Councillor Simon Hogg listens to local people in York Gardens Library
Speech to Wandsworth Council, October 14, 2015
The new Right To Buy is a terrible deal for Wandsworth.
The housing policies the Tories seems so proud of will cost Wandsworth tens of millions of pounds – and do nothing to help renters, the homeless or most people on ordinary incomes hoping to buy.
And, when you add them up, the policies will mean the slow death of social housing.
Right To Buy is a good policy when it helps council tenants become home-owners and a new council house is built from profit. But that’s not happening. It never has.
Let’s judge Wandsworth Tories on their record. In the last 25 years, 14,791 local council homes have been sold off and only 5,170 affordable homes built in their place. We’re 10,000 short.
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 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
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