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A campaign to raise money for a plaque commemorating local war hero, Sidney Lewis, has reached its target in just two weeks.

The Quid for Sid campaign, launched by local historian Geoff Simmons, aimed to raise £500 for a plaque honouring Sidney Lewis, the youngest soldier to serve in the British Army in the First World War. Sidney was just 12 when he joined up and he fought at the Battle of the Somme the following year.

Sadiq Khan, MP for Tooting, said “Sidney Lewis was a true Tooting boy and a brave war hero. I am delighted to support the campaign for him to be recognised, a hundred years after the battle of the Somme in which he fought, aged just 13. The plaque will inspire young and old. It is testimony to the generosity of the people of Tooting that the money needed was raised in just two weeks”. 

Successful Quid for Sid campaign will see local war hero recognised

A campaign to raise money for a plaque commemorating local war hero, Sidney Lewis, has reached its target in just two weeks. The Quid for Sid campaign, launched by local... Read more

A recent Council proposal to secure Heritage Lottery Funding to pay for several changes to Tooting Common has received a mixed response from residents and has raised questions over their potentially negative environmental impact.

The Heritage Lottery Funding will pay for the refurbishment of Tooting Lido, the Woodfield Pavillion and the water fountain at the end of Dr Johnson Avenue. Subject to public consultation, it will also be used to pay for the closure of Dr Johnson Avenue, which cuts across Tooting common, the introduction of a no right turn on Elmbourne Road, which runs along the northern edge of the Common, and the felling of an avenue of mature chestnut trees which runs from Tooting Bec Road to the café on the common. These trees would then be replaced with saplings.

Sadiq Khan, MP for Tooting, said: “Several elements of this Heritage Lottery Bid have been welcomed by my constituents, but other elements, namely the road closures and the felling of trees, have caused great concern.

“Our green spaces are hugely valuable, as carbon sinks, for air quality, for quality of life and for mental and physical well-being, and I share the concerns expressed by many residents that some of the current plans do not sufficiently consider the possible negative environmental impacts they will have on the common”.

Residents are currently being consulted on the Council’s plans to use Heritage Lottery Funding to pay for the closure of Dr Johnson Avenue and the introduction of a no right turn on Elmbourne Road.

Sadiq Khan said: “My fear is that, without proper traffic modelling, the environmental impact of this proposal could be detrimental as cars find alternative routes through more congested, residential roads, or longer routes, leading to traffic build-ups and worsening air quality. We know that cars are most polluting when they are moving slowly and making regular stops”.

Currently cars travelling from Furzedown North to Balham and beyond have two obvious options – to turn right on Dr Johnson Avenue, or on Elmbourne Road. In the event that these roads are closed or restricted, residents are likely to either drive further round the Common, to use Garrads Road in Lambeth, queue at the already congested junction at Tooting Bec, or cut through using residential roads.

Sadiq Khan added: “I am similarly concerned that the removal of an avenue of 80 mature trees, which act as carbon sinks, could adversely affect air quality and the ecology of the common”.

 Chestnut Avenue, which Wandsworth Council is proposing should be felled and replaced with saplings

Protecting Tooting’s green spaces and our environment

A recent Council proposal to secure Heritage Lottery Funding to pay for several changes to Tooting Common has received a mixed response from residents and has raised questions over their... Read more

To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, Sadiq Khan, MP for Tooting, was joined by local women from a range of ages and backgrounds to discuss issues that matter to them, locally, nationally and internationally.

The group heard from a panel of inspirational local women about their work in the community. Monica Kitchlew-Wilson, Head of Furzedown Primary, spoke about her family history, and her experiences as a social worker before getting into teaching. Monica was questioned by some sixth-form students who attended the event, and gave them fantastic advice about believing in themselves, and taking every opportunity that comes their way.

Sadiq Khan MP took part in a discussion about the ‘testosterone-driven’, ‘men’s playground’ culture at Westminster, and the importance of helping women into politics. Councillor Rachael Stokes told the group that she got into politics almost by accident, through community work. She also discussed her campaign to get a maternity policy for councillors, and how she, as a mother herself, had struggled to balance her commitments.

Kemi Akinola, shared how she set up her community charity, Be Enriched, after years of being a youth worker. Her staff are mainly women, and work flexibly to allow for childcare and other commitments.

Finally, the group heard from Sophia Parker, Founder of Little Village, a charity providing baby clothes and equipment. The organisation is 100% volunteer based, and Sophia talked about how her team of volunteers join together to use their skills and expertise to help other local families. 

 

Local women join Sadiq Khan MP to celebrate International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, Sadiq Khan, MP for Tooting, was joined by local women from a range of ages and backgrounds to discuss issues that matter... Read more

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