The community Wheatsheaf campaign - how the Lib Dems helped

Just before Easter a Conservative minister visited the Wheatsheaf pub at Tooting Bec. He used the occasion to announce new measures to help protect such community assets, inspired by the campaign to save this pub. Here's the report in the Wandsworth Guardian. And you can't mention the Wheatsheaf without the local Labour MP showing up.

But the campaign to save the pub has been led by community activists under no political label. These have included Lib Dems, like Jon Irwin, but people from other parties and none. These are the real heroes. Tooting needs more people like this to take issues up, as local councillors seem uninterested in taking the initiative unless an election is looming. 

'Without the huge show of strength by local people, with the petition I set up, we stood a very real risk of losing the pub. I'm delighted with the outcome, a real show of people power!" says Jon.

Still, we would like to mention that the coalition minister who put in place the Community Asset legislation used by the Wheatsheaf was Liberal Democrat Andrew Stunell. Lib Dems long campaigned for such powers against an indifferent Whitehall. Only by entering government did they have an opportunity to shape something like this. It's a good illustration of the sort of thing parties can do in opposition, but would get lost in any other type of political arrangement, like "confidence and supply".

3 key changes to the UK since Easter Monday

Easter Monday saw three key changes to the UK. Increase in the income tax threshold to £10,600, introduction of shared parental leave and pensions freedom. All Lib Dem policies.

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Heart attacks. Strokes. The cost of inaction in Wandsworth's streets

New research shows that air pollution causes an increased risk of strokes. We already knew about the increased chances of heart attacks. Putney High Street, Falcon Lane by Clapham Junction and Tooting Broadway are all pollution hotspots. And yet little is being done to address them, in spite of the issue being consistently raised by local civic groups.

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Lib Dems announce £1.25bn new funding for mental health care

The Liberal Democrats have announced £1.25 billion pounds of new funding over the next five years to treat 110,000 more children with mental health issues, and provide rapid access to treatment for new mothers.


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Tooting Islamic Centre open day visit


On Saturday 7th March, Wandsworth Lib Dems attended the Balham Mosque and Tooting Islamic Centre open day at Tooting Mosque. The initiative was in collaboration with Discover Islam, designed to increase understanding of the work of the Mosque in the community and Islam in general. 

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Upper Tooting Road black spot for cyclist collisions

key_mainflow_minor_streets_collisions.pngA report from Aviva has been published this week, with a section of Upper Tooting Road around the Tesco Express at Ansell Road being revealed as the 5th most dangerous junction for cyclists in London. Thanks to the work of Caroline Pidgeon at city hall, we've also learnt that there has been an underspend of £50 million in the cycling budget this financial year that could have been spent improving these blackspots. 

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Lib Dems call for action on Wandsworth housing crisis


Escalating property prices have created a housing crisis in Wandsworth, and politicians must face up to this. Instead Wandsworth Council is serially failing to meet targets for affordable homes, while property developments are snapped up by overseas investors, with many properties left vacant. So say the three Liberal Democrat candidates contesting Wandsworth seats in May’s General  Election.

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Wandsworth Liberal Democrats select candidates

Last week local members of the Liberal Democrats in Wandsworth chose their prospective parliamentary candidates to fight the General Election on 7 May 2015.

In Battersea their candidate is Luke Taylor, in Putney it is Andy Hallett, and in Tooting it is Phil Ling.

Speaking for Wandsworth Liberal Democrats, Matthew Green said, “I am delighted that we have three such young and energetic candidates in place. The party always does its best here in general elections. There are a lot of younger voters in the Wandsworth constituencies, with strongly-felt liberal values. The Liberal Democrats have led the way on liberal issues, from equal marriage for gay people to privacy on the internet. We look forward to presenting our case to the borough’s residents of all ages and backgrounds.”


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Labour failing Tooting & Wandsworth residents on road safety

I wrote to my local councillors earlier in the week with the following issue. I live on the boundary of several boroughs, and currently regularly cycle along Beulah Hill which is managed by Croydon Council. Given that I'm not a Croydon resident, but I regularly use the road it is something that I would like to see improved but am at a bit of a loss how to go about trying to get improvements there.

With this in mind I asked what thoughts my councillors may have with roads that are in Wandsworth, but fall outside of my local ward. I'm a Wandsworth resident, and I don't live my life based on nominal political boundaries.

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Will Wandsworth Council follow TfL's lead on health?

Tucked away in this Transport for London (TfL) finance and policy paper for Elephant and Castle re-development is the following paragraph:


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