We all know Wandsworth is an awesome place to live. It’s strong, diverse communities represent the best of modern Britain.
We recognise the benefits of development – new homes, more jobs and better public buildings. But there’s a clear feeling now that inappropriate development has gone too far in Wandsworth – it’s out of balance.
Luxury tower blocks spring up, against public opinion. New developments offer little for local people. Families are priced out.
There are serious challenges we must face:
* One third of local residents now rent privately. Many pay more than half of their take-home pay in rent. Young professional couples with two good salaries are unable to buy a home.
* Expensive and insecure private renting is driving a homelessness crisis: this morning 3,000 homeless children woke up in Wandsworth council temporary accommodation.
We could do so much better. So what’s the Labour plan?
Our number one priority is the sustainable delivery of genuinely affordable homes for local people.
At its heart, it’s all about the right values. We will create thriving communities without creating imbalance or division. The opposite of the Wandsworth Tory plan to create Dubai on Thames for the benefit of overseas investors.
Residents were astonished recently by the Sky Pool spanning two luxury towers in Nine Elms – as potent a symbol as you could imagine of how Wandsworth Tories have the wrong values.
Because, down the road from this vulgar Sky Pool, a fantastic new public swimming pool was planned for the most deprived area in our borough. Wandsworth council has just delayed its completion by at least four years to help out a property developer. It’s unacceptable.
The Sky Pool is in Nine Elms, where a staggering 85% of the first 800 flats were sold to overseas investors. Nearly half of them in ‘high corruption risk’ jurisdictions. Do you know of any local family that has moved into the Battersea Power Station site?
What will Labour change? Well, to deliver results, our planning system has to be transparent, honest and listen to the voices of local people
You should be able to witness the decisions that affect your life. All Planning Applications Committee meetings will be broadcast live online.
Deals made with developers should be public and uncensored. We’ll create a new Town Hall team to enforce agreements with property developers.
No Labour councillor will accept gifts or expensive meals from property developers. We must end the disgusting spectacle of politicians who get rich from property development.
Former council leader Edward Lister recently had to leave his role at the heart of government after the exposure of rampant conflicts of interest.
He approved £187 million in tax-payer backed loans to a luxury property developer – which was paying him on the side. He was trusted by the British government to broker a deal for a new China embassy – turns out he was being paid not only by the buyer – but also by the seller! Nice work if you can get it.
Labour will work with communities and make sure the benefits of development go to the many, not the few.
We’ll review Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) charging and infrastructure priorities, to make sure all neighbourhoods benefit.
Local people should be given first dibs on all new homes built in their neighbourhood.
That’s our vision – rooted in fairness and common sense. We’ll reveal more details in the coming year as we listen to local people in the build-up to the 2022 elections. Our manifesto commitments will be shaped by hundreds of conversations with residents and community groups – please get in touch to share your views.
We welcome investment and development and we believe in growth and prosperity for Wandsworth. Partners will find us energetic, ambitious and open to new ideas.
But only Labour can safeguard our borough from a Tory administration that is mesmerised by money and always sides with property developers. Our experienced team will work tirelessly to protect our beautiful borough and keep Wandsworth special.