Great to celebrate fantastic new crossings in #Tooting with St Boniface students and @livingstreets

900 Potholes Unrepaired In Wandsworth Last Year

By Alexandra Rucki Wandsworth Guardian

One in eight potholes reported to the council were not repaired over the last 12 months. A Wandsworth Council report showed 6,561 holes were filled in, despite 7,498 being reported. A breakdown of each ward shows 63 pot holes remain untended in Graveney and 57 in Bedford.  pothole

Southfields was riddled with the most holes, with 702 recorded within the past year. Wandsworth Council defended their repair record, pointing to harsh winters having a detrimental effect on the condition of the 200 miles of roads across the borough.

The opposition Labour party argued the council is neglecting to fulfil basic duties.

Councillor Rex Osborn, the group’s leader, said: “The state of Wandsworth’s roads is appalling – and we now know that there are almost 1000 reported potholes which have not been filled.  Filling potholes is one of the council’s most basic statutory duties, a duty which it is failing to fulfil. Not only is the poor state of the roads causing damage to residents’ vehicles, but it’s also putting cyclists’ lives in danger. The council needs to buck up its act and get on top of this backlog urgently.”

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Thank you for your interest.

We’ll ask a current local Labour councillor to email you.

They should be in touch in the next few days to arrange a chat.

If you don’t hear anything in the next week, please email councillor Simon Hogg at

Five things we did in Tooting Graveney Ward in 2012…

Graveney Councillors Rex, Billi and Andy, Sadiq Khan MP and local supporters

Trident Centre, Bickersteth Road

After objections by local residents, concerns about the future of the businesses in The Trident Centre and the suitability of the site, the sponsors decided to withdraw from establishing a ‘free’ school.

New Primary School, Franciscan Road

We encouraged the establishment of a new primary school, linked to Graveney School, in the old school building on Franciscan Road. This is planned to open in September 2013.

Planning application  for the Professional Centre, Franciscan Road

We supported residents’ objections to the over-development of the playground area of what will become the new primary school on Franciscan Road. Developers plan to build a four storey building for elderly residents.

Crossing at St. Boniface Church, Mitcham Road

After a long campaign by the congregation of St. Boniface church, backed by ourselves and Sadiq Khan MP, the Council agreed to site a new pedestrian crossing by the Church. This was a great credit to the Late Fr. Bonvini, who was instrumental in the success of the petition.

Tooting Town Centre

We supported a plan by local police to curb street drinking by establishing a street drinking exclusion zone and helping people with alcohol problems through an outreach scheme. We are keen to see further development of the town centre and the market.

…… as well as attending street parties, school fetes, working with churches and community groups in Graveney and being your local voice in the Town Hall. And, of course, helping Graveney residents with individual concerns.

Cllr. Rex Osborn is a founder member of Tooting  History Group and conducts local historical walks. He is a Vice Chair of the Local Safer Neighbourhood panel.

Cllr. Billi Randall is Chair of Governors at Franciscan school. She is an active member of the Tooting Town Centre Partnership.

Cllr. Andy Gibbons is involved in organising local music events around Tooting and has close links with the Tamil Welfare Association of Wandsworth.

Let us know your priorities for 2013: or leave a comment below.

Graveney Councillors Object To ‘Overdevelopment’ at Franciscan Rd. Centre

Having listened carefully to the views of local residents and looking at the plans, Graveney Councillors  have sent in an objection to the planning application for the building of 45 housing units in the Franciscan Road Professional Centre playground.

We object on the following grounds:
• Over-development – the scale of the building is large and intrusive.
• Loss of playground space for the new primary school opening in the Professional Centre. This causes additional concerns as this is the space which would be used if the school had to be evacuated in case of emergency.
• The design includes windows and balconies which look onto the playground and into the play area of Toots nursery.
• The design will overshadow the play area and the lower storey classrooms of the new primary school as well as the play area of Toots nursery.
• Parking – the staff of the professional centre and the teachers will have to park on the surrounding streets, exacerbating existing parking problems.


Why no playspace in Graveney ward?

By Cllr. Billi Randall

Over the last few years Labour Councillors have given much thought to the problem of play space in Graveney Ward and it is great that you have raised the issue with us. 

The simple fact is there is no playspace for children of any age in Graveney Ward. This deprivation has been recognised by Wandsworth Council, although nothing has been done about it.

Some years ago, there were a few items of outdoor play equipment outside Gravenel Gardens – but these were removed and the site sold. The Council claimed there are not many children living in Gravenel Gardens and the residents wanted it removed because the space had become associated with antisocial behaviour.

The problem with playspace is finding the space.  There is only one patch of open grass in the ward, and that is in Lime Tree Walk on the St Benedict’s Estate. Most of the rest of the ward is covered with housing and there is little scope to find open space. However, there are a few options that could be explored.

