About Simon Hogg

Wandsworth Labour councillor

‘Formula E is in danger of losing local support’

Battersea Park prepars for Formula E - image via @SaveBattPark

Battersea Park prepares for Formula E – image via @SaveBattPark

Some local people complain that the preparations for Formula E on June 27 & 28 are spoiling their enjoyment of Battersea Park.

Rex Osborn, leader of Wandsworth Labour group says: “We welcome a world class event here on our doorsteps, but Formula E need to make it easier for local people to cope. There needs to be more information and more helpful stewards, otherwise Formula E is in danger of losing local support.”

Battersea Park prepars for Formula E - image via @SaveBattPark

Battersea Park prepares for Formula E – image via @SaveBattPark

One local resident wrote to me:

“As you may know I was in favour of the Grand Prix in Battersea Park. However, I wondered there was some way of communicating to whoever is in charge of this that they are really testing the patience of the local community, especially due to the fact that:

  • Many of the routes, especially across the park, are now closed.  I walk across the park most days taking my kids to school and this morning it was very difficult.
  • There is no attempt to communicate what they are doing, when and why
  • The attitude of the ‘marshalls’ is very annoying, one of stopping people doing what they normally do, and very much of ‘owning’ the park giving priority to whatever they are doing rather than the needs and priorities of individuals.

I fear it will only get worse next week.  I think they need to be told to focus and think more about the local community, no one has asked for them to come, it could be an excellent event or they could end up annoying a lot of people.”

Battersea Park prepars for Formula E - image via @SaveBattPark

Battersea Park prepars for Formula E – image via @SaveBattPark

Jiu Jitsu medallist Leoni says: Save Battersea Sports Centre

Leoni Munslow (second from the right on the podium) wins bronze at the Brazillian Ju Jitsu  World Championships

Leoni Munslow (second from the right on the podium) wins bronze at the Brazillian Ju Jitsu World Championships

Congratulations to Leoni Munslow, 28, who returned home from California yesterday with a Bronze medal from the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) World Championships.

Leoni represented New School BJJ, based at Battersea Sports Centre, in the brown belt division, competing against the top women from around the world to finish on the podium.

Leoni is a full-time firefighter and has trained at Battersea Sports Centre for the last six years. She is a three-time British Champion, current European Nogi champion and holds a world ranking of #2.

Wandsworth council recently announced it will demolish Battersea Sports Centre despite a petition from 750 local people calling for it to be saved. Battersea Sports Centre is great and the Tories are wrong to wrong to close it.

Leoni said: “It’s fantastic to bring a World Championship medal back to Battersea. The coaches and team at New School BJJ have supported me every step of the way to help me achieve my dreams. Continue reading

“We’ll pay you to move to Birmingham”: Wandsworth in ‘social cleansing’ row

Letter from Wandsworth Council

Last week a distressed woman knocked on Will Martindale’s door to show him a letter. Martindale, then Battersea’s Labour MP candidate, said: “She was really upset. The council is her landlord and she trusts them. How would you feel if you got a letter like this from your landlord?”

The letter from Wandsworth Council offered a cash payment if she gave up her secure council tenancy and moved to a private rented home more than 100 miles away in Birmingham. The council has since admitted the letter was sent to more than 1,000 tenants.

Martindale added: “This policy will just widen the divisions we see in our local community. Our borough is being hollowed out by inequality. Over the past two years, every income group has shrunk except for the extremes: those earning less than £15,000 a year and those earning more than £70,000 a year.”

Sadiq Khan, Tooting MP,  told the Evening Standard: “Wandsworth council have been caught bribing residents to move to Birmingham. These policies rip communities apart and amount to the social cleansing of London.” Continue reading

The local housing market is broken. The Tories don’t have a plan to fix it

Speech to Wandsworth Council, Wednesday March 4, 2015 

The housing market is broken. This council does not have a plan to fix it.

The housing crisis is hurting families and it’s hurting renters.

This council can’t solve the crisis. It puts property developers ahead of the public interest and has turned its back on people who have regular incomes.

Wandsworth is a great place to raise a family. But is has become a tough place to raise a family.

* Rent on the average 4-bed house went up 32% in the last two years.

* The Sunday Times reports that in Wandsworth the difference in price between a 3-bed home and a 4-bed home is £419,000 – the highest gap in the country.

*  Childcare costs more than £10,000 per year per child.

I don’t know a single local family who thinks they will get to live in the new Nine Elms flats. Just three of the first 2,400 flats to be built on the Battersea Power Station site are affordable, family-sized homes Continue reading

Battersea Sports Centre is great. The Tories are wrong to close it

Will Martindale and users of Battersea Sports Centre campaign to save it from closure

Speech by councillor Wendy Speck to Wandsworth Council, Wednesday March 4, 2015 

Battersea Sports Centre is a well-used and well-loved place. It is used by a whole variety of people of all ages and abilities.

The council’s own equalities impact assessment shows that those most affected by its closure will be the disabled, ethnic minority groups and those under 19.

It is in the ward with the most deprivation, the worst health statistics and the most obesity.

The Battersea Sports Centre also is used by several schools and one local primary uses it for all its KS2 PE. The logistics of asking a school to take its pupils elsewhere has implications on timetabling, missing of other lessons and cost. The Governors wrote to councillors with their concerns.

We are told now that the Sports Centre needs to close to provide a site for housing to decant residents from the Winstanley and York Road estates, as part of the regeneration there. Continue reading

Wandsworth’s Housing Offer: A homeless crisis, unfair rents & favours for developers

Speech to Wandsworth Council, 28 January 2015

This paper covers council rents, money to tackle the homelessness crisis and elements of councillor Govindia’s new housing strategy. There are positive and negative sides to each.

On council rents, the average increase this year will be 2.2%. This is fair – but in reality almost no one will actually pay it.

Sometimes you just have to look at a policy and apply a common sense check. 10,000 of our tenants will get less than £1 a week rent rise but 3,500 households on historically lower rents will get more than £8 a week rent rise, with almost nothing in between. Continue reading