On Sunday I had the great honour of presenting the medals and winners’ trophy to the Sinjun Grammarians under 12s cricket team - 2021 champions of the Surrey Tier Three League.
Masterfully managed by Mukesh Dev, and captained with distinction by Rufus Ford, the team’s achievement is all the more remarkable on account of the club’s small size – with a membership of just over 50 junior players, Sinjun Grammarians rarely have enough players in the same age group to enter into league competitions. Their success is also astounding for the fact that the playing group, who were experiencing league competition for the first time, marched to the title unbeaten in all their 10 games.
I could not be more proud of this group of talented young athletes, not only for overcoming the odds and taking the title so convincingly, but for the focus, determination, sportsmanship, and teamwork they showed along the way. This is what Tooting is all about: the players are truly a credit to themselves, their families, their club, and our community.
I was absolutely bowled over by the Club’s decision to award me the title of Honorary President of Sinjun Grammarians Cricket Club. This success is undoubtedly the first of many such achievements for this passionate group of young cricketers, and I look forward to celebrating with them again in coming seasons. Well done, team!
“Prior to 2017, no Government invested in or prioritised mental health services.”
I couldn’t have put it better myself - and I didn’t need to, for these are not my words. They are the words of Nadine Dorries, the Mental Health Minister.
The devastation left behind by the cuts to mental health services is staggering. And who was the architect of these cuts? No one other than the new Health Secretary during his time as a Treasury Minister.
This matter cannot go unaddressed.
That is why in Parliament today I asked the new Health Secretary to explain why a quarter of mental health beds have been cut since 2010, why 140,000 children were turned away from mental health services last year, and, finally, if he is ashamed of his track record.
See here to view the video.
On Sunday, I was back in A&E working in the run up to the England v Italy match. While, unfortunately, it did not come home, it was great to spend time with hard-working colleagues at St Georges.
With infections and hospitalisations increasing, it’s still incredibly important for us all to look out for one another and play our part in stopping the spread of the virus.
Earlier this week, the Prime Minister gave an update on moving to stage four of the coronavirus easing roadmap. This means that from 19 July, the following will apply:
Understandably, many are worried about the repercussions of these eased restrictions. Indeed, many residents have been in touch regarding the use of face coverings on public transport and their anxieties surrounding this.
On Wednesday, Sadiq Khan announced that face coverings will remain mandatory for all, unless exempt, when travelling on the TfL network. This will, no doubt, be a relief to many in the local area, and I pay tribute to the Mayor of London in taking a firm stand against the Government’s recklessness.
Labour is calling for a controlled approach that keeps in place baseline measures that can push down infections, like mandatory face masks on public transport – which we know protect people, reduce the spread of the virus, and don’t harm the economy. By removing mask requirements - the Johnson Variant is being fast-tracked. Cases will soar, as will hospitalisations.
Everyone in Tooting has been fantastic in reducing the spread of coronavirus. With one of the highest vaccination rates in London, I can only ask residents to continue looking out for one another.
The future of Tooting Bec Athletics Track is still yet to be secured, with vital repairs still needing to be undertaken.
Tooting Bec Athletics Track is a much-loved and well-utilised facility, both by local residents and the wider London community. The track is a home to schools, clubs such as Herne Hill Harriers, as well as aspiring athletes. To lose such a valuable asset would be a devastating blow to so many of our young people in our local area.
Top British athletes are made at Tooting Bec Athletics Track - Jade Johnson, who represented Great Britain at two Olympics, trained at the track since childhood, as has Katie Snowden, who will represent Great Britain in Tokyo next month.
By allowing the track to fall into disrepair, Wandsworth Tories are destroying the legacy of London 2012, and seriously damaging the chances of our next generation of Olympic hopefuls in the process.
The deadline for the petition to save Tooting Bec Athletics Track has been extended until 1 August – click here to sign and show Wandsworth Tories how much our community cares about the future of our young people.
This week, I was honoured to present Dons Local Action Group with the cheque of money raised through my Euro 2020 raffle.
