Yesterday was Election Day in Tooting, as Wandsworth went to the polls for the local elections.
We ran an excellent campaign that worked right up to 10pm last night, speaking to voters across Tooting. The result was Labour’s best result in 30 years in Wandsworth. Together we got 26 Labour Councillors elected, won the popular vote, and came within 141 votes of winning control of the Council.
I am disappointed that we didn’t take the Council this time, especially because we had candidates who would have made great Councillors but missed out by desperately small margins. Nevertheless, we should be proud of what we achieved in Wandsworth.
On behalf of everyone in Tooting Labour, I want to thank everyone who knocked on a door, phoned a member, delivered a leaflet, or helped in the office during the campaign. You should be proud of the campaign you were a part of.
This weekend has been the last before the local elections take place on 3rd May, and it has been great spending the last two weeks campaigning across Tooting for a Labour win.
On Saturday 21st we were joined by Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Tom Watson MP who helped us knock on doors in Balham and Tooting Bec. As the Shadow Sports Minister, I work closely with him in Parliament and it was great to bring him to Tooting again.
Then, this weekend, we were joined by Sadiq Khan and Harriet Harman MP for our Mock Election weekend. Teams went out non-stop from 10am to 6pm on both days, and it was great to have the support of such well respected Labour politicians and campaigners.
Following the harrowing reports of increases in violence across London, I joined Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Home Secretary Amber Rudd MP, and Commissioner Cressida Dick, along with a cross-party group of MPs and Council leaders, at a violent crime summit at City Hall. We discussed how communities across London can come together to tackle the growing threat. It was productive day with a relentless focus on prevention and tackling root causes.
Since I was first elected, I have been working to create opportunities for young people in the local community. Working with South Thames College, we launched the Take One apprenticeship scheme to connect local young people with opportunities in local businesses.
Additionally, I have been liaising with local organisations that work to rehabilitate and provide young people with much needed training, be it after-school activities or up-skilling opportunities. Local organisations and colleges are crucial in discussing further ways in which our services can reach young people in Tooting.
One thing is for certain, we cannot let this senseless violence continue, only by working together will be able to truly make difference.
This week, I was honoured to be invited to Manchester to speak at a round-table on how to tackle inequality in sport, and to celebrate the launch of the new healthy living initiative – The Daily Mile.
A number of sporting organisations, including National Governing Bodies, and representatives from a collection of charities, came together to discuss how to tackle gender, race, and disability inequalities within physical activity and sport. There were fantastic suggestions on the positive steps that both the Government and local communities can take to ensure that everyone has the opportunity, and resources, to access and enjoy sport.
To commemorate the launch, myself and Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, took on the challenge of walking The Daily Mile. This new initiative asks primary schools to encourage children to run, walk, or jog for at least 15 minutes a day. With nearly a third of children between 2- 15 years classed as overweight, making sure that our children are getting enough exercise is paramount.
Manchester is the world’s first City Region committed to The Daily Mile and with 43% of primary schools in Greater Manchester already signed up, we're looking to re-engineer activity back into our lifestyles.
For more information on The Daily Mile please find details here: thedailymile.co.uk
This simple change can make a huge difference to the health and well-being of our future generations.