Labour’s borough-wide 20mph limit to begin roll-out this week

A campaign to introduce a 20mph speed limit across Wandsworth will become a reality this week as the roll-out begins across the borough.

Last year, Wandsworth Council finally agreed to consult residents on a proposal – originally put forward by Labour councillors – to introduce a 20mph limit on all residential roads in the borough and 59% of residents supported it.

According to Fleur Anderson, Labour’s speaker on Community services: “This campaign took many years and it wouldn’t have been successful without the support of groups like Living Streets and people across the borough who signed petitions asking for this. Slowing down the borough’s traffic will reduce air pollution and potentially save lives. I’m delighted to finally see the 20mph limit not just in streets here and there but across Wandsworth”.

The roll out of the new borough-wide 20mph limit will begin this week in Bedford, Furzedown, Graveney, and parts of Nightingale and Tooting wards. The last part of the borough to get its new limit will be Roehampton in Putney in May. Continue reading “Labour’s borough-wide 20mph limit to begin roll-out this week”

Wandsworth Labour stands up for fair funding for local schools

Wandsworth Labour has stepped up its campaign against cuts to education which will see almost £16m taken from schools in the borough.

Labour councillors, volunteers and the MP for Tooting, Rosena Allin-Khan, are visiting school gates across the borough, listening to the concerns of local parents.

They are also be inviting parents to sign an online petition to Education Secretary, Justine Greening, MP for Putney.

simon and balloons school gate

Leader of Wandsworth Labour, Cllr Simon Hogg

Schools in Wandsworth are set to lose £15,612,273 by 2020, as a result of the Government’s so-called “Fairer Funding Formula” and other budget pressures, according to figures released by the National Union of Teachers (NUT). The cuts are equivalent to the loss of 419 teachers or a cut of £603 per pupil in Wandsworth.

According to Tooting MP, Rosena Allin-Khan: “These planned cuts come at the same time that costs are rising in our local schools. Headteachers are reporting that they are increasingly faced with difficult choices such as whether they can afford to have classrooms cleaned, or to retain support staff who are essential to school communities”.

She added: “Without adequate funding, the Government will be failing our schools and failing our children as they miss out on the excellent education they all deserve”.

Some of the Wandsworth Schools likely to worst hit include:

Hillbrook School, is set to lose £358,039 by 2020, equivalent to £690 per pupil or 8 teachers.

Belleville School, is set to lose £548,995 by 2010, equivalent to £664 per pupil or 14 teachers.

Ashcroft Technical Academy is set to lose £868,189, equivalent to £834 per pupil or 21 teachers.

Chestnut Grove, is set to lose £739,147, equivalent to £927 per pupil or 25 teachers.

Graveney School is set to lose £1011,110, equivalent to £791 per pupil or 23 teachers.

You can sign the petition here.

For more information visit the website: www.schoolscuts.org.uk to find all the projected budget cuts for all local schools.

How to oppose the cuts to local schools

Schools in Wandsworth are set to lose £15,612,273 by 2020, as a result of the Government’s so-called ‘Fairer Funding Formula’ and other budget pressures.

The figures, released by the National Union of Teachers (NUT), are equivalent to the loss of 419 teachers borough-wide or a cut of £603 per pupil in Wandsworth. Read details in the Wandsworth Guardian.

Three things you can do today

ONE Email the Secretary of State for Education, who is also the Putney MP: greeningj@parliament.uk, ministers@education.gsi.gov.uk
On twitter: @justinegreening using the hashtag #investdontcut

TWO Have your say in the Government’s consultation on the cuts, which ends on March 22, here. The government’s survey is very technical so you may want just answer question 14 on page 7. The key points to make, in your own words, are:
(a) all schools should get proper funding to provide a good education for our children.
(b) no school should lose out as a results of the new National Funding Formula.
Then go to page 11 to submit your response.

THREE Write to the heads of your local school urging them to also oppose the cuts.

It is vital that our schools are properly funded. The government’s planned reductions in funding will mean larger class sizes in Wandsworth for all schools which will inevitably erode the quality of our children’s education.

We can’t afford not to invest in education – it makes no economic sense to go backwards and lose the gains we’ve made in London’s education in recent decades.

All schools in Wandsworth will lose funding. Some examples:

  • Chestnut Grove, which will lose £739,147, equivalent to £927 per pupil or 25 teachers.
  • Graveney School which will lose £1011,110, equivalent to £791 per pupil or 23 teachers.

For more information visit the website: www.schoolscuts.org.uk to find all the projected budget cuts for all local schools.

