Continued violence in Gaza
Over the past week we have seen repeated rocket fire from Gaza into Southern Israel and the continuation of Israeli air strikes and raids in Gaza, and overnight we have seen Israel launch a major ground offensive. With over 250 men, women and children confirmed dead, this is clearly a critical point in the region’s history and is bringing unimaginable suffering to innocent people.
I know from the letters and e-mails I have received that many local people feel extremely strongly about the need to avoid further violence and suffering in the region. This violence must end, and the immediate ceasefire that we all want to see be agreed as a matter of urgency. Religion and nationality aside, all lives are equal - the life of a Palestinian child is worth no less than the life of an Israeli child. Only a swift and enduring ceasefire, respected by both sides, can prevent further loss of life.
I have recently written to both the Foreign Secretary and the Secretary of State for International Development to raise my concerns directly, to convey the concerns of local residents, and to ask for the UK government to take action to halt the violence and support those caught up in it. You can read these letters and find out more about this issue here.
Victory for #SavetheWheatsheaf campaigners
Finally, it’s happened. The news that thousands of us have been campaigning for over the past 12 months. We have saved The Wheatsheaf!
You will remember that a few weeks ago I told you that Wandsworth Council had bottled it and kicked any decision on an Article 4 Direction against change of use into the long grass. We didn't take this decision lightly and made it clear we would not give up until the Wheatsheaf was saved.
I am over the moon to report that after 12 months of campaigning, the council have finally agreed to make the direction we have been calling for.
Make no mistake - this is all thanks to local residents, users of The Wheatsheaf and our local elected representatives who left the council no option but to listen. So I would like to say a huge thank you to the thousands of people who have shown their support for the pub over the last 12 months and who never gave up. This Article 4 Direction is a clear message to any developer to leave The Wheatsheaf alone.
Until next time.