From Tooting to Robinson Crusoe

Dear friend,

I hope you and your family had a lovely Easter weekend; making the most of the four-day weekend and the sun whilst it lasted.

Failing local families

Last week families across Wandsworth found out whether their children had been given their first choice for a primary school place. However the news left many families, especially in Earlsfield, feeling very disappointed. 27% of children in the borough were not given the school place they wanted; as Wandsworth Council has become the second worst performing authority in London when it comes to offering children their first choice. This has seen many children refused a place at their local school, and instead offered places at schools that are miles away. 

This is ludicrous. Local children should be able to attend their local schools. As a parent myself, I know how stressful applying for a school can be, and parents need to feel that the council is on their side. I have called on the council to take urgent action, to find both short term and long term solutions to this problem.

Has your family been affected by this too? Please do get in touch if so.

Protecting Tooting’s history

If I were to mention the Defoe Chapel, would you know which building I was talking about? You may not have realised, but you probably walk past it most days. It’s situated at the heart of Tooting High Street, next door to Tooting Market and is one of the oldest buildings in the area. The Chapel first opened in 1766 and it has become legend that the building gained its name because the Robinson Crusoe author, Daniel Defoe, was instrumental in the founding of the church.

The building isn’t used as a church any more, but it continues to be an iconic local landmark and a crucial part of Tooting’s history. But the Chapel is at risk. There is an ongoing planning application to demolish part of the building and significantly change its appearance.

Here in Tooting we’re lucky to be surrounded by so many beautiful buildings, and it is really important that we fight to protect them. That is why I have been working with local residents to ‘Save Our High Street’, which has included campaigning against overdevelopment, the saturation of betting shops and to protect our heritage.

Right now I’m working with the local community, councillors, church members and the Tooting History Group to object to the planning application at the Chapel, and it is now in the hands of the council to take action. Click here for more information about the campaign to save the Defoe Chapel and click here to sign up for further updates on the Save Our High Street campaign.

Until next time,

Best wishes,



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