You can read the Motion opposing the cuts that was proposed by Wandsworth Labour here.

Wandsworth schools to lose almost £16m as a result of cuts to education

Schools in Wandsworth are set to lose £15,612,273 by 2020, as a result of the Government’s so-called “Fairer Funding Formula” and other budget pressures, according to figures released by the National Union of Teachers (NUT). The cuts are equivalent to the loss of 419 teachers or a cut of £603 per pupil in Wandsworth.

According to Labour’s Speaker on Education, Cllr Jeremy Ambache: “The proper funding of schools is a vital issue to get right as it affects the quality of teaching and the long-term future of our children. The government’s planned reductions in funding will mean larger class sizes here in Wandsworth for all schools which will inevitably erode the quality of our children’s education”.

He added: “The country can’t afford not to invest in education – it makes no economic sense to go backwards in the name of austerity and lose the gains made in London’s education over the past decades”.

The Government is currently consulting on the proposals and parents can have their say here. Cllr Ambache added: “we urge all parents and teachers to respond to the consultation by the deadline of March 22 and have their voices heard”.

The Wandsworth Schools likely to be worst hit include:

Belleville School, which will lose £548,995 by 2020, equivalent to £664 per pupil or 14 teachers.

Hillbrook School, which will lose £358,039 by 2020, equivalent to £690 per pupil or 8 teachers.

Ashcroft Technical Academy which will lose £868,189, equivalent to £834 per pupil or 21 teachers.

Chestnut Grove, which will lose £739,147, equivalent to £927 per pupil or 25 teachers.

Graveney School which will lose £1011,110, equivalent to £791 per pupil or 23 teachers.

Last night (March 8) Wandsworth Labour raised the issue of cuts to schools’ budgets in a debate at Wandsworth Council. The Motion put forward by Wandsworth Labour asked the Council Leader to protect the funding for Wandsworth Schools by lobbying the Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening, who is also the MP for Putney.

Jeremy Ambache said: “Wandsworth Council and local residents are in a strong position to lobby the Secretary of State for Education, as she is a Wandsworth MP. Putney schools alone are likely to lose £6m as a result of the proposed cuts”.

You can read the Motion proposed by Wandsworth Labour here.

For more information visit the website: www.schoolscuts.org.uk to find all the projected budget cuts for all local schools.

Wandsworth Labour marks International Women’s Day; “we shine a light on inequality”

Wandsworth Labour Party will be marking International Women’s Day this year with a celebration of local women and a reminder that the fight for gender equality is far from over.

According to figures compiled by the House of Commons Library in December last year, women have suffered a staggering 86% of the impact of tax hikes and benefit cuts since the government’s austerity measures were introduced in 2010.

Wandsworth Labour Party is taking the opportunity to highlight this disproportionate burden by tabling a motion during this week’s Full Council which falls on International Women’s Day (March 8th).

According to Candida Jones, Joint Deputy Leader of Wandsworth Labour: “As these figures show, we are still a long way from achieving a society where men and women have the same opportunities. We are using International Women’s Day to remind the Conservative-run Council that women in Wandsworth often face particular struggles because caring responsibilities usually fall to them, which has an impact on their earning power and on their ability to improve their own circumstances”.

She added; “Hikes in the state pension age for women, maternity discrimination and public service cuts all mean that women have been at the extreme sharp end of this government’s austerity measures. Wandsworth could and should do more to mitigate against this impact. International Women’s Day gives us an opportunity to shine a light on this inequality and ask for more assistance for the borough’s most vulnerable women”.

The evening following the debate, to celebrate the lives of women in Tooting, Tooting Labour will be holding an event to mark IWD, called Nonetheless She Persisted; a celebration of extraordinary ordinary local women.

The event (March 9) will include song, music, spoken word, comedy, politics and personal stories of adversity and triumph, brought to life by ordinary yet extraordinary local women. It is being held at Tooting’s newest venue, the Sound Lounge.

Participants include: Lisa Laudat, a session singer turned vocal coach who has worked with Lionel Richie, East 17, Simply Red, All Saints, Ben E. King, David Gilmour and Paul Young, to name but a few; Jackie Defferary, who is currently directing the Taming of the Shrew at the Globe; Mia Burgess, who won Wandsworth’s  Young Person of the Year 2016 for her work campaigning on gender and sexuality awareness;  Kemi Akinola, community activist, and Sandra Elwin, whose son Lewis was murdered in Tooting last year. The evening will be compered by Carrie Quinlan, actor, comedy writer and journalist.

