With 80 prison officers unavailable on the day Daniel Khalife escaped from Wandsworth Prison - it beggars belief that he was even allowed to work in the kitchen. The Government need to explain themselves.
Today, I've been speaking about the very serious concerns I have regarding the prisoner escape from Wandsworth Prison. The Government need to provide answers regarding how this was allowed to happen. With schools crumbling, our prisons falling apart, and the NHS on it's knees, you can't trust the Tories with the NHS.
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.
Today, I have written to the Managing Director of the Southern Region of Network Rail calling for an investigation looking into improving accessibility and step-free access at Wandsworth Common Station.
Currently, there is step free access on Platform 1, but those wishing to travel on Platform 2 must cross an elevated footbridge, which is not accessible for wheelchair users, parents with young children, and the elderly.
I have called for a feasibility study to be conducted, given the signifcant proportion of the local community that falls around the station.
Read my full letter here:
I've written to the Chief Executive of Bellway on behalf of residents at Fitzgerald and Fleming Houses on St George's Grove, many of whom have been left in limbo, unable to sell or re-mortgage their properties due to the flammable cladding that was installed by Bellway, when the houses were built.
In May, London Fire Brigade instituted a waking watch on both of the buildings due to fire risk, which residents were forced to pay for themselves. I have been working alongside Bellway resident directors in good faith for months but have been met with delay and excuses while their properties remain without a suitable facade.
My position is clear: Developers must fund remediations works on these properties and the replacement of the cladding to the new required standard. Leaseholders cannot be held liable for these costs.
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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.
On Monday 13 June, I was delighted to welcome organisations and individuals from across Balham, Earlsfield, Furzedown and Tooting to Parliament, in order to recognise their fantastic contributions to society in the face of adversity in the last few years. It was a sheer joy to see the pillars of our communities together in one place and I look forward to continuing to collaborate and support the inspiring people who do so much for the local area.
I presented the following organisations and individuals with trophies for truly exceptional services in the community:
Councillor Andy Gibbons, for his dedicated public service over the last three decades.
Balham and Tooting Community Association; for their absolutely fantastic work to build a better community and bring people together.
Dons Local Action Group, for their crucial and brilliant work across southwest London to support those most in need.
Earlsfield Foodbank; for their vital support to those who need it throughout these challenging times
White Eagle Club; for their heroic work to coordinate relief efforts to Ukraine, and their kindness shown in their community outreach work.
I awarded Tooting Heroes certificates to those detailed below for their fantastic work in various sectors, listed by area:
Care4Calais, for providing direct aid and access to legal support to refugees and asylum seekers.
Chefs in Schools, for the promotion of health eating among young people and serving nutritious, tasty and inexpensive meals in local schools.
Community Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers, for working to widen access opportunities by providing information, tools and resources to refugees and asylum seekers.
CREW Energy, for providing support and advice for people with their energy and utility bills, and working to reduce carbon emissions across south west London.
Geoff Simmons, for organising walking tours of the local area and shining a light on Wandsworth’s rich history.
Georgie Temple, for working to bring joy and lighten lives during the pandemic by performing her wonderful music outside people’s homes who were unable to leave.
Healthwatch , for being champions of people using health and social care services through highlighting the inequalities within the system.
Pure Football Academy, for providing access to sport and exercise for young people in the community.
Share Community Kitchen, for offering life skills training to those with learning disabilities, autism, and mental health needs.
Wandsworth Food Bank, for distributing vital donations of food and essentials to those most in need.
Wandsworth Police, for keeping Wandsworth’s street safe and ensuring our community’s security at all times.
Wandsworth Welcomes Refugees, for working with the community to provide sanctuary to refugees and asylum seekers and to raise awareness of their situations.
Beautify Balham, for working to enhance the local environment through litter-picks and other community initiatives.
Friends of Tooting Common, for promoting and protecting our important green spaces for all who use them.
Love Triangle, for donating over 18,000 meals to food banks during the pandemic.
Nightingale Community Academy, for offering a safe and nurturing environment for young people to learn and grow.
Ravenstone Primary School, for providing a fantastic educational environment for young children in Balham.
St Anselm’s Primary School, for providing a superb education to children in the community
St Mary's Church, Balham, for working towards community cohesion and promoting interfaith relations.
Tom's Farm, for offering students opportunities to learn about empathy while caring for animals.
