Where You Live: Wandsworth

 

Where you live >> Wandsworth

London is more than just the City and its famous landmarks. More than its museums, theatres, palaces, taxis and red buses. It is home to some 8 million people. You live, work and socialise across London’s 32 boroughs – you make them tick. You give Wandsworth’s neighbourhoods, from Putney to Balham, their unique identity. It is these distinct areas that make our great capital such a rich and diverse city. Unlike the previous Mayor, Boris is working to give all your boroughs - not just Zones 1-3 - his attention.

Boris Johnson has a nine point plan to secure Greater London’s future. He is paying for this plan by cutting waste at City Hall to free up £3.5 billion for services.

In Wandsworth the plan means:

  • Freezing City Hall’s share of council tax for three successive years and cutting it this year, benefitting 134,690 Wandsworth households and putting an average £445 back into pockets. (GLA, Press Release, 1 February 2012, link: GLA Website, ‘Budget archive’, link.)
  • Investing in local high streets with £1,949,503 in funding for Balham and £194,155 for Tooting from the Outer London Fund. (GLA, Outer London Fund: Round Two Winners announced, link)
  • Investing in transport by building London’s first orbital railway serving Clapham Junction, investing £14.7 million to boost local transport, constructing a cycle superhighway from Wandsworth to Westminster and supporting regeneration of the Thames River Service (TfL, Press Release, November 2008, link; TfL, Press Release, December 2009, link; TfL, Press Release, December 2010, link; TfL, Press Release, December 2011, link).
  • Boris is benefitting local pensioners by reversing the previous Labour government’s decision to stop those at 60 getting the Freedom Pass until 65.
  • He is also the only candidate in this election who can secure a better deal for London from No 10.

Freezing council tax

  • Boris Johnson has frozen council tax for three years and is cutting it this year. Boris Johnson has frozen his share council tax for three years and is cutting it this year (GLA, Mayor’s Final Draft Consolidated Budget 2012-13, link).
    • This has helped keep cost of living low for 134,690 households in Wandsworth (DCLG, Council Tax Base, October 2011), putting an extra £445 back in the pocket of the average household.

Investing to transform local high streets

  • £194,155 for Tooting from Outer London Fund. Tooting received an economic boost of £194,155 as part of Round 1 of the Mayor’s £50m Outer London Fund to support the Capital’s High Streets (GLA, Press Release, link)
  • £1,949,503 for Balham from Outer London Fund. Balham received an economic boost of £1,949,503 as part of Round 2 of the Mayor’s £50 million Outer London Fund (GLA, Press Release, 12 January 2012).

Making your streets and homes safer

  • 1,000 more police across London by May and £132 million more investment under Boris. The number of Special Constables has more than doubled from 2,500 to well over 5,000 (GLA, The Mayor’s Consultation Budget, 22 December 2011, link; MPA Website, Police numbers, link; GLA, Mayor’s Final Budget 2011-12, link; Evening Standard, 30 January 2012, link)
  • 242 more patrols per month in Wandsworth. In 2010-11 there were 242 more  patrols per month in Wandsworth than in 2008-9. (London Assembly, Written answers to Mayoral questions, 22 February 2012, link). 
  • Total crime and robberies in Wandsworth have fallen. Since May 2008, Wandsworth has seen a 15.1% decrease in total crime and a 19.2% reduction in the number of robberies. Youth violence is down 27.6% and bus crime has fallen more 30.8% (MPS Statistics, May 08 – Jan 12 compared to Aug 04-April 08).

Restoring green space

  • 150 street trees. 150 street trees have been planted in Wandsworth under Boris Johnson (London Assembly, Written answers to Mayoral questions, 25 January 2012, link).
  • 30 green spaces. 30 green spaces, which allow local residents the opportunity to grow their own food, have also been created (Capital Growth Website, link).
  • Ending garden grabbing. Boris Johnson has introduced new protections for gardens from development. His revised London Plan enables boroughs to: ‘introduce a presumption against development on back gardens or other private residential gardens where this can be locally justified’ (GLA, The London Plan 2011, July 2011, p. 86-87, link). Draft guidance also urges councils to prevent garden grabbing: ‘Such a presumption reflects Government’s recognition in PPS3 of the need to provide support for justified, local measures to prevent “garden grabbing”’ (GLA, Draft supplementary planning guidance, December 2011, link).

Ensuring a true Olympic legacy

  • Boris Johnson has funded six sport participation programmes in Wandsworth so far. They are (Mayor of London, Sporting future for London, April 2009, p. 9, link)
  • 8 organisations in Wandsworth are receiving Sports Legacy Programme grants to offer free sports coaching to London (Freesport Programme Website, link).

