This morning, I joined pupils at Garratt Park School in Earslfield to plant the 500,000th tree of Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan's Trees for London scheme.
It's vital that we make London a green city for the future, where everyone has access to healthy outdoor space.
Visiting Earlsfield Primary, I saw first-hand how universal free school meals are working to produce a level playing field in schools and provide all children with a delicious and nutritious lunch.
Lunch should never be a struggle for families or a time of stress and stigma for children – and Labour Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan’s funding means it won’t be here in London.
The verdict from the judges that matter: the Red Velvet cake with beetroot was a hit.
After cutting services through Earlsfield station for commuters since the pandemic, South Western Railway have announced that no services will run through Earlsfield from 19 December until 2 January, ostensibly due to industrial action.
SWR is keeping 28 stations open in London through this period, of which 21 have lower passenger usage than Earlsfield. Only big hubs, such as Clapham Junction, Wimbledon and Waterloo, have higher passenger numbers than Earlsfield - this is simply not good enough!
Add your name to my open letter calling for an immediate reconsideration of the decision not to run services through Earlsfield and a full explanation of why this decision was taken in the first place.
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.
44 years of Tory rule in Wandsworth came to an end with Labour taking control of the Council after the local elections. Labour won 35 seats, whilst the Tories won 22. I was thrilled to play a part along with our fantastic Councillors, candidates, and activists in putting Labour into power locally.
Labour’s historic victory here represents a new start for our borough, and it’s great to see Wandsworth’s group of Labour Councillors already taking action to help residents through the cost-of-living crisis.
Talking to residents right across the borough, it was obvious to see that people in Wandsworth have rejected Conservative neglect both locally and nationally. The cost of living crisis is hitting residents hard, and it’s clear the Tories aren’t doing enough to address it. Wandsworth residents simply do not trust the Tories.
The road to Labour in Government runs through our local councils, and I am hopeful this local victory will be the springboard to Labour’s general election victory.
I am concerned about South Western Railway’s planned cuts to local services.
Earlsfield Station could lose two trains per hour off-peak, and direct services to Shepperton could be cut.
With residents gradually returning to offices, I believe that these cuts to rail services are ill-considered. In addition, if we are to tackle air pollution and reduce carbon emissions, we need to be encouraging public transport use - not making it more difficult to use.
The South Western Railway’s Consultation on this matter closes on Sunday 19th September. If you are affected by these planned changes, I would encourage you to submit your view to the consultation here.
It was a pleasure to visit Earlsfield Foodbank recently with local Labour councillor Graeme Henderson.
The team here do incredible work in supporting those families most in need across Earlsfield.
In a country as well off as ours, the fact we have so many who rely on foodbanks is nothing short of outrageous. We discussed our shared aim to end this.
If you’d like to support Earlsfield Foodbank, you can donate here or add to the foodbank collection points at Sainsburys Local (Earlsfield) or Co-op on Garratt Lane.
If you need support from the Earlsfield Foodbank and would like to collect some food or arrange a delivery, email or call on 07585064428.
Earlsfield Foodbank is open at St Andrew’s Church (on Garratt Lane) Thursdays 9.30am - 12pm.
It was a pleasure to, once again, attend the annual Nicholas Stewart Project Community Day on the Henry Prince Estate in Earlsfield. It was a real honour to have been asked to lay flowers in memory of Nicholas, who tragically lost his life seven years ago.
The Nicholas Stewart Project was founded in the wake of Nicholas Stewart’s murder and encourages young people to reject negative influences in their life and turn away from knife crime.
It is always so inspiring to hear the work of the NSP in supporting young people and be part of our community standing together in hope.
There was significant concern locally about Wandsworth Council’s decision to extend Controlled Parking Zone restrictions in areas of Earlsfield and Tooting from 9:30am to 9:30pm each day.
Over 1400 local residents completed my consultation on the change. I am pleased that, following our pressure, Wandsworth Council have U-turned on their plans to extend CPZ restrictions. Instead, Event Day only restrictions are planned from 1 October - a far more sensible solution, and something which other councils with stadiums do.
I received more than double the number of responses to Wandsworth Council’s rushed, ill-thought out consultation. In fact, over 93% of respondents were not happy with the council’s plans.
This should never have happened. But I am pleased the Council finally listened and have U-turned on their attempt to rush through restrictions that would simply act as another cash-grab on hardworking local residents.
It is so important that those living with sight loss in our community are supported when using public transport.
That is why I recently wrote to South Western Rail and Southern Rail to enquire as to when warning tactile - a vital safety and accessibility tool for those travelling by train - will be installed at Earlsfield and Wandsworth Stations.
I am happy to say that Southern Rail have now confirmed that warning tactile has been installed on surface platforms at Wandsworth Common Station. And, although tactile is yet to be installed at Earlsfield Station, South West Railway have stated that Network Rail is working hard to deliver these accessibility improvements.
Rest assured I will continue to press for accessibility for local residents living with sight loss.