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Winter coats are out of the loft and the decorations and lights are already up in Tooting. There’s no doubt about it: Christmas is on its way.
A Christmas highlight for me is my annual Christmas card competition with schools across Tooting, and this year Wandsworth Borough Commander, Chief Supt Richard Smith, will be joining in the judging! Look out for the results in the Guardian very soon.
Many of you will have read recent reports in the Guardian about a number of rumoured closures being discussed by Conservative councillors on Wandsworth Council. I am afraid to say two weeks ago one of these rumours proved to be true, as the council announced plans to cut funding for Tooting Bec Athletics Track and hand over management to an outside organisation.
There are serious concerns these proposals could see the track fall into the hands of a private company, and many local people and organisations priced out of using the facilities. And so I’ve joined local residents, runners and councillors in launching a petition to call on the council to protect the current level of services at the track and make sure it remains open and affordable to all local people. #KeepTheTrackRunning now has the support of TV and radio presenter Nicky Campbell, whose daughter uses the track, Olympic athlete Jade Johnson, and the fantastic Herne Hill Harriers. Visit www.sadiqkhan.org.uk to add your support.
I want to finish my column by taking a moment to remember all of the local men and women who have given their lives to fighting for our country and our future. This week I was honoured to take part in Remembrance services at local churches St Nicholas’ and St Anselm’s, I’m attending a special service at St Mary’s this Sunday and I also helped plant a poppy with students of Burntwood School, as they created their own version of the Tower of London’s poppy field. One hundred years on since the start of the First World War, it is incredibly important that we continue to remember those who lost their lives, lest we forget.