Shared playspace: There are three primary schools in the ward and next year, there will be a fourth. It might be possible to negotiate with one or more of the schools to open up their playgrounds out of hours for their playspace to available to local residents. But there are problems associated with this idea. For pre-school children, this would not make playspace available during the working day and schools do not necessarily have their playspace placed to be generally accessible. Any reorganisation of playgrounds could not be paid for by the schools, as they are under a duty to spend their budget on their children.

Find an open space: Some years ago, there was a suggestion to convert an underused car park in Rame Close into a garden. We talked to residents to see if it could be used as a basketball cage. However, they objected to the idea and argued that it would attract antisocial behaviour. But, it might be possible to develop a small playground there. There is some open space between Longley Road and Renmuir St. This would be big enough for a small playground. However, the one resident that we spoke to reacted rather violently against the idea.

There are one or two house size patches on the Totterdown Fields estate that  presumably belong to the Council – but they might not be big enough. Another  possibility is to do something that would make it easier to access the facilities on Tooting Common – if there could be some sort of directed walk with points of interest along the way.

There are a number of organisations that might be approached to help with establishing a playspace. But the key to solving the problem is to find a space where residents are willing to host a playground and for the Council to be willing to ensure that the playground is fenced and secure at night.

Any comments or suggestions from Graveney residents would be welcome – get in touch!


Tooting Residents Sign Our Petition Against Police Cuts

Cllr. Billi Randall with local residents

Tooting’s Labour Councillors are concerned that our local Safer Neighbourhood police team (SNT) has been operating under strength over the last 6 months. We call on Boris Johnson and the Metropolitan Police Authority to work with the Borough Commander to ensure that these cuts are reversed and our police teams are returned to a proper operational level.

To sign the petition, click the link below:

Street drinkers targeted under new plan

Tooting’s Labour Councillors are supporting a plan to deal with problem street drinkers in Tooting and Graveney. The council and police are proposing to make outside public places in parts of the two wards, including Tooting High Street, alcohol free zones.

The scheme, which starts next Monday, comes in response to increasing reports from members of the public about a hardcore group of street drinkers, who are the source of alcohol-related antisocial behaviour such as fighting, intimidation and urinating in public.

It would give constables and police community support officers the power to instruct people to stop drinking in designated public places – and if necessary confiscate their alcohol. Anyone refusing could face an on-the spot fine or prosecution in the magistrates court.

The zone, which will remain in place for 12 months, would cover Tooting High Street, Upper Tooting Road and extend south west to include Lambeth Cemetery, north west to include Streatham Cemetery and south east to include Rectory Lane (the proposed area can be seen in the map above).

Wandsworth Council believes the alcohol free zone would help businesses in the area, as owners and employees have reported that they have suffered a loss of trade due to customers being put off by street drinkers outside shops.

The council, NHS Wandsworth and local police safer neighbourhood team have attempted to curb the problems caused by street drinkers by trying to help enrol them in alcohol treatment programmes.

Later this month and for a period of several weeks, outreach workers from local drug and alcohol services – working closely with the police – will encourage people in street drinking groups to attend specially established drop in surgeries so that their overall health can be assessed and they can receive the help they need to control their drinking.

Meanwhile, police have, where appropriate, referred street drinkers with housing issues to London Street Rescue, which has resulted in them either being housed or given temporary shelter.

An alcohol free zone is essentially a Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) – contained in The Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 and designed to tackle nuisance and annoyance caused by the consumption of alcohol in public places.


Graveney School has received confirmation from the DfE today (July 13th) that the Tooting Primary School bid has been approved.   The school will admit its first intake of 60 pupils into two reception classes in September 2013. It will grow in size year on year until it provides 420 places in total for local children aged between four and 11.

The school will be on the Professional Centre site on Franciscan Road, and although run by Graveney School, will not be a feeder school for the secondary school.

Statement from the school here:

Plan for new primary free school in Tooting

Labour Councillors are backing proposals for a brand new primary school that would be run as a free school sponsored by the hugely popular and successful Graveney School.

The new school would be based in Franciscan Road and would open in September 2013. It would be located in the former school building, now known as the Professional Centre, that has been used for many years as a training centre for teachers and to house a number of educational services.

The new school would admit 60 pupils into two reception classes each year, eventually creating places for 420 children in total, covering an age range from four to 11.

The school would be run as an educational trust in partnership with Graveney School, which has for many years been one of the borough’s highest performing secondary schools and is widely recognised as one of England’s best state schools. The new school would be overseen by Graveney but would have its own headteacher and primary phase teachers

The proposals are designed to meet rising demand from parents for primary school places in Tooting.

In order for the plans to move forward and the new school to become a reality, local parents will need to show they support the idea.

Parents are now being urged to register their views by taking part in a survey of local needs organised by Graveney. The deadline for registering these views is Friday, February 24, 2012.

Parents who support the plans are being asked to complete the brief online survey at or return a copy of the questionnaire that’s contained in a leaflet outlining details of the new school that is now circulating throughout Tooting. Copies of the leaflet are available at Tooting Library and at nurseries and playgroups in the area.

Parents can also email responses to or write to Graveney School, Welham Road, Tooting, London SW17 9BU.

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