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Back to school – the school run – a little plea

As the start of the school year is only just around the corner, a little plea.

A growing number of children would like to cycle to school and indeed are. For some it will be their first time cycling regularly on our roads. Please give our young people who are starting to cycle some space, and be considerate if they wobble or make what may seem to be an erratic decision.

We all make mistakes, particularly when doing something new for the first time. It makes it even more important for those who have to drive their children to school that you take extra care over the next couple of weeks.

The same goes incidentally for taking care around adults on bikes too.

Thanks for reading, and hope that it’s a good start to the new school year for everyone!

PS – please share, the more people that read this, the more people are likely to be a little extra careful.

Making Tooting High Street safer!

Liberal Democrats hand petition in to City Hall

Giles Derrington, Jon Irwin and Simon Sharich are the local champions for Tooting.

Giles Derrington, Jon Irwin and Simon Sharich are the local champions for Tooting.

753 people signed the petition calling on Transport for London to improve Tooting High Street to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

Jon Irwin handed the petition in to City Hall. A copy has also been handed in to Wandsworth Council, so that local councillors are aware of local people’s concerns.

Make Tooting better to live in “Tooting is a great place to live and it is growing fast,” says Focus’s Simon Sharich it is really quite rewarding to witness the support we have received on our campaign to make Tooting High Street safer. Local residents are most concerned on the increasing volume of traffic and number of accidents that have occurred within the past year. We will continue to do all we must to fight for the change and improvements that Tooting deserves and needs.”

Bikehangars coming to Wandsworth for Xmas!

Bikehangars which are becoming even more commonplace in our neighbouring borough of Lambeth, are set to come to Wandsworth by Christmas as a result of Jon Irwin’s campaigning.

The council currently provides some bike parking facilities for people living on housing estates. However for people living in private owned or rented accommodation, if you don’t have the space in your hall then you might not even have been able to consider getting a bicycle to cycle around locally at all.

In February the committee agreed that an initial trial of 10 hangers should be rolled out, and then pending feedback more can be installed. Users normally pay a £30 annual fee and a £25 key deposit, to have access to the hanger. One hanger provides 6 bike parking slots, in exchange for 1/2 a car parking bay (Bikehangars are 2m x 2.5m).

Local groups such as Wandsworth Cycling Campaign have been calling on the council to push forward with this and many other evidence based suggestions to improve our local streets. Fortunately as a result of the work Jon has been doing, we are finally seeing some movement from the council.

If you would like to register your interest in having a Bikehangar near your home do let us know, and email highwaysconsultancy@wandsworth.gov.uk.

Vote for Tooting on the 22nd May

Giles Derrington, Jon Irwin and Simon Sharich are the local champions for Tooting.

Giles Derrington, Jon Irwin and Simon Sharich are the local champions for Tooting.

Next Thursday you have the chance to change Tooting for the better!

Tooting Liberal Democrats believe that Tooting is a great place with even greater potential. Over the last few years we’ve been out and about all over the area talking to local residents about the issues that really matter to them.

As a group of hard working local activists, Tooting Lib Dems have already led the way on issues such as making our streets safer, cleaning up our area and improving our high street, even when other Parties refused to roll up their sleeves and get involved. Our priority is standing up for Tooting and making sure that never again is our area overlooked by the Council.

That is why our candidates Jon Irwin, Giles Derrington and Simon Sharich promise to be far more visible than the current Labour Councillors in our area. We promise to be out and about in Tooting, making sure we hear what you are saying and fight for what you want
in Wandsworth Town Hall.

We work hard in Tooting because we love our area, but there is still so much more to be done. That is why, on 22nd May, if you want a strong voice standing up for Tooting the choice is clear- a vote for the Lib Dems is a vote for Tooting.

Our four priorities for Tooting…

  • Being a strong voice for Tooting – we will be active and visible Councillors dedicated to promoting Tooting and ensuring that we get the best deal for our area.
  • We will build on our work to make our streets safer and put pressure on the Council to conduct a full strategic review of traffic in Tooting.
  • We will force the Council to spend more on enforcement against fly-tippers to put and end to areas of Tooting being constantly used as a dumping ground for rubbish.
  • We will work to reinvigorate our High Street and encourage new businesses. We will put pressure on the Council to use newly proposed powers to tackle the number of betting shops on the High Street.

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Your Tooting Focus team

Jon Irwin

Jon-Irwin-headshotJon moved to Tooting in 2009, and has been heavily involved with local groups campaigning to improve our area over the past 4 years. He ran his own events business, working from home, until relatively recently when he has started working on a consultancy basis for a cycle parking business. One of the main motivations for him standing has been witnessing how our current political representatives can get in the way of progress even when the business case is very robust.

 

 

Giles Derrington

Giles-Derrington-headshotGiles lives in Aldis Street with his partner Catie. He has lived in Tooting for just over two years and chose to settle here because of our diverse and vibrant community.

He has a number of years experience working on political issues at a local and national level. He has particular experience in working to support disabled people and has also helped develop policy at a national level to reduce the cost of childcare.

 

 

 

Simon Sharich

simon-sharich-headshotSimon has lived in Tooting for the past three years having originally moved from Oxford. He came to London for a job opportunity and works within the wine industry. With Jon and Giles he has been active in promoting ideas about how to make improvements in the area and talking with people to identify issues of concern. Simon is passionate about trying to help people and making changes necessary to benefit the whole community at large.

