|Friday, 26 February 2010 00:00|
I’m in an upbeat mood this afternoon. There was good news on the economy this morning, which showed that the economy actually grew more than originally thought at the end of last year, spring is in the air (well, it’s sunny at least…) and I’ve had a really productive day in the constituency, aided in large part by the excellent people at Eaga/Warm Front.
Warm Front Event
This morning I held my fourth annual Warm Front event at St John The Divine Church in Garratt Lane. Since I was elected I have been working closely with the scheme managers of the Warm Front Scheme, Eaga, to tackle fuel poverty in Tooting and ensure that older residents are getting their full benefit entitlement – and it’s been amazing to see the difference we’ve made over the years to so many lives.
To date almost £1 million has been invested by Warm Front in Tooting, with nearly 1000 households receiving grants for insultation, new boilers and other improvements. Many of those who have benefited from the Scheme are reporting average households savings of almost £200 a year. (Read more about it all here)
The benefit entitlement checks taken have also led to an average income rise of nearly £1,300 per constituent.
This is work that has made a real difference to the quality of life for thousands of Tooting’s residents, and something I’m incredibly proud.
Visitors to the event were also able to access advice and services from the local Safer Neighbourhood Team, Community Safety Team, Wandsworth & Merton Law Centre and the Furzedown Project amongst other groups.
I enjoyed myself very much and received lots of positive feedback (and I was able to enjoy a nice cup of tea with lots of local residents!).
Northern Line update
First of all, for all those travelling on the tube this weekend, please be aware Tooting Broadway is closed on Sunday, and there are further closures affecting the rest of the tube network all weekend.
We’ve seen some big improvements to the Northern Line in recent years, but I fear the recent announcement on engineering works by Transport for London will lead us back to the days of it being dubbed the ‘Misery Line’.
Tube Lines, the firm in charge of the Northern Line upgrades, have doubled their original requests for weekend closures on the line and have announced that it wants to close certain stations early on weeknights. Their current plan is to close the line north of Kennington from 10pm for 16 months from July and during most weekends for 20 months starting in March.
I know that these upgrades will be an inconvenience. The Northern Line is one of the busiest tube lines on the London Underground with 840,000 people using the service on weekdays. That’s why I met with the Managing Director of London Underground recently, and will continue to try and get a deal which causes the minimum disruption possible for local residents.
There is of course a long-term benefit to these signalling upgrade works. They will improve the track and signalling systems, cutting journey times and allowing 20% more trains to run in rush-hour. So whilst many of us will be frustrated during these upgrades, the end of the ‘Misery Line’ could well be in sight!
I will continue to press Mayor Boris Johnson and Transport for London to ensure that adequate transport arrangements are made throughout the closures, to ensure that Tooting keeps moving and you are inconvenienced little as possible.
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