[From my e-news, written on the 5th May 2009 - to sign up for my e-newsletters click here]
Four years ago today I was elected Member of Parliament for Tooting. First of all I would like to thank you for giving me the privilege to be able to represent and work on behalf of all the residents of Balham, Earlsfield, Furzedown, Graveney, Tooting and Wandsworth Common.
I was born in Tooting, at St George’s Hospital, and spent the first 8 years of my life living on the Henry Prince Estate in Earlsfield, before my family moved to Tooting Bec. I was educated at local state schools, as are my daughters.
I can tell you, having been born, educated and raised locally, there is no greater satisfaction than representing the area you have lived in all your life.
I am proud of all of my achievements in the last couple of years, but off the top of my head I suppose my Top 5 would be:
- Bringing back the ‘bobby on the beat’. I pledged to try and secure every ward a Safer Neighbourhood Team, of a police sergeant, police officers and community supports officers by April 2008. I achieved this 1 year early!
- Better access to transport. I pledged to get lift access at Balham Station and Earlsfield Station. Mission accomplished at Balham, with the funding secured for Earlsfield Station and work to begin soon.
- Securing extra investment for St George’s. The Walk-In Centre is now open longer hours than ever and St George’s has met its target to ensure patients are seen within 18 weeks of first visiting their GP, ahead of schedule.
- Anti-war – I ran for Parliament on an anti-war platform, believing the war in Iraq to be unjustified. I was a vocal opponent of the war when I was elected to Parliament and have been delighted to see our troops finally come home.
- Stopping the Springfield Mega-Development – Working alongside local residents on the Springfield Hospital campaign was a great experience. The community spirit that built up around the campaign was extremely special. To then succeed against the odds and get the planned mega-development at Springfield Hospital rejected made it even better. I am now working with residents, and the Hospital, to find a way forward which is acceptable to the community.
I will continue to do my best to represent the interests of local residents. Please feel free to get in touch if there are any additional issues I should be working on.
I am here to help, whatever your politics.
Until next time,