Local MP Writes To Wandsworth Residents

Jane Ellison's summer bulletin

These eBulletins aim to keep residents up to date on local and national issues which may be of interest, as well as reporting back to you about my work in the constituency and in Parliament.

The London Olympics are now here and like so many people I am really looking forward to them. However, I am also conscious that moving around will be a challenge at times and that some residents and businesses will inevitably experience disruption. Over recent months my team and I have distributed hundreds of copies of a 'Games pack' we put together for local businesses to help with planning ahead. There's information and links to help with travel in this eBulletin and the Council have a useful webpage for all things Olympic in Wandsworth. Although my House of Commons office is open throughout the summer recess I’ve tried to practise what I preach by planning my own and the team’s working hours around travel peaks in the Westminster area.

The Olympics and Paralympics have put London and Britain in the spotlight. Let us hope the weather is kind and we have a great sporting occasion in this wonderful city of ours. Come on Team GB!

Best wishes

PS. I would like my eBulletin to be read by as many constituents as possible so do please pass it on to friends, family and colleagues who live locally.

Local News Round-Up

Diamond Jubilee parties
Wandsworth was at the centre of Royal celebrations in June. Despite the rain we enjoyed the Diamond Jubilee Pageant of 1000 boats setting off from Battersea, Battersea Park hosting a Jubilee-themed festival and a record number of street parties. I was lucky enough to be invited to several of the parties in the constituency and got round them all on my suitably decorated bike. Well done to everyone who made the effort to organise Jubilee events for friends and neighbours to enjoy.

Clapham Junction Grant Road entrance improved
The Grant Road entrance to Clapham Junction was re-opened to the public on Wednesday 11 July after a major refurbishment. The works include two extra ticket gates and a new passenger lift enabling step free access to Platforms 1 and 2 and the rest of the station via the over bridge. The appearance of the entrance has been improved with more space created to ease passenger flow and extra cycle parking and CCTV have also been provided. Remedial works have been undertaken to Network Rail’s bridge structure which carries the railway over the entrance to the subway.

Bolingbroke work on track
Last month I had an inspiring visit to the new Bolingbroke Ark Academy, due to open its doors to its first pupils in September. I was very impressed at the amount of work being carried out on the building to make it ready for opening day. I’ve also met some of the children who have gained places at the school in September, who are very excited at being ‘school pioneers’.

SATS success at St Mary's
Many congratulations are due to the children, staff and reading volunteers at St Mary’s, Battersea who have almost doubled their English and Maths SATS scores in less than a year. St Mary’s is the school ‘adopted’ by the Evening Standard who have recruited literacy volunteers to give the pupils extra help. A record 91% of 11-year olds passed English and Maths at Key Stage 2, compared with 52% last year. 100% of 7-year olds passed Key Stage 1 reading and writing.

Local activities for children this summer
Wandsworth Council has collated information about ways to keep children entertained over the long summer break.

Battersea Power Station

Contracts were exchanged on Wednesday 4 July for the sale of the 39 acre site to a consortium of Far East investors - led by the Malaysian-based companies SP Setia, Sime Darby and the Employees' Pension Fund of Malaysia. The consortium has exchanged contracts on a £400m deal for the site and is scheduled to complete the purchase in September. Planning permission has already been granted for 3,500 homes and 1.7 million square feet of office space and I am doing all I can to ensure we finally see the Power Station project underway and have been pleased by the support Wandsworth is getting from the Government. I recently raised the subject of the two planned new Northern Line stations with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury in Parliament.

Big Local SW11
Residents in the Clapham Junction area of Battersea will be given £1m of Big Lottery Foundation funding to spend on improving their area. The money is to be spent over ten years, on projects which have a lasting effect agreed by local people – for example creating new community facilities, tackling anti-social behaviour, providing training and employment schemes. I attended a ‘Visioning Event’ on 14 June, which attracted 450 local residents and community organisations, councillors and officers of Wandsworth Council. A planning group is being set up to take the project forward and if you would like to be involved please email biglocalsw11@gmail.com. Further information can be found at www.localtrust.org.uk

Wandsworth Big Society Fund – Round 4
Apply by 10 September

The Wandsworth Big Society Fund is a community grants scheme established by the Council in 2011. This is totally separate from the Big Local Fund above. Round 4 is now open with Monday 10 September as the deadline for applications. Community groups with ideas or projects designed to make a real difference to the quality of residents’ lives can apply for funding of up to £5,000. Any queries email wbsf@wandsworth.gov.uk

Free Clapham Junction iPhone App
A free iPhone app has been launched to provide residents and visitors with the definitive guide to Clapham Junction and the surrounding area. The app was developed by the Council using funds allocated by the Government to help support our area following the 2011 disorder. There is commercial and leisure information and local businesses can have a free listing on the app, update the directory with their details and upload images, new offers and latest products.

