In My View: Rosena Allin-Khan, MP for Tooting

For my entire life, I had only lived through a Conservative-run Wandsworth council. That changed on the evening of May 5 with the words – Wandsworth Labour Gain.

That is why it was incredible to see a change of administration here, where I’m raising my children.

In this election, there were a variety of issues at play. From knocking on doors and chatting to voters, I know that many residents were fed up with Boris Johnson; a Government presiding over a cost of living crisis and mired in sleaze and scandal.

For Boris Johnson’s Conservatives, losing the jewel in their crown – and Margaret Thatcher’s favourite council – is a massive blow.

Clearly the people of Wandsworth are tired of an untrustworthy and deceitful Prime Minister – change is on the horizon.

I also know that many voters were disappointed in the Tory council’s failures. Fly-tipping is endemic in Tooting.

There is a lack of affordable housing, rents are sky-rocketing and, across our borough, there are more than 3,000 children who live without the safety and security of a home.

The new council leader, Councillor Simon Hogg, and his team of brilliant Labour councillors will lead the council with compassion at the forefront.

Under Cllr Hogg’s leadership, the council will make Wandsworth a borough of sanctuary, creating a dedicated town hall team for helping resettle refugees.

Labour will also build 1,000 new affordable homes, improve the council’s poor record of recycling and food waste, and work ambitiously towards a net-zero council by 2030.

Wandsworth Labour ran a brilliant campaign and have a fantastic vision for how to make Wandsworth an even better place to grow up and grow old in.

Tooting now has some new Labour Councillors. Cllr Lizzy Dobres and Cllr Jack Mayorcas, who I know will work tirelessly for residents in Trinity.

In Wandle, Cllr Denise Paul and Cllr Sarmila Varatharaj, who were both raised locally, will be excellent advocates for the community.

Joining the experienced Cllr Clare Fraser in South Balham, will be Cllr Norman Marshall, a former teacher at Ernest Bevin School.

I know that each of these new councillors will stand up for their residents and work endlessly to make Wandsworth an even better place to live.

For so many of us who grew up under a Tory Wandsworth council, I feel hope that my children, among many others, get to grow up in a kinder, caring, Labour Wandsworth.

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