter.

 An easy win to make our streets cycle friendly is making one way streets two-way for cyclists and across no-though roads but again very little action. In 2013 £50,000 or funding (from TfL) was for 15 streets. Guess how many of the one way streets have been changed? None – and just three changes to allow cycle across no through roads. And no report back to committee on the lack of progress and what is happening to the money instead. By my reckoning there are just 6 contraflow roads in Wandsworth (two are in Bedford Ward – do you know where?). In neighbouring Lambeth, with similar roads, there are 40 in place with 20 more agreed.

 There should be more cycle lanes and separate spaces for bikes at junctions, changes like traffic calming in Nightingale Lane should not throw cyclists out into the road… I could go on.

So, we have 700 new electric charging points in place or agreed, at a cost of £3 million. This is good – but what is the equivalent action on cycling and walking?  There is no balance people different users of our streets – we shouldn’t let our streets be so dominated by cars – instead we should be swapping between different ways to get around. Wandsworth Labour will take joined up and ambitious action for active travel – cycling and walking.

RECYCLING

Our recycling record doesn’t get much of a look in in Brightside does it! I haven’t seen any photo opportunities of cabinet members holding up a big sign saying ‘Wandsworth has one of the poorest records on recycling of all the London boroughs’, or ‘We recycle 27% of our waste when the London average is 52%.’ These are shocking statistics. Wandsworth Labour will recycle more and making money from our waste not spending a fortune on to burn it.

When it comes to the environment, Wandsworth really isn’t the brighter borough or the greener borough.

People want more action on the environment, and so do we. If we’re elected, starting on May 4th, Wandsworth Labour will get the balance in our communities back. We will set ambitious environmental targets and show the political will and determination to work with residents to achieve them.