The At The Junction app is free to download at the iTunes App Store and can be found by searching At the Junction or Clapham Junction or by visiting here.

London Mayoral and Assembly results
Boris Johnson was re-elected with 1,054,811 votes (51.5% of the votes cast) and Richard Tracey, the Conservative candidate was re-elected to represent Merton and Wandsworth with 65,197 votes (43.1% of the votes cast). The turnout in Merton and Wandsworth for the Mayoral Election was 40.3%. Congratulations to Boris and Richard.

National issues

Help on Apprenticeships
For individuals who are looking for an apprenticeship, information can be found at www.apprenticeships.org.uk or by calling the Apprenticeship Helpline on 08000 150 600. The numbers change daily, but there are normally over 10,000 apprenticeship vacancies available at any one time. Registration is simple and almost 100,000 people a month are currently applying for apprenticeship vacancies using this system.

For employers who are looking to employ their first apprentice aged 16 – 24, an incentive is now available. The Age 16-24 Grant, with a value of £1,500, is available to small and medium sized employers who have not employed an apprentice since April 2009. The intention is to attract many new employers to offer apprenticeships for the first time or to do so again after a break. The National Apprenticeship Service is keen to help any employer to take on an apprentice and to explain the support available. The contact details are the same as those above.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) There has been some good progress this summer on the campaign to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). On 5 July, I led an Adjournment Debate on this issue, focussing on the evidence that this barbaric practice is occurring in this country, and encouraging the Minister, Lynne Featherstone, to look at supporting a new comprehensive study into FGM prevalence. Following up on a request I made in my Adjournment Debate last November, the Minister confirmed that she had now given the go-ahead for a ‘health passport’ document to be produced to help empower older girls and parents of girls reluctant to agree to FGM to resist family pressure to go through with it when overseas. Later in July, in my capacity as Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group I attended a FGM conference in Bristol organised and run by young people from communities affected by FGM.

iPhone App for parents
A free iPhone App that enables parents to find and choose Ofsted-registered childcare near their home has been produced by the charity Pre-School Learning Alliance. This covers all day nurseries and pre-schools regulated by Ofsted in their area and will access contact details and the Ofsted report for the provider. There is also a Parent Zone giving advice on how to choose the right childcare, with questions parents should ask when they visit.

Out & About

Here is a cross-section of some of the things I have been doing in the past few months:

Launch of Guy Mascolo Football Charity; stall at Summer in the Square; visits to Thomas’s School Debating Competition and Women of Wandsworth Work Club; Battersea Alcohol Service; Lady Allen Adventure Playground Open Day; Charity Week drop in contributions to Oasis in Battersea Park Road and British Heart Foundation in St John’s Road; Falconbrook School visit to Parliament; meetings with Big Local organiser, Helen Garforth, with Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan Howe about gangs and with Peabody regarding their rebuilding proposal for the estate in Clapham Junction.

Visit to Bramford Community Gardens; Home Start new office opening; visits to South Thames College and Allfarthing School; met with Save Shaker Aamer Campaign and Cancer campaigning lobby; Big Local event at York Gardens Library; co-hosted the Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce Reception in Westminster; and ‘ran’ the Race for Life in Battersea Park with other women MPs.

Youth Momentum Conference at BAC; Young Arts and Community Sports awards at York Gardens Library; Battersea Society summer party; presented Wandsworth Council Adult Learning Awards; delivered public speaking training at Prince’s Trust; Honeywell School Governors’ meeting and Women of Wandsworth Parent Forum; London Air Ambulance reception; Triangle Residents Summer Party; launch of new lease for small shops; met with head teacher of Battersea Park School.

Jane Ellison's Surgeries In August and September
Saturday 18 August, Northcote Road Library
Saturday 8 September, Battersea Park Library
Monday 10 September, Platform One Cafe, Bramlands Close, SW11
Saturday 22 September, Wandsworth Town Library
Thursday 27 September, Balham Library

July 19, 2012