 

 

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Over 2200 signatures calling for safer streets

Hillbrook-safer-streets-petition
The support on the doorstep has been fantastic as our Focus team has worked to build the number of supporters on our each of our safer streets petitions. Many people are all too aware of the dangers present on Tooting’s streets and have been really pleased to see a local team working to get something done.

Local candidate Jon Irwin said: “I’ve been delighted to see so many people prepared to support these petitions. On the doorstep I’ve heard from parents with young children, others caring for older relatives, and those members of our community who aren’t quite as mobile as they once were. They have really highlighted the negative impacts that inaction on this issue has resulted in. Too many people have had loved ones hurt, too little has been done for too long. We want to do even more to ensure that our council really listens to the  people of Tooting who want to see the approach taken to our streets changed.”

If you’d like to find out more about our safer streets campaigns and help out do get in touch.

Cleaning up our Streets

tooting-binFor too many Tooting residents, waking up to find a pile of litter outside your house is all too common a problem. For those living on streets connected to the High Street or Garrett Lane, finding litter in your front garden or beer cans piled on your wall is a regular occurrence.

One of the reasons for much of the litter is that there are simply no bins available away from our main roads. While there are plenty of bins on the High Street walk down most residential streets in our area and you will find few bins, meaning people walking home will often just leave there rubbish where it is.

That is why Tooting Lib Dems have written to the Council demanding that they install new public bins on residential streets coming off the High Street. Commenting, local candidate Giles Derrington said:

“When you have long roads without access to public bins then it is a huge incentive to some unscrupulous people just to throw their rubbish on the floor or into a hedge, but it is then up to home owners to clean it up. That is why we have taken up the idea of putting more bins in those commonly used streets connecting to Tooting High Street. We think that this simple change would be a big step forward into cleaning up our streets.”

Brian Paddick joins the team canvassing in Tooting

BrianPaddick_TootingLDs_StGeorges

 

Brian Paddick, former Lib Dem mayoral candidate and now Lord Paddick, joined the team over the May bank holiday weekend canvassing residents in Tooting.

The message coming through on the doorstep is clear. People are fed up with inaction from the Labour team, and want to have a councillor team that will really speak up for Tooting. Residents pay the same council tax as everyone else does in the borough, we deserve the same levels of service that residents in Putney and Battersea get.

On May 22nd Tooting residents will have the chance to vote for three candidates who are serious about getting real solutions to the very real problems and issues that have been raised on the doorstep.

Giles Derrington, Jon Irwin and Simon Sharich are your local Focus team, working hard all year round, not just at election time.

Is Tooting being overlooked by Wandsworth council?

While Labour just stand on the sidelines and do nothing

 

Tooting not reaching it's full potential because Conservative run council puts money into its favoured areas in Battersea & Putney, and Labour councillors are too weak to stand up to them.

Tooting has not reached it’s full potential because Conservative run council puts money into its favoured areas in Battersea and Putney, and our current councillors are too weak to stand up to them. We need real local champions who will get a fair deal for Tooting from Wandsworth Council.

More and more Tooting residents are feeling that our area is being overlooked when decisions are made at Wandsworth Town Hall. Despite being a thriving community, too often Tooting is at the bottom of the Council’s priority list for major improvement and investment, meaning major problems such as traffic gridlock, run down high streets and fly-tipping have gone unchecked.

 

Often this problem is made worse by the indifference of the Conservative run Council, who focus their efforts on Putney and Battersea. Meanwhile, Labour simply take Tooting for granted, assuming that people will support them at election time, even if they do little to stand up for Tooting outside of election season.

That is why people are turning to the Tooting Liberal Democrats as a group committed to standing up for Tooting on the Council and ensuring that our area isn’t taken for granted.

The track record of campaigners such as Jon Irwin, who has been at the forefront of new, innovative ideas to solve our traffic chaos or forcing the Council to take action to ensure that the Wheatsheaf pub remains an important part of our community, shows that Lib Dems are people who want to get things done.

Giles_Jon_Shop_ClosingDown

Commenting, Lib Dem Candidate Giles Derrington said:

“Tooting is a great place and has even greater potential, but too often we are let down because there is simply no one prepared to really fight for our area on the Council. While places like Balham and Putney have seen major investment by the Council in the last five years, Tooting has once again been overlooked. Residents here pay our Council Tax like everyone else, and we deserve better.

Tooting Lib Dems are committed to standing up for Tooting and making sure that residents have a real voice on their side.  Our priority is making sure that people in Tooting can be proud of our area, that it is clean and safe and making sure new businesses feel it is the kind of place they want to set up shop.  We want to see Tooting thrive and that means having a laser focus on our area and the priorities of local residents”

Simon Sharich and Giles Derrington in front of one of Tooting's betting shops

The Labour Government introduced rules that have allowed clusters of betting shops to blight our streets. We want to bring an end to this.

We can do better than this!

Residents near Hebdon Road have expressed their frustration at the lack of action over the alley that runs parallel to Fishponds Road. Flytipping, anti-social behaviour, visits from the police, letters to the council, yet still it’s a mess.

But there are similar alleys in Wandsworth which once suffered the same issues, and solutions have been found. We need more active councillors to try to find similar solutions here in Tooting. Labour are taking local residents for granted.

Why should local residents have to suffer the distress of broken nights sleep and eyesore that flytipping presents? They need more effective advocates in the Council Chamber.

We think it is time for a change.

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