Talking Tooting: Train Campaign Reaches its Final Destination

It’s been a very productive month with community wins across the board, so read on for news on longer trains, the Wimbledon dog track, Love Your Local winners and the 2016 Youth Enterprise Summit.

Longer Trains for Earlsfield Next Year

Earlier this month I met with the Managing Director of South West Trains to receive the fantastic news that one of our longest community campaigns – to bring longer trains to Earlsfield – has reached its final destination!

The Government has signed off an £800m investment for Waterloo station, and Southwest Trains has procured a large fleet of 10-car trains, meaning that from December 2017 Earlsfield will see a full fleet of longer trains calling at peak hours. This 25% increase in capacity will relieve the extreme overcrowding at the station, making for quicker and more comfortable journeys for commuters. You can read the full plan in  the Wandsworth Guardian article.

Thanks to everyone who has signed my campaign survey since we launched it in 2013. We got there - eventually! - and I will keep the pressure up on the rail authorities to prevent any slippage in the timetable and to minimise disruption from the Waterloo upgrade. 


Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium - Boris Grants our Request

While supportive of the development of the dog stadium, I agree with Tooting and Earlsfield residents who think the Galliard Homes development proposal doesn’t offer enough ‘community infrastructure’ to accommodate the new residents and visitors that this scheme will entail.

Our appeals to Merton Council were ignored and that’s why I asked for the Mayor of London to ‘call in’ the planning applications and determine it on behalf of residents in both Merton and Wandsworth.

Therefore I'm pleased that Boris Johnson recently agreed to call this project in, meaning the next Mayor of London will take a fresh look at the issues and make a final decision. Whoever the Mayor is, I will once again ensure that local residents’ requests for better transport, parking and school place provision are heard, in the hope that improvements to the project are made.


Loving our Locals in Balham, Tooting and Earlsfield

My ‘Love Your Local’ initiative for our independent retailers reached its climax last Friday with the 2016 awards ceremony held at The French Café in Balham. I was delighted to have Jane Ellison MP join me to announce the winners, and you can read more about the event in the South London Press feature.

Love Your Local is a fun way to recognise the huge efforts that our local business owners make to bring diversity and great customer service to our High Streets. Well done to popular winners Unwined, Libo & Gio, Brickwood Café, Deelight Bakery, Sea Horse Fish Bar, The Village, Bellevue Chemist and many more, as nominated by local residents. The full list of winners is available here.


Helping our Young People Succeed

As you know, I’m passionate about helping young people fulfil their potential, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds who need a helping hand. One of my initiatives has been to launch the Youth Enterprise Summit, an event to bring together local agencies who support young people looking to go into self-employment, and make it easier for them to do so.

This year’s Summit, organised with Tooting charity Business Launchpad, was a great success, with more organisations attending, more networking and even more ideas to help young people launch a business. You can read more here. The UK is one of the most start-up friendly nations in the world and it’s crucial that we give our young people the help they need to capitalise on this.

As May promises to be another eventful month, please do follow me on Twitter or Facebook for more regular updates. 

With best wishes, 



Dan Watkins 
Dan Watkins
Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman for Tooting