Statement from Rex Osborn, Wandsworth Labour leader:
Many of us are now moved daily by the tragedy of thousands in a desperate struggle to find safety as they flee catastrophe in their homelands. This is a time to remember Wandsworth’s long- standing record of welcoming refugees from all over the world.
Wandsworth Labour are pleased to see the Government announce this week its support for these desperate people and its plans to offer sanctuary to refugees. We await more detail on what is expected of Councils and what assistance Councils can anticipate while we understand the urgent need for action. Whatever the details of the Government response, Wandsworth Council will have a part to play.
Meanwhile we are touched by the groundswell of public support in Wandsworth for the plight of the refugees. Three are several agencies organising contributions from the public but if anybody is still looking for advice on what to do there are suggestions on the Wandsworth Labour website here.
The generosity of the people of Wandsworth shows the way forward for our Councillors and our Council.
Guest post: Speech by Labour councillor Peter Carpenter at Wandsworth Council, July 8, 2015. Following the debate, the council unanimously passed this motion on airport expansion
I will confess not to having read the whole of the Airport Commission’s report, but I have read the 17 page Executive Summary which reads more like a polemic in favour of Heathrow, than the balanced judgement of an independent commission.
This is not the first time that Sir Howard Davies’ judgement has been brought into question. You will recall that in 2011 he had to resign as Director of the LSE because he thought that taking money from Colonel Gadaffi was a good idea.
I think we all agree that a third runway at Heathrow is not politically deliverable. But I am surprised, as an economist, Howard Davies thinks it is financially deliverable.
I am a businessman. What would I do if I were given the choice of investing £7 billion for a second runway at Gatwick, or £17 billion plus another £5 billion for public infrastructure upgrades (although TfL thinks it’s £10 billion) for a third runway a Heathrow? Continue reading
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.” Continue reading
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
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
Who’s got time to watch a whole political speech?
For those in a hurry, here’s a 25-second version of the speech I gave to January’s council meeting.
If you have a bit longer, here is the full series of housing speeches I’ve given recently in Wandsworth council meetings.
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