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
Part 3: Building communities and supporting local business
Cllr Hector Denfield (Bedford ward) helps residents set up their own Resident’s Association
Many residents got in touch with us about the same issues that were affecting the Larch Close estate in Balham. It quickly became apparent that these were repeating issues rather than isolated incidents, and what was needed was solutions to the causes and not just the symptoms.
To do this, the Bedford ward councillors assisted the residents of the estate to set up their own Residents Association, a formal body that is recognised and supported by the council. After several months of work and going through the official (and long!) process to get the association established, we are very proud to say that the first meeting of the association was held in February and the residents have formed their first executive committee.
The residents are running the association themselves and are empowered to undertake improvements to the estate. It also enhances the sense of community, as residents get to know their neighbours better and work together as a team.
Your Furzedown councillors, Leonie Cooper and Judi Gasser, breathe new life into Mitcham Lane shops
Our biggest success in Furzedown in 2018 was seeing the completion of the £400k road and shopfront improvement project in Mitcham Lane.
It was a long time coming – we began the project with a survey, a paper was submitted to Committee, an application for some TfL funding was successfully made and the Council allocated some funds too, we had a project group that managed the project for well over a year, which I attended throughout.
There was a big opening in June 2018, with a trail up and down, enticing people into all the shops.
During the project design, we persuaded the Council to add on the installation of Christmas lights and a Christmas tree pit, complete with the electrical wiring. Judi and Candida took the lead on organising fantastic Christmas events, with school choirs, when the tree was switched on and all the lights were light.
We have an amazing new piazza, a road that is much easier to cross, lovely new shop fronts – and a huge sign that says Furzedown.
It has really improved an area that was pretty run down – and new shops have opened!