Tooting Common Parkrun, for promoting exercise and healthy living in the fantastic local green spaces.
Trinity St Mary’s Primary School, for providing a fantastic learning experience for young members of our community.
Earlsfield and Wandsworth Common
Beatrix Potter School, for their great work to provide a safe and fun learning environment for their pupils.
Burntwood School, for educating and preparing young people for success in the wider world.
Earlsfield Primary School, for giving their students the best possible start.
Floreat Primary School, for providing a wonderful educational facility for children to learn and grow.
Nicholas Stewart Project, for working to prevent violence amongst young people and support families and communities after tragedy.
Oak Lodge School, for their key efforts to create a harmonious learning environment.
Swaffield Primary School, for their work to cultivate a safe learning space for their children.
1,000 Trees, for their crucial work in protecting our green spaces and wider environment.
Anastasia Capewell Congdon; for her key work in our community at Gift from Furzedown.
Furzedown Community Network, for their brilliant efforts to bring people together and co-ordinate superb community events.
Goldfinch Primary, for their great work in creating a positive learning environment for their pupils.
Graham Loveland, for his dedication to his work and vital contributions to the community over the years.
Lynn Selwyn-Reeves; for her superb community efforts at Furzedown Art Studio.
Penwortham Primary, for the school’s key efforts in building students’ confidence and early education.
Plastic Free Furzedown, for the organisations fantastic work to campaign for a better environment and improve local recycling.
St Paul's Church, for promoting interfaith values and relations, and giving the community a vital gathering space
Wandsworth Oasis, for their tremendous support to those living with HIV and providing excellent charity shops in the borough
Al Risalah Secondary School, for their excellent work in preparing young people for their future.
Broadwater Primary School. for their outstanding work to kickstart children’s education.
Communication Workers Union, for protecting our local postal workers through their vital campaigning for workers’ rights.
Critical NHS, for their absolutely crucial work in giving support to our brave NHS workers during the pandemic.
Ernest Bevin College and Sixth Form Centre, for their services to young people and their families.
Fircroft Primary School, for the school’s key contributions to their pupils’ foundational years.
Franciscan Primary School, for providing a safe and supportive environment for their students
GMB, St George's Branch, for supporting St George’s Hospital workers and for excellent work in campaigning for workers’ rights.
Smallwood Primary School, for their brilliant work in cultivating a caring environment for their pupils.
St Boniface RC Primary School, for working exceptionally to support their students and provide a safe learning space for them.
St George's Hospital Charity, for working to fund improvements to our brilliant local hospital and their vital support provided during the pandemic.
Balham and Tooting Newsie, for their constant and reliable updates on news and events in our local area, and hard work to promote local businesses.
Broadwater School Streets, for their superb work to make our streets safer for children and families.
Church Lane Mosque, for their vital work in building interfaith relationships and providing a brilliant community space.
Forever Fishponds, for their hard work protecting our green spaces in Tooting and creating a positive environment in our community.
Mushkil Aasaan, for their vital community and outreach work in the area.
Pearl Chemist Vaccination Centre, for their tireless work throughout the pandemic in supporting the community and providing vaccinations to countless people.
Royal Mahal, for being a key community hub and a shining example of a successful local business.
The King's Head Pub, for their work in the community to foster a positive environment for our community and creating a brilliant entertainment venue.
Tooting Islamic Centre, for their brilliant work towards building community cohesion and promoting interfaith relations.
Tooting Works, for providing a fantastic community space and work environment.
I would like to thank all those who attended - I cannot overstate how proud I am of our community. Each and every one of you is a true Tooting Hero.
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.
The Local Elections are hastily approaching on 5th May. After 44 long years of Tory rule, Wandsworth needs a breath of fresh air and a Labour council.
Over the next four weeks, I will be out on the campaign trail - knocking on doors, delivering leaflets and working to help our fantastic Labour candidates.
I would like to thank all the local residents for their support and warm welcome on the doorstep.
Together we can turn Labour red this May!
It was great to be joined by Wandsworth Police for my community safety event last night.
We discussed local crime concerns, updated residents on local safety initiatives, and learned new ways to keep our homes safe. A big thank you to all who joined - the community feeling is strong.
Additionally, it was great to hear from local residents about how we can make our area safer & about our success of the #SafeSpace campaign. Finally, we discussed future plans to tackle violence against women and girls.