|Fairtrade in Wandsworth|
|Monday, 27 October 2008 17:38|
Over the last couple of years I have been working with local residents and the Wandsworth Fairtrade group to try and make Wandsworth a Fairtrade Borough.
Wandsworth Council had a full Council Meeting last Wednesday where a motion was moved to make Wandsworth a Fairtrade Borough. Local residents have told me how appalled and disappointed they were with some of the comments made by Conservative Councillors and the vote by the majority party in the Council to reject the motion. It just goes to show how out of touch with public feeling the Conservatives in Wandsworth are. There are 20 London Boroughs with Fairtrade status, and London has just been declared a Fairtrade City (the biggest in the world). Even the Mayor of London supports Fairtrade and says Londoners should be proud to do so.
The majority of Londoners are clearly in favour of Fairtrade. So why do Wandsworth continue to oppose it?
Last week’s Local Guardian front page ran a story about our campaign to "Tidy Up Tooting".
Although I am extremely pleased that Wandsworth Council is finally getting its act together and giving Tooting the investment and respect she deserves I was disappointed by the headline of the story which was ‘Tooting is a dump’ .
My concern was compounded by the parents I spoke to outside the school gates last week who had a copy of the paper with them. They were upset with the headline, which described Tooting as a ‘dump’. How can we expect businesses to move into the area if this is how our local press chooses to report an initiative which should see Tooting improve?
Last night I attended the fantastic Diwali event organised by Tooting traders. The event was a classic example of what is meant by community cohesion. The local family businesses, many of whom are feeling the strains of the economic downturn, are nonetheless willing to donate and contribute towards an event for the entire community, not just Hindus and Sikhs. It was pleasing to also celebrate the election of Indrajit Patel as the Chair of the Tooting Town Centre Partnership Board.
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