A great time had by all at my local coffee morning, today. Pleasure to invite local residents to share a cuppa and hear about their local issues. Thanks to local organisations and the police for coming along and listening to residents.
One of the most important jobs I do as your local Member of Parliament is ensuring that our wonderful communities in Balham, Earlsfield, Furzedown, Tooting and Wandsworth Common remain safe and welcoming places to live.
To this end, I have recently hosted public meetings with local police leadership in Balham and Furzedown, conducted a walkaround with the Borough Superintendent around the local area, and written to the police on behalf of local residents on a wide range of issues.
Please do let me know if you have any concerns regarding crime issues in the local area - my door is always open.
As part of National Care Home Week. I recently met some of the incredible staff and residents at Nightingale House in Balham to see first-hand the fantastic work being done in the local community.
The annual BATCA Fun Day is always good fun - and this year was no exception. I was delighted to celebrate the helpers, heroes and happy Tooting residents at this wonderful community event.
Our local NHS board have announced that Trinity Medical Centre will close on 31st July. The decision to close the surgery is deeply disappointing and I am concerned that it will leave thousands of local residents scrambling to find another GP, including vulnerable patients.
At a time when local residents are already waiting weeks to see a GP, this decision is a shocking, short-sighted solution for users of the surgery. People will find themselves trying to squeeze onto the books of existing practices, travelling further to see a GP, losing the strong and trusted relationships with their GPs they've built over time.
The blame for this decision lies squarely with this Conservative Government who have imposed 13 years of underfunding and neglect on our local NHS services. I have already called on the Health Secretary, Steve Barclay, to meet with the community to see the impact of this decision first-hand and to reverse this disastrous decision.
Today, I wrote to the Health Secretary, Steve Barclay, calling on him to listen to concerns expressed by local residents about the proposed closure of Trinity Medical Centre.
At a time when waiting times are at record levels, these plans by the NHS and Government will make it harder for local residents to access a local GP. That's why, alongside our local Labour Councillors, I'm campaigning to keep GP services at this site. Please add your name to the petition here
Read my letter below:
Trinity Medical Centre serves thousands of local people but is under threat of closure. For so many local residents this is a vital service. The closure would cause real difficulties for people accessing their local GP. Many local residents already have to wait weeks for a GP appointment and waiting lists for treatment are at record highs.
This closure is a result of 13 years of government underfunding of our NHS. The local Integrated Care Board for South West London has been forced into making huge cuts to their budget and the impact of these cuts is now being felt by our community.
In recent weeks, I've been contacted by numerous local residents extremely concerned about the impact of this closure.
That's why I am urging the Health Secretary to intervene, listen to patients and staff alike, and keep a GP surgery open at Trinity Medical Centre.
Sign my petition here
Today, I asked Wandsworth Police officers to join me on a walk about in Tooting Bec.
We spoke to local residents and discussed tackling anti-social behaviour in the area.
I know local residents have raised a number of concerns - about incidents targeting children and public safety in the area. I addressed these matters with the police, along with strategies already put in place aimed specifically at reducing worrying incidents of this kind and crime.
Over recent months, I have taken the following action on anti-social behaviour and crime on the Heaver Estate:
My thoughts and prayers went out to everyone affected by the recent tragic earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. I was very proud to see that Tooting Islamic Centre raised £16,000 for the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal for relief funds.
It is always incredibly touching to see the love, generosity and kindness demonstrated by our fantastic community - thank you to all those that donated and to Arshad Daud, imam at TIC, for all his hard work. Donations can still be made here
Recently, I visited the fantastic team at Love Triangle, a brilliant pizza restaurant situated between Balham and Tooting Bec.
They’ve been selling pizza to the community for two and a half years now, but things are getting increasingly difficult.
The cost-of-living crisis is hitting small businesses hard, with customers having less money to spend to things such as meals out, and the cost of energy and supplies rising astronomically.
Will, who owns Love Triangle, told me that despite trying many different creative ways to stay afloat, things are only getting more difficult. Love Triangle have tried different opening times, and an array of different promotions and deals to help combat the challenges, but it is still far from easy, just to keep their head above water.
The rising cost of food and energy, coupled with the reduction in disposable income for many is proving a difficult picture to navigate.
Speaking to Will, and other business owners in our community, one message stands out. It is crucial to support local businesses where you can, or we risk losing more of our fantastic local businesses from Tooting, and across the country.
Watch my visit to Love Triangle here: