Parisien street design may be coming to Balham High Road soon
Earlier this week, the Mayor announced a further £200 million of funding to improve 17 locations around London. One of them is Balham High Road, the project is titled ‘Balham Boulevard’. This is as a result of proposals Jon Irwin put forward several years ago (see his blogpost here) through his involvement with other local groups (Wandsworth Living Streets, Wandsworth Cycling Campaign) and activists.
The proposals put forward by Jon should result in the creation of ‘service roads’ where people can cycle the full length of the Boulevard with little or no interaction with drivers. Car parking shouldn’t be reduced, there would be a single lane in each direction for through traffic. Those drivers looking to stop in the shops or cafes, would need to pull off the main road onto the service road before parking. As the picture from a Parisien street gives an idea of how it may be.
This shows what can be done be done if local activists work to make their neighbourhood better. Local Labour and Conservative politicians just sit on the fence, and only jump on the bandwagon long after it is rolling. There is so much that can be done to make our area a nicer place to live – Liberal Democrats believe that the council should do more to work with local activists to turn these ideas into reality.
Jon has further ideas and plans for improving Tooting Town Centre. If you’d like to know more, or would like to share your views and help try to move things along get in touch with the team. You can reach us by emailing email@example.com
Jon Irwin, Focus Team Leader in Tooting, writes following this article in the Wandsworth Guardian regarding a new school in Earlsfield.
I read with interest your article regarding the proposals to build a new school on the site of the Atheldene Centre. The principal concerns raised by local residents are that the local streets risk being turned into rat runs.
The Lib Dems in Tooting have been gaining very strong support for their proposals to pilot schemes to stop rat runs, and return them to residential streets. In February, almost 2 years since our petition for the Fishponds Road was presented, a consultation on this scheme will be sent out to local people.
Parents of Smallwood school, and their neighbours showed their support for similar improvements to their streets with 459 people signing another petition presented to Council just before Christmas. For too long concerned residents have been fobbed off by our council as a result of Tory policies that haven’t been properly challenged by the Labour team.
We don’t think the council’s current stock response, “No-one has been killed there yet”, is good enough. Local people overwhelmingly agree with us.
Fly tipping is disfiguring our streets. That’s what Tooting residents are telling us, and we agree. We have talked to the Council about it, but it is one of those issues where it helps if the whole community acts together. Here’s how you can help.
The council say that all dumped rubbish should be cleared within a week. Please let us know about any rubbish that is not cleared away.
If you see somebody dumping rubbish then you should report it immediately to the council, noting as much of the following as you can:
Date – Time – Location
What was dumped
Description of the people
If you don’t get a response, do let us know, we are here to help.
Fly tipping and the law:
The Council will fine or prosecute people dumping rubbish in the street. The maximum penalty is £50,000 fine and/or 12 months in prison. Vehicles used for fly-tipping can be seized and destroyed, and the perpetrators may be required to do community service.
For ease of sharing the info via Facebook etc we’ve made this:
After years of inaction by Wandsworth Council moves are finally underway to reduce traffic and improve safety on Tooting’s roads thanks to the work of the local Liberal Democrats.
Residents in Fishponds Road / Broadwater Road have often complained about motorists using their streets as a ‘rat run’ to avoid traffic on Tooting High Street, creating noise and significant danger for pedestrians and cyclists. Yet despite 10 years and three public consultations on the problem there has still been no tangible change.
That was until local Lib Dems took a different approach. Campaigner Jon Irwin secured the support of 243 local residents for a trial scheme to solve the problem. Unlike past schemes, the Lib Dem proposals are resident led and, as a trial programme, have a lower cost and lower risk than previously proposed solutions. The petition was presented to the Council in July 2011 and on November 19th 2013 the Council Committee finally agreed that the trial should be put to a wider public consultation.
However, in order for there to be further action the Council requires that 40% of local residents respond to the consultation. You’ve already told us on the doorstep that we should have safer streets and so we need your help! If you agree we should try this new approach please respond positively to the consultation.
Remember: even with such strong local support, our local Councillors still allowed this issue to take 18 months to go through the system – we can’t rely on our Labour Councillors to improve Tooting so it’s up to residents to take charge!
Following on from our last issue of Focus, local campaigners Jon Irwin & Giles Derrington have been alerted to a number of cases of fly-tipping around the Tooting Grove area.
Local Liberal Democrats are encouraging the council to step up their efforts to deal with fly-tipping and to improve kerbside refuse collections to help reduce problems with urban foxes.
Local campaigner Giles Derrington said: “Like everyone who lives here, we love Tooting and we want to see it looking clean and tidy. The Council needs to rethink some of their refuse and fly-tipping policies to stop some of the problems we have seen over the last few weeks.”
Local Liberal Democrats have been concerned to hear complaints from local residents about anti-social behaviour on some of Tooting’s parks, such as Tooting Gardens. Concerns have particularly focused on late evenings.
Some residents have reported anti-social or criminal behaviour on some of these areas late at night, often with debris being left behind making the play areas unsafe for families, as well as making the area very unattractive for people to live in.
Liberal Democrats Jon Irwin & Giles Derrington have reported these concerns to the police and the council community safety teams, and encourage residents to do the same.
Local resident and campaigner Giles Derrington said, “Unfortunatelythere are some people who don’t want to use the parks responsibly and they spoil it for everyone else. We’ll be keeping an eye out to make sure we do what we can to keep the parks safe for Tooting families.”
After over 10 years of inaction the problem of ‘rat-running’ on Fishponds Road and Broadwater Road a potential solution finally looks set to be implemented.
Local resident and Liberal Democrat focus team leader, Jon Irwin, petitioned for support to conduct a trial to prevent rat-running (non-residential vehicles using side roads to beat the traffic) in 2012.
The petition gained 243 signatures, and was presented to council in June last year. Almost one year later, the petition has gone through committee and looks likely to happen.
The trial approach has the support of both Wandsworth Living Streets and Wandsworth Cycling Campaign, as well as a lot of local residents.
Commenting, Jon said:
“Almost everyone agrees on what the problem is, the difficulty has been getting consensus on a potential solution. I believe the plan we have proposed will work. What is important now is that we get it right, that is why we have pushed for a pilot project so that we can fix and unforeseen problems and ensure money is spent responsibly.”
In the last year, over 2,300 extra apprenticeships have been created by the Lib Dems in Wandsworth.
Jon Irwin said, “Despite the terrible mess left by Labour, Lib Dems have been working hard to build a stronger economy and create new jobs and opportunities.
Thanks to the work of Lib Dem Business Secretary, Vince Cable, we have already created 1 million new private sector jobs and 1.2 million apprenticeships since we came into Government.
But we know there’s much more to do to rebuild our economy. That’s why we are launching our million jobs for a stronger economy campaign, starting with plans to double the number of businesses with apprentices to help get young people into work.”
Local Lib Dem Campaigners are working to make it harder for urban foxes getting at bin and recycling bags.
Residents in Tooting have complained that the Council’s policy of asking people to leave their bags of rubbish on the street the night before collection makes it all too easy for foxes to get at rubbish.
Lib Dems have put pressure on the council to take action and have written to the Council calling on them to investigate whether providing residents with wheelie bins would make it harder for foxes.
“People are tired of waking up on bin collection day to see their bags torn apart and rubbish all over the street thanks to foxes. We believe giving residents proper wheelie bins could put a stop to the problem. It’s time the council took action.”