I’m so proud that our community has, once again, come together. The response was truly overwhelming, and in only four days we were able to raise £1,270 in much-needed funds for the Dons Local Action Group
They’re an incredible local charity and I know they’ll be able to do a lot of good for so many families and young people with the money raised.
A huge thank you to everyone who bought a ticket!
Worryingly, coronavirus rates are soaring once again across London. The vaccine is our best defence. If you are yet to receive either your first or second dose, please do so as soon as possible.
To help get Tooting vaccinated, the Pearl Chemist Vaccination Centre is now offering a walk-in clinic for those aged 18+ at St Boniface Church on Mitcham Road (Monday to Saturday 9-5pm).
Appointments are available for first doses as well as second doses. Second doses can be given eight weeks after the first.
Any questions can be directed to Pearl Chemist on 0208 049 6640.
As you will most likely be aware, coronavirus cases are currently rising exponentially due to the Delta variant. The situation in Wandsworth remains serious. We currently have a local rate of 238.7 cases per 100,000 people - well above the national average.
While the vaccine is giving added protection by reducing deaths and hospitalisations, it is important to bear in mind that it does not eradicate transmission and those who have been vaccinated can still become unwell with coronavirus.
Data available from the Government suggests that some areas within Tooting have a higher infection rate than the Wandsworth average of 238.7 cases per 100,000 and these are:
While we need not panic, we should remain careful. A reminder that symptoms of coronavirus include: loss of taste or smell; temperature exceeding 37 degrees; new and persistent cough. Other common symptoms also include feeling tired and a headache. Those experiencing these symptoms should book a free PCR test as soon as possible here.
Those aged 18 or over are encouraged to take up the offer of a vaccine. Appointments can be booked here. Information about local walk-in clinics is available here.
Unlike previously, second doses of the vaccine are available after eight weeks and many walk-in centres will vaccinate those who bring along their vaccination card.
1 in 3 people who have coronavirus are asymptomatic, so twice weekly testing is another way to keep ourselves and others safe. Lateral flow tests can be ordered for free here.
I am in regular contact with NHS England and South West London CCG, who oversee the local coronavirus response. If you are a Tooting resident in need of assistance, please do not hesitate to email email@example.com and please keep an eye on my website and social media pages for further updates.
On Saturday, the official UEFA Euro 2020 cup came to the Kings Head in Tooting Bec, the day of England’s historic 4-0 quarter-final win against Ukraine.
It was my pleasure to offer two lucky people, plus five guests each, the chance to win VIP access and the opportunity to have their photo taken with the trophy, with raffle ticket proceeds going to Dons Local Action Group.
Of all the places UEFA could choose to send the trophy, it’s fantastic that they chose here in Tooting! This tournament has brought much needed positivity and togetherness to our community, and it was fantastic to see the excitement of those lucky enough to meet the trophy.
Fingers crossed for a win at the semi-final on Tuesday. We are all rooting for you, England!
On 21st June it was announced that Balham Station would be closed to outbound passengers at peak travel times until December 2021, to undertake essential escalator repairs at the station.
I met with Transport for London to outline my significant concerns. As a result of this, it was agreed there would be a week-long trial at Balham Station, with the staircase remaining open for use throughout the day, permitting onward travel from the station. This trial began on Monday 28th June.
I am thrilled to say this trial was successful and TfL have now confirmed that Balham Station is to remain open while these essential works are ongoing!
While this is undoubtedly great news and will ease the worries of the many local residents and commuters who regularly use this station, it is important to remember that - with only one staircase available - social distancing at peak travel times remains a valid concern. As such, to ensure that Balham Station remains open, and we keep ourselves and each other safe, please allow extra time for travel through the station.
It is with a massive smile that I offer my congratulations to Kim Leadbeater on being elected as Member of Parliament for Batley and Spen!
Kim’s campaign has been marred by bitterness and threatening behaviour. As a woman in politics, I know first-hand the impact this can have. As such, I would like to pay tribute to Kim for her resilient and positive campaigning. I would also like to say a huge thank you to all the Labour staffers and activists who have worked so hard in Batley in the face of such intimidation. We owe them so much.
I look forward to welcoming Kim Leadbeater MP to Parliament.
here you can read about my campaign activities