The Wall in the Head: Why money alone can’t help our worst estates

Speech to Wandsworth council, May 15, 2013

This council created modern Latchmere, the ward I represent, and we got it wrong. We built streets in the sky where neighbours fear to stop and talk. Designed estates with few shops and no jobs – in some cases literally with walls around them.

We had a tenancy policy that – coupled with a misguided Right To Buy scheme – has concentrated the borough’s most troubled families in the same places.

As I told this chamber in my maiden speech, I joined the council to change Latchmere, not keep it the same.

Since I made that speech in 2010, on the Winstanley and York Road Estates, six young men have been shot and one stabbed to death.

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Put Your Love Letters Up – and other songs of the London riots

Local musician Jamie West has released a song, Put Your Love Letters Up , inspired by the events following last years looting at Clapham Junction.

He says: “I filmed, with the co-operation of Wandsworth Film Office, about the ‘lovewalls’ people made after the London riots last year. I hope you enjoy it – I am a Wandsworth resident, and the film is ultimately about celebrating the place I grew up.”

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