It’s been a year since 26 Wandsworth Labour councillors were elected. Each day this week we hear their stories of how they have made life a little better for local people
Day 2: Promoting active travel and creating a sense of place
Councillor Simon Hogg (Latchmere ward) working to make our streets better for active travel
I’ve been a Wandsworth Labour councillor now for several years. Working on behalf of local residents is as rewarding as ever. Sometimes this is dealing with big issues, sometimes it’s fixing the things that we think we just need to put up with.
I heard from residents in Fownes Street that the walkway was uneven and people were tripping over. I took the issue up with the council and now there is nice even paving and a new hand-rail. Local people feel safer tell me that they feel safer.
Councillor Tony Belton (Latchmere ward) puts Falcon Grove back on the map
I’ve been a Labour councillor for over forty years and it’s a role that I’m still immensely proud of doing. I want to use this story to remind residents that it’s their ideas that we want to hear. It’s the things that you see as you are out and about that you think could be better.
Here is an example from a local resident, David Phillip de Micco, who was complaining that there was no street sign after recent redevelopment works. I asked Wandsworth Council to fix this and David is delighted to have his neighbourhood back on the map.
Councillor Jo Rigby (Earlsfield ward) working to create low traffic neighbourhoods
As a brand new councillor, year one has been a real joy. I’ve made progress through campaigning on issues such as pushing Wandsworth to pay the real Living Wage. I’ve learnt first hand how change can come while in opposition. As a parent, I’m passionate about the environment and reducing pollution in Wandsworth. I’m trying to persuade the Tories to allow people to open up Playing Out Streets to allow our children to experience playing on their streets. I’m in that one for the long haul!
Recently, I contacted the Earlsfield Business Network with ideas for how to revitalise our high street. The high street can be saved through making it a more enjoyable place for people to spend time. Garratt Lane is too noisy and polluted through traffic to make it a destination place for locals and visitors. I shared with Earlsfield Business Network my ideas for low traffic, removing parking to put parklets and holding a pop-up street market on Car Free Day to encourage people to explore local business. It was a very uplifting meeting, and the ideas were positively received. We are now approaching Wandsworth to try to make these happen.
I believe that the way we live can be better, healthier and safer. So many residents are now asking for solutions to the rat running and speeding cars that they have been forced to live with. I believe that change is coming and I will stay in this role to ensure that it comes sooner.