Investing in transport

  • £14.7 million of funding for local transport in Wandsworth. Since becoming Mayor, Boris Johnson has invested over £14.7 million to boost local transport in Wandsworth. In 2012-13 this included an investment of £1.4 million towards an on-going scheme to improve Clapham Junction town centre and tackle traffic congestion. Works include improving the road layout, renewing pavements and road surfaces, decluttering footways, planting new trees and upgrading lighting, wayfinding and street furniture (TfL, Press Release, November 2008, link; TfL, Press Release, December 2009, link; TfL, Press Release, December 2010, link; TfL, Press Release, December 2011, link).

Underground

  • Working to improve reliability on the District and Northern lines in Wandsworth.  This is part of the Tube upgrade programme secured by Boris Johnson (TfL, Upgrade Plan Timeline, link; TfL, Business Plan 2011/12-2014/15, link). This includes:
    • District Line. This will improve capacity by 24% on District line, meaning the line can carry an additional 10,000 passengers per hour at peak time. 80 new trains will also begin to be introduced from 2013, with all new trains in service 2016. These will be air-conditioned, have walk-through carriages, and wider doors and walkways to improve accessibility (TfL Website, ‘District line upgrade plan’, link).
    • Northern Line. When the upgrade is completed in 2014 capacity will have been improved by one fifth, meaning the line can carry an additional 11,000 passengers per hour at peak time.  Passengers will also see an 18% reduction in journey time (TfL Website, Northern line upgrade plan, link).

Rail

  • London Overground, London’s first orbital railway, has a station in Wandsworth. Wandsworth will benefit from London’s first orbital railway, with one London Overground station in the borough – Clapham Junction (TfL Website, ‘London Overground’, link).
  • Oyster Cards rolled out on national rail. After years of talk under Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson secured the roll-out of Oyster cards onto national rail in 2010. Wandsworth is now the 4th highest oyster- using borough, and Clapham Junction is the 8th busiest station by Oyster Card usage (BBC News Online, 10 March 2008, link; TfL Website, ‘Oyster on National Rail’, December 2009, link).

Roads and congestion

  • Introduced the roadworks Permit Scheme. Boris Johnson introduced the roadworks Permit Scheme in 2010, resulting in an average 17% cut in the number of road works by utility companies in those boroughs, such as Wandsworth, which have adopted the scheme (GLA, Press Release, 11 January 2010, link London Councils, London Permit Scheme: First Year Evaluation Report, 27 May 2011, link). 7.9% of applications by utility companies have been refused in Wandsworth (ibid.).
  • Scrapped the Western Extension Zone. Boris Johnson scrapped Ken Livingstone’s Western Extension of the Congestion Charging Zone in December 2010 after 69% of residents voted in favour of cancelling the zone (TfL, Press Release, 20 October 2010, link).
  • C-Charge. Boris also scrapped plans to introduce a £25 charge for family vehicles. (Tfl, Press Release, 20 October 2010, link)

Buses

  • Bus improvements. 21 bus routes in Wandswoth have been expanded and or improved   under Boris Johnson (TfL, Press Release, May 2008-January 2012)  
  • Bendy Buses removed. Nearly 500 new vehicles boasting the latest clean engine technology will replace the Bendy buses. Transport for London estimates this will save more  than £7 million a year (TfL, Press Release, 5 October 2011, link).

Cycling

  • Cycle Superhighways. Four Cycle Superhighway routes have now been opened and four more routes will open in 2013, including Cycle Superhighway 8 which will run from Wandsworth to Westminster (TfL Website, ‘Cycle Superhighways: About the scheme’, link; TfL Website, ‘Cycle Superhighways’, link).

River

  • Regeneration of the Thames River Service. Wandsworth has two piers – Wandsworth Pier and Putney Pier – which have benefitted from Boris Johnson’s strong support of regenerating the Thames’ river services (TfL Website, ‘River Map’, link).

Housing

  • 1,070 affordable housing units completed in Wandsworth. 110 social rented and 960 intermediate affordable housing units were completed in Wandsworth between 2008/09 and 2010/11 (DCLG, Affordable Housing Live Tables 1006,1007,1008).

Mayoral visits

  • Boris Johnson has made more than nine times as many visits to Wandsworth in four years as Ken Livingstone made in eight. Boris Johnson has visited Wandsworth 21 times since July 2008. Ken Livingstone visited Wandsworth just two times in his eight years as Mayor (GLA, Mayor’s Report to the Assembly, May 2000 – April 2008; GLA, Mayor’s Report to the Assembly, May 2008 – March 2012).

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