Today marks World Bipolar Day, which raises awareness and reduces the stigma surrounding bipolar disorder. One-in-fifty people in the UK live with bipolar disorder yet many struggle to access the services they need to get a proper diagnosis.
Living with bipolar disorder can have a devastating impact on the people struggling with the illness as well as an impact on their loved ones, which is why it is vital that people are able to get a diagnosis early.
We need a Government that will get serious on bipolar disorder.
Labour will put prevention and early intervention at the forefront of our approach to mental health. The next Labour Government will recruit 8,500 new staff to ensure mental health treatment within a month for all who need it.
Baroness Casey's independent findings of racist, misogynistic, and homophobic abuses of power within the Met Police are deeply shocking and will leave many residents in Tooting concerned that the trust between the police and our community has been shattered.
It is clear that there is a failure of leadership from the Home Office and today's report lays bare the scale of the challenge needed to reform the Met Police. The rot runs right through the force, so no stone can be left unturned in the push for change. I welcome the work that Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has already begun with the new Commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, in addressing these deep-rooted issues and regaining the trust of residents and victims of crime in Tooting.
However, under this Home Secretary and this Conservative Government, the Met Police are lacking the leadership, ambition and resources needed to grasp the scale of this challenge. Over the last 13 years, neighbourhood policing has been decimated, whilst prosecutions for violent and sexual crimes have hit the lowest levels on record, and victims of crime are now unsure that if they report a crime, the police will even turn up.
It is clear we need a Government with a plan to overhaul policing in London which will deliver cultural and systematic change. Under a Labour Government, we will overhaul policing and raise standards, with strengthened training and mandatory vetting, and the restoration of neighbourhood policing.
I would like to thank our hardworking neighbourhood police officers who have always worked constructively with me and for their continuing efforts to keep our local community safe.
Today, I am marking International Women's Day 2023 by celebrating some of the inspiring women who make Tooting the best place to work and live.
Here are just some of Tooting's amazing women:
Sahar Beg - Sahar, and her amazing team of volunteers, run the Tooting Community Kitchen, which has provided hot meals, toiletries, and care packages to those in need since 2018.
Sophie Livingstone - Sophie, and the team at Little Village, are hardworking local activists providing vital support at their baby bank in Tooting.
Kate Allan - Kate is a leading member of the Balham and Tooting Community Association (BATCA). BATCA works to organise community events, celebreate the local heroes in our area and bring people of all backgrounds together.
Cllr Sarmila Varatharaj - Sarmila was elected to serve our community as a councillor last May and is now Wandsworth's Deputy Mayor. She is a volunteer for Global Human Rights Defence and has been the spokesperson to the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Cllr Lizzy Dobres - Lizzy has been a dedicated councillor since being elected last May and has led on fighting inequality and violence against women.
Charlotte White - Charlotte is part of the fantastic team at Earlsfield Foodbank. During the most difficult of times, she has worked tirelessly to support those in need of our community.
Natasha Best - Natasha, and the team at Tooting Works, provide fantastic community and work space for many local businesses and start ups.
To all the countless other amazing women who do so much for our community, thank you.
Following my letter to Network Rail regarding step-free access at Wandsworth Common Station, I was very pleased to receive confirmation that the station will be nominated for funding in the next round of the "Access for All" programme.
This programme has funded step-free access and other accessibility measures in stations across the country, including just down the line at Balham. This is a very encouraging first step in ensuring that public transport is available and convenient for everyone in the local community.