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:
It was great to bring together local charities, faith leaders, and leader of Wandsworth Council, Simon Hogg who are all working tirelessly to support local families through the cost-of-living crisis.
I have already been contacted by countless Tooting residents who are concerned about how they are going to pay their bills and put food on the table this winter, and I fear this will only get worse as we move further into the winter months. With so many households already feeling the squeeze, it’s crucial that we work together to tackle poverty.
Representatives from Earlsfield and Wandsworth foodbanks as well as Dons Local Action Group and Little Village Tooting told me that they are seeing unprecedented demand at present, as more and more of those who were just-about-managing become unable to afford the basics.
All the organisations represented spoke of the added difficulties the rise in energy prices have brought. The hike in energy prices has meant that even the local charities who are there to address the crisis are struggling to pay their bills, and this means they are less able to help those in need. This comes at the worst possible time, when demand is at it’s highest level for decades.
Everyone at the event had numerous stories of people facing hardship, people in overcrowded accommodation, people not being able to put food on the table or buy school uniforms for their children. Many people are also concerned about how they will meet the additional cost of christmas.
Despite heartbreaking stories, it was uplifting to see so many people who donate their time, energy and money into making things better for people in our community. I am always amazed by the generosity of people in Tooting. However, in Britain in 2022 these organisations and charitable schemes shouldn’t have to exist. It is imperative that the Government take action immediately to support people through the months ahead.
It was great to attend and speak at the annual Balham and Tooting Community Association’s multi-faith peace ceremony in Tooting Broadway.
Local people of all faiths and none gathered to celebrate all that unites us. We heard prayers and moving speeches from leaders of six different faiths and school students. I love representing a community where so many faiths are represented. People of all faiths and none live and work alongside each other in our community and I was honoured to be part of such a joyous occasion that celebrates our diversity and our commitment to common values of tolerance and understanding.
Leaders from Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh communities spoke and prayed in their own traditions. Senior school pupils from Al Risalah Girls Secondary School spoke of what their faith means to them and their hopes for peace.
This event has taken place in Tooting for many years now and it’s always an inspiring and uplifting event that I look forward to attending.
It’s always fantastic to see our community come together. Thank you to all who attending and to those who worked so hard to make this event a success.
It is an honour to have been unanimously re-selected by all the local party branches and affiliated organisations to stand as Labour’s candidate for Tooting in the next general election.
I want to say a huge thank you to all the members and affiliates who took part, and who continue to put their trust in me to represent our community.
Serving as the Member of Parliament for the community I grew up in is an honour. From helping local residents with casework, playing a part in winning the council, defending our NHS and serving as the shadow Minister to Mental Health - I have the best job in the world. My job is made even greater by the fantastic support local members show me all year round, so I want to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to them all!
The next election is make-or-break for our party, we simply must win. I’m looking forward to working hard to make this happen.
The NHS is being dismantled, I see it every time I work a shift. More people than ever are relying on foodbanks, and the cost-of-living crisis is having a devastating impact on people locally and across the country. I will be absolutely committed to doing everything I can to put Labour into Government and make the changes this country so desperately needs.
Thank you again to everyone who voted.
Recently I visited the fantastic Balham Ballers holiday club, based at Ravensbourne Primary school.
Balham Ballers provide a sports programme for young people aged five to twelve over the school holidays, focusing mainly on football but also giving young people a chance to enjoy a wide range of other sporting activities. I have loved working with the Balham Ballers team over the last few years and it has been fantastic to see them go from strength to strength.
Balham Ballers are passionate about promoting a love of sports amongst both boys and girls. This is something that I am particularly supportive of. Following the Lionesses' fantastic win at the Euros earlier this month, the England football team have said "every girl should be given the chance to play football at school." However, currently only 63% of schools offer equal access to football, a number that falls to just 44% at secondary schools.
It was great to see so many young people in our community enjoying football, and I even took a penalty myself!
To find out more about the Balham Ballers, click here.
It was great to visit the wonderful volunteers at the White Eagle Club in Balham recently. The Tooting and Balham Community has rallied together to support the appeal for Ukraine since the Russian invasion in March.
Since the appeal was launched, the White Eagle Club has sent 74 trucks, 112 vans, and a massive 1,800 tonnes of goods to Ukraine as part of their humanitarian aid mission. They have also provided many Ukrainian nationals who have recently fled to the UK with clothes, shoes, toiletries, and supplies for babies and infants.
It’s always amazing to see the community come together to help those in need.
There is however, still much more that the White Eagle Club needs, both for Ukrainian nationals arriving in the UK and to be sent to those still living in Ukraine.
Items that are most in need include; medical supplies, toiletries, sanitary products and baby powder, as well as clothes for those who have recently arrived in the UK.
You can donate items to 211 Balham High Street at the following times:
Tuesdays: 11.00 - 20.00
Wednesday: 10.00 - 17.00