According to Fleur Anderson, Joint Deputy of Wandsworth Labour: “it will be a moving and inspiring evening which will allow women to tell their personal stories or share their talents. Everyone should come, bring their children and marvel at what women in Wandsworth, and across the world, achieve every day often against great odds”.

Tickets can be reserved here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nevertheless-she-persisted-tooting-labour-international-womens-day-tickets-32384741634?aff=eivtefrnd

clockwise from from top right Carrie Quinlan, Jackie Defferary, Kemi Akinola, Lisa Laudat, Vito Ward, Sandra Elwin and Mia Burgess

The Labour Motion is here and below

Motion to mark International Women’s Day and the disproportionate impact of benefit cuts on women

This council welcomes International Women’s Day as an important occasion to recognise the achievements of women; and calls on the Government to join in this international event and pledge its commitment to gender parity.

The theme of International Women’s Day this year is Be Bold for Change.

The Council notes Wandsworth’s proud place in the struggle for women’s rights in the last century, with activists including suffragist and author Charlotte Despard, pacifist, suffragist an MP  Caroline Ganley – and many thousands of residents who have joined movements for social change and taken steps towards gender equality in their communities, homes, schools and workplaces.

This Council notes that tradition of female leadership continues today with all three of the borough’s MPs, Rosena Allin-Khan, Jane Ellison and Justine Greening.

This Council notes, however, that the benefit cuts introduced in 2010 have had a disproportionately large impact on women as a result of hikes in the state pension age, maternity discrimination and public service cuts. Figures produced by the House of Commons Library and released in December last show that women have suffered a staggering 86% of the impact of tax hikes and benefit cuts since 2010 and the disparity is getting worse – with the financial hit suffered by women up from 81% of the austerity measures at the same point the year before.

This Council further notes that the same figures show that black and minority ethnic women in all income groups have been hit the hardest by the changes and therefore resolves to:

  • recognise the impact on disproportionate impact of tax and benefit changes since 2010 on women as compared to men in Wandsworth
  • recognise the importance of carrying out gender audits of the impact of Council policies, to understand if their negative impact on women in the borough is disproportionate.
  • put in place structures and policies designed specifically to ease any disproportionate burden carried by women in Wandsworth, most acutely by black and minority ethnic women, in the face of austerity.

Expect even dirtier streets this week as cleaners strike in protest at poor pay

bin-outside-furzedown-school-dec-15

Street cleaners and drivers employed by Continental Landscapes will this week hold two day walk-outs over pay after Wandsworth Council ignored requests to pay them the London Living Wage.

According to the GMB which represents the striking workers, cleaning and driving staff employed by Continental are currently paid £7.50 an hour. The London Living Wage is £9.75.

Councillor Fleur Anderson, Labour spokesman on Community Services, said: “residents in Wandsworth already get a bad deal when it comes to street cleaning services which have been cut back by the Council to the point where bins have been removed and collections cancelled to save money.”

 

Paul Grafton, GMB Regional Officer said: “the directors of Continental Landscapes are simply promoting modern day slavery within Wandsworth and yet the Council show no interest and appear to be happy to see the staff earning so little. Some staff are struggling to pay for the most basic of needs”.

Wandsworth Council subcontracts its cleaning services to Continental. The one day walk-outs will take place today, February 28, and tomorrow, March 1.

Fleur Anderson concluded: “My inbox is full of complaints about poor street cleaning and I and my Labour colleagues have to report fly-tips daily. Given Wandsworth’s very poor track record on street services and the clear unhappiness of the workers who carry out this vital service, I fear this problem will only get worse, not better.”

Cuts to hardship payments in Wandsworth will increase homelessness and ‘make no financial sense’

Wandsworth’s poorest residents will soon face even deeper financial hardship after the majority Conservative Group at Wandsworth Council voted to remove the hardship payments available to some of those unable to pay their rent.

On Tuesday this week, Wandsworth Council’s Finance Committee voted to remove emergency financial help with housing costs from residents in Wandsworth without children who are hit by the benefit cap.

The government recently lowered the benefit cap for people without children living in London to £23,000 per year.

Councillor Simon Hogg, Wandsworth Labour leader, said: “Wandsworth’s Tory council is pulling away the safety net just as families need it the most”

“This is such a cruel and foolish decision. For dozens of our most vulnerable local households, this support the only thing saving them from homelessness.” Continue reading “Cuts to hardship payments in Wandsworth will increase homelessness and ‘make no financial sense’”