I can’t believe how fast this month has gone. I feel as though the kids have only just gone back to school and yet its nearly half term. The news is full of Brexit and Trump (don’t get me started) but lots has been going on in the little patch of London we call home too.
Here’s some news on the new Neighbourhood Plan and how you can make decision about our local streets, Newlands Estate issues, a peoples uprising on Carminia Road, a cycle parking win, the traffic lights on Ritherdon Road (grrrr), results of our local survey, the opening of a new arts venue on Tooting High Road, and a change to our councillor surgeries.
Yesterday over 5,000 people in Tooting had signed the petition against inviting Donald Trump for a state visit. The same number of people (coincidently) living in Wandsworth were born in one of the 7 countries banned from visiting the US (in the 2011 census), and all of their families would also be affected raising the number to many more thousands of people. There are especially important links for people living in Wandsworth for example between the Somali communities here and in Minnesota. The American Embassy will soon be moving to Wandsworth and as a Council we should write to the Ambassador and ask him to oppose this ban. Wandsworth Welcomes Refugees supporters were out in force at the protest at 10 Downing St on Monday.
It is important that we oppose this, and use this opportunity to reaffirm how much we value diversity in Balham and Tooting, how we want to live together and not separately and how much being a global community enriches our lives. The Labour councillors will be raising this in the Council meeting tomorrow. Here is the petition on the state visit.
Local neighbourhoods are now allowed to develop a neighbourhood plan. This goes to a vote of all local residents in the area and informs future planning decisions by the Council. Our Tooting one is the first in Wandsworth and has kicked off with the creation of a local Forum who will put together the plan in conversation with as many people as possible. For more information and to say if you agree with this or not click here to see this current council consultation which closes on February 20th. Here is the news story about the launch.
I’m on the organising group which is keen for the whole process to be inclusive, creative and inspire us to think about how we can see a difference in our local area. Rosena and I are both on the Forum and do ask us if you have any questions or would like to get more involved – we’d love to have more people on the group.
Newlands Estate issues - Treherne Court and Baringer Square
Thanks to all the residents of Newlands Estate (off Franciscan Road and Tooting Bec Road) for raising various issues in meetings and emails. In response I organised a visit with the local Area Housing Manager and the cleaning services company. There are lots of anti social behaviour concerns, and issues with parking, trees, fly tipping, a whole strip of abandoned gardens, and crime. I hope that action will be taken on all of these and will working with council officers and our safer neighbourhood team to tackle all of these.
On a positive note we saw the planned area for a community garden and we’ll be supporting
residents to get funding for this. The plan is to have a picnic bench and some fruit trees – other ideas and sharing examples of good community gardens are very welcome.
Peoples power on Carminia Road
People living on Carminia Road were fed up with rubbish dumped in front of some garages on their road and I met with them and demanded action. As a result the council took action and the landlord cleared the rubbish within two weeks. Do get in touch with me if you have something that you want to get sorted out on your road and lets see what we can do.
A cycle parking win
Its not earth shattering but it is good news. Mike lives locally and came to me when his bike was stolen outside Trinity Pharmacy on Balham High Road. I supported him to write a petition for cycle parking hoops at the pharmacy which lots of customers signed. It took a few more months and follow up requests but finally Transport for London did agree and here they are. With continuing increases in cycling we need to see more and more parking for bikes whereever possible.
Traffic lights on Ritherdon Road
Thank you to everyone who has got in contact with me to complain about the new phasing of lights on Ritherdon Road and the knock on effect this is having on other local roads as driver try to avoid the longer queues and speed down side roads. I’ve been in contact with Transport for London and the council and hope that the phasing can be returned to the pre-road works times.
Hannah and Keiron have followed their dream, got the crowd funding needed and have now opened a brand new arts and music venue, Sound Lounge. Its on the High Road past the Royal Oak and in the shop that used to be Dreamland and more recently had the big photo of Tooting Common. The launch night was great and they have a schedule of bands and day time activities (yoga, baby groups etc) up to at least October. Here is their website – with a great video by them explaining the whole vision (clue: its not just a new pub): http://www.thesoundlounge.org.uk
Results of our local survey
Thank you to everyone who filled in the local survey that we sent around with our Christmas cards. The top issues that concern people in the area are…… street cleaning and flytipping, and crime. We’ll be taking all your comments and continuing to raise these issues with the council and taking action on your behalf.
Change to our councillor surgeries
We’ve changed our local surgery times from being in Balham library to being on the first Wednesday of every month from 10.15 – 11.15 in the Scout hall opposite Du Can Court and on the corner of Balham High Road and Elmfield Rd (the leisure centre road). Its drop in so do just turn up. Thank you to Network Neighbourhood who have a coffee morning at that time for hosting us – so you can get a drink and meet other local people at the same time. You can email us anytime too: