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.
Today Muslims across the UK and around the world mark the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.
As a proud Muslim, the period of reflection, prayer, and fasting is incredibly important to our Muslim community.
Traditionally, Ramadan is a time for gathering and sharing Iftar with family and friends. Although, like last year, we are unable to come together and celebrate as we normally would, the spirit of Ramadan remains.
To every Muslim nurse and doctor who have saved countless lives throughout this pandemic, to every volunteer and community leader in our Mosques and community centres who continue to support those most vulnerable, and to every Muslim in Tooting and across the country, I wish you all Ramadan Mubarak.
As you will know, a South African variant of Covid-19 has arrived in the UK. This new Covid variant has now been detected in CR4 (Merton).
Residents in CR4 are no different to us in neighbouring Tooting (SW16 and SW17). We use the same shops, the same hospital, and the same parks, so if it’s there, it could very easily be here. This will be the same across all affected areas.
As a matter of urgency, the Government needs to launch widespread testing in neighbouring postcodes. This is the only way to see how widespread these new variants are.
I have written to the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock MP, the Director of Public Health at Wandsworth Council, Shannon Katiyo, and the Chief Executive of Wandsworth Council, Paul Martin, to ask about plans to launch testing in neighbouring postcodes.
While I press for action on this, we need to make sure we’re all doing everything we can to keep ourselves and each other safe. It’s absolutely vital that we minimise our social contact to prevent the spread of this new variant within our community.
Please think twice before leaving home, and when you do leave, please continue to adhere to social distancing. Together, we will get through this.
In light of the upcoming Fire Safety Bill, I would to thank every resident who has written to me with their concerns on this and for continuing to keep me updated on the cladding issues affecting their property. I recognise what an exceptionally difficult time this is and appreciate how much anxiety the cladding proposals are causing to many leaseholders.
On more than fifteen occasions, Ministers promised that leaseholders would not be landed with the costs of remedial works. Yet, people are still being put at risk, trapped in flammable buildings for a third lockdown, with leaseholders placed in an impossible position and promises broken. It is evident that the Government’s handling of the cladding crisis has lacked any sense of grip or urgency.
For this reason, the Labour Party have tabled an Opposition Day Debate on cladding for Monday, which will subsequently bring forward a vote that will call for leaseholders to be protected from the costs of remediating their blocks with dangerous cladding.
The party will also be tabling a number of amendments to the Fire Safety Bill that will aim to protect leaseholders from unfair costs through the power of the law. I am aware that many residents have been in touch to request that I support the McPartland and Smith amendment, which provides welcome clarity on the specific costs that would be prevented from being passed on to leaseholders. Labour has sought to go further on this.
As currently drafted, the McPartland and Smith amendment would not have covered blocks like Grenfell - where flammable cladding has been added at some stage following the building of the block. It only applies to defects in the original design of buildings. The Labour Party’s amendment would ensure that the cost of fire safety problems from refurbishment jobs, like the cladding on Grenfell Tower, cannot be passed on to leaseholders. Labour’s amendments also include new clauses so that the Bill protects leaseholders from the day it comes into law, instead of an unknown date in the future.
I would like to thank my colleagues in the Labour Party, Sarah Jones MP, Nick Thomas-Symonds MP, Thangam Debbonaire MP and Mike Amesbury MP for their hard work and commitment to addressing this large injustice on a national scale.
If any residents have any further queries on this issue, please do not hesitate to get in touch to discuss this further. In the meantime, I hope this post assures you of the steps myself and the Labour Party are taking to protect tenants and leaseholders during this cladding crisis.