78 years ago over people marched 300 miles, from Jarrow, in the North East of England, all the way to Westminster, to lobby the government to tackle unemployment and poverty in their area. Inspired by the Jarrow March and worried about the future of the NHS, the ‘Darlo Mums’ are currently en route from Jarrow again to lead the ‘People's march for the NHS’ all the way to Parliament.
On Saturday the march reaches London, for the last leg of the month-long journey and I’ll be joining campaigners in Trafalgar Square to welcome them to London and show my support.
We are fortunate to have the fantastic St George’s Hospital on our doorstep in Tooting. The hospital and our local doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals do a brilliant job of serving our community, but their job is getting tougher all the time. That’s why I’ll be joining the NHS march this weekend, to call for urgent action to protect St George’s and our NHS.
Fancy joining us? Reply to this email if you would like come along to the march or help out on the day. Click here to find out more about the history of the march and their route.
Government gives green light to another betting shop in Tooting
You may remember the relief felt when, earlier this year, Wandsworth Council listened to our objections to another betting shop opening in Tooting, at the site of the old H Samuel’s jewellers on Mitcham Lane and refused Coral’s planning application. Tooting already has 22 betting shops, and I’ve been working with local residents as part of my Save Our High Street campaign, to stop anymore from opening.
Unfortunately, this week, the government has pulled the rug from underneath the council, by overturning their decision and allowing planning permission for the betting shop. It is extremely frustrating that the local community and elected representatives can say no to another betting shop opening, and yet the government can just impose a decision upon us. This is exactly the reason why I have been calling for changes in the law on high street planning. Power needs to be given back to the local community, so we can say yes to the shops we want to see and no to the ones we don’t. Do you agree? Click here to find out about this latest decision and here to sign up to the Save Our High Street petition.
What do you know about Taekwondo?
I must admit I knew very little before visiting Tooting Taekwondo Club this week. The club was founded more than thirty years ago by Master Sangha and over the years has taught thousands of local students the Korean martial art. I became involved with the club last year, when Master Sangha sadly passed away and his students wanted my help in commemorating him in some way. I am pleased to say that there is now a plaque in place, at St Augustine’s Church, where the club practises, to remember their founder and I got to see the plaque for myself last night when I visited the club. It was great to visit the club, and meet the instructor Michael Snelders; an inspirational role model, who despite battling an illness, is continuing to show his commitment to the club and his students.
I really enjoyed getting to know more about the Taekwondo and watching students train – although I think it will be a while before I’m breaking wood with my bare hands! You can see some photos from my visit here.
Until next time.
P.S. Are you like me, and totally lost if your smart phone breaks or the coffee maker stops working? Transition Town Tooting are running a ‘Restart’ project on Tuesday 9th September, where you can learn how to fix your treasured electronic devices. Find out more here.