Keep the track running

Dear friend,

It’s been another busy week for me, starting with my regular advice surgery at Balham Community Centre, lots of meetings in Parliament and in Tooting, including an event with staff from St George's, Springfield Hospital, the Town Hall and other public servants  in Parliament last night. 

But first of all, I promised I would tell you about my coffee morning last Friday. For those of you who have attended my annual community coffee mornings before, or came along last week, you’ll know what I mean when I say the event was extremely lively! The room was filled with more than one hundred local residents as well as over twenty local health and wellbeing organisations, from Wandsworth Age UK, to the local Citizens Advice Bureau, to the local police and fire service teams, and not forgetting the team from St George’s. This event really is unique in the way it brings so many different advice and wellbeing services together, in one room, like a one stop shop for such a wide variety of concerns. This year’s really was the best yet, as residents were treated to a cup of coffee, biscuits, free blood pressure checks and healthchecks aboard the NHS health check bus. 

It was also a pleasure to welcome the Mayor of Wandsworth to the event, as well as the Borough Commander of Wandsworth Police and the Director of Nursing at St George’s. But my favourite part of the morning? Well that has to be the chance to catch up with old friends, neighbours and local residents over a cup of coffee. You can see lots of photos from the event here.  

Keep the track running 

Over recent weeks you have probably heard about the document leaked belonging to the Wandsworth Conservatives, which revealed lengthy discussions on a whole host of closures across the borough. This followed the resignation of a Conservative councillor over fears of the closure of Southfields Library. All non town centre libraries were on the list, including Earlsfield and Balham Libraries, as well as a number of day centres and Tooting Bec Athletics Track. The party were keen to dismiss the document and deny plans for any such closures, but this week our worse fears came true.

This week Wandsworth Council announced plans to cut funding for Tooting Bec Athletics Track and hand over management to an outside organisation. I share local concerns that the move could see the track fall into the hands of a private company who could increase prices and reduce its services. As someone who used the track when I was training for the London Marathon earlier this year, and as a parent who’s children use the track with their school, I know how loved and well-used Tooting Bec Athletics Track is. From schools, to running clubs, to exercise clubs and many others, the list of the people who use it goes on. 

I’ve listened to local concerns, and together with local councillors, I’ve launched a petition to keep Tooting Bec Athletics running. We need the council to protect the current level of services at the track and make sure it remains open and affordable to all local residents. If you agree, click here to sign the petition. Please share it with friends and family too. 

Did you catch our very own St George’s on the TV last night? 

The latest series of 24 Hours A&E has been filmed in St George’s Hospital, and the first episode aired on Channel 4 last night. The series was filmed over seven weeks this summer, with over 100 cameras in the hospital! (I have been reassured by Chief Executive Miles Scott that filming did not affect treatment, and all patients and staff gave their full support and consent before taking part). If you missed this week’s episode, you can watch it here

Until next time. 

Best wishes,

Sadiq

 

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