Talking Tooting Feb 2016
We’re only one month into the New Year, but already there have been lots of big developments in our area. So please read on for news of local initiatives and campaigns underway to shape our community in the way we want.
Time to Love your Local!
After the fantastic support that residents showed for our independent shops in 2014 and 2015, it’s time to launch my Love Your Local 2016 competition, where you can show your love for your favourite local shops, restaurants and pubs.
Our small retailers really brighten up our High Streets, so this is a great chance to show your appreciation. Please nominate those who you think give exceptional service and you will be entered in a prize draw of great local goodies to boot!
Our independent retailers really appreciate the publicity and support that these awards bring, so please visit www.LoveYourLocalShops.com today, choose your local high street and cast your votes.
Mammoth Response to Crossrail 2
The end of last year was dominated by the controversy over Crossrail 2, with Transport for London (TfL) consulting on moving our local station from Tooting to Balham.
Our efforts to spread the word have been hugely successful with over 3,000 resident responses to the survey I ran. This makes it the largest consultation in our area for many a year and I want to say a big 'thank you' for your engagement on this topic, giving your views to TfL.
Overall, 84% of people preferred the Tooting Broadway option, and you can read my full Crossrail 2 consultation response here, which summarises the 3,000 results and urges TfL to keep the Tooting option on the table.
We now await a decision, sometime in the Spring, and in the meantime I continue to make the case with TfL in the hope that they listen to our community and don’t prematurely choose Balham as the site. I have called for TfL to commission comprehensive research on both locations and I hope that they agree that this change of strategy makes sense.
Footbridge Furore at Wandsworth Common
Late last year you may have spotted that Southern Rail had put up signs claiming there is no public right of way to the footbridge at Wandsworth Common station. When we enquired with the train company as to the purpose of this we were told that the footbridge was soon to be ticket-gated and thus closed to pedestrians. Not the best of consultations!
Working with local residents and your Nightingale ward councillors, I have been at the station and door-knocking local houses and businesses to survey the views of users of the bridge, whether they be commuters, runners, dog-walkers or families on route to the Common and Bellevue Road.
So far 500 people have expressed their opposition to Southern Rail’s plans and I was delighted when the company backed down and agreed to put its plans on hold while proper consideration is given to other options.
But this could just be a temporary reprieve, so if you use the bridge and haven’t yet had you say, please complete the online survey here. I hope that People Power will once again prevail and ensure we keep this bridge open to all users.
Balham's 'Visit My Mosque' Success I was delighted to address the Balham Mosque on Saturday as it threw open its doors and invited local residents inside to take a tour and learn more about the role it plays in our community. By promoting connections across our hugely diverse area, our local Mosques are working with churches, temples and others local groups to ensure we break down barriers and promote a better understanding of different faiths.
The 'Visit My Mosque' initiative is a nationwide event organised by the Muslim Council of Britain. With hundreds of local people attending the Balham Mosque event, I'm delighted to see that our community continues to take a lead in building a harmonious society.
With best wishes,
Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman for Tooting