New Plans for Tooting Common

I love our local Common and with a bike, four children, a love of running and a dog I’m an extensive user! There are a few big changes coming the way of Tooting Common – and ways in which you can have your say in what they are. Here’s a run down of the changes, and I’ll be sharing more about how to get involved on this blog, in letters and on Twitter as they evolve:

Heritage Lottery Fund
The Council has successfully applied for Lottery funding for heritage related projects on the Common and there will be someone employed to see the first projects done, and then to organise consultations about future projects. The first ones are exploring the history of the Common and installing signs explaining the history behind some of its areas; refurbishing a fountain; and improving the site of an ancient tree, amongst others. There is more information about the history project and how to express interest in being a volunteer here.

The current owners have now got permission to apply for a longer lease and to extend the café to include toilets and a baby change area. This will be a welcome addition to the Common. My son just loves the shocking bright blue bubble gum flavoured ice cream, but the Council can’t regulate everything!

Football pitch next to the Triangle Childrens’ Centre
The opportunity to take up a lease for changing rooms and to upgrade the football pitch was advertised last week, covering the building that used to be a youth club and then a boxing club.

The Great White Line Debate
The issue of how to enable considerate cycling on paths also used by lots of walkers is hotly debated in the Common’s Management and Friend’s groups. The current situation of having a white line doesn’t really work in the view of many. It has become an issue of national importance now and there will be a Secretary of State’s enquiry into this in September. I cycle across Clapham Common every day and really enjoy the separate paths there, but apparently there can’t be any more tarmac on Tooting Common so this can’t be the solution here. I’ll put more information about how to give your opinion on this enquiry here when I have it.

Future of policing for the Common
The Metropolitan Police currently provide the policing service for the Common. This contract is coming up for renewal and other options will be looked into by the Council later in the year.

A couple of websites with more information:
Friends of Tooting Common
Wandsworth Cyclists


On being a new councillor

A huge thanks to everyone who voted on election day back in May – and especially for those who voted for Rosena and I. There haven’t been any Labour councillors for our ward since 1990, but we changed this and are very grateful and excited to be your new councillors.

I’ve lived in the ward since 1999 and have gradually become more active in local issues. My four children all went to (or still go to) St Anselms and my husband is from Balham, so I have lots of friends and community connections. I really wanted to give more back to the community and seized the chance of becoming a Councillor.

Last year I got involved in leading campaigns against the cuts to One O’Clock clubs and to save the Wheatsheaf pub from being taken over by a supermarket. Both of these encouraged me that local people working together can make a difference.

Both Rosena and I want to work really hard to be a representative of all local residents to the Council which issues arise, we want to be active and visible in the community, and to especially stand up for the people who are most affected by the cuts in Council services and the continued focus by the Council on making money rather than making better communities. We also live here and love our low council tax.

My priority in being a Councillor will be to serve local people and stand up for everyone in getting better services and response from our local Council, to get better information about what the Council offers to people – and to enable better feedback to the Council about what they should be doing better.

So thanks again for voting for me to be your Councillor, I’m here to serve and do get in touch about anything you think I could help with.