Councillor Tony Belton’s Battersea June 2022, Newsletter (# 156)

    1. Election 2022The Council Election on 5th May was a triumph for the Wandsworth Labour Party. After 44 years of Tory control, Labour has at last won back control of the Council. You may not know it, but I was the Leader of the Council when we lost the election in May 1978 and now my fellow ex-Latchmere, now Falconbrook, councillor Simon Hogg is the new Leader. (PS, thanks to those who voted for me!)
    2. I am the new Chair of the Planning Applications Committee (PAC) and Kate Stock (fellow ex-Latchmere and now Falconbrook councillor) is the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services.
    3. I intend to continue with this newsletter, hopefully in the same vein as in the past, but as Chair of the Planning Applications Committee, I may have to tread a more neutral path about new developments than I have done in the past. This is because of something called ‘pre-determination’: the point being that if I, or any member of PAC, declared our position on an application then, at appeal, the applicant could, and probably would, argue that we had a pre-determined view on their application before we had seen the officers’ recommendation or heard the debate. It is a good principle, which, as Chair of PAC, I will certainly uphold.
    4. Meanwhile, some of you have asked me to write a couple of lines about my fellow re-elected and newly elected Labour councillors – just so that the names mean something more than simply names. So: jumping in where angels fear to tread: here are short pen-portraits of my Battersea Labour colleagues, starting with my ward colleagues in Battersea Park, who are

      • Juliana Annan is a mother of two, from Ghana. Annan JulianaShe lives on the Winstanley Estate, having moved from the Surrey Lane Estate. She is a professional in the caring services, having experience in nursing, teaching and social care. She is one of two Directors of the Support4Support Community Project, which aims to teach children to love reading, to build their confidence, to provide enriching activities for children and to help children at school. The Project also supports adults entering the labour market and those needing help with parenting issues. Juliana is also a caseworker for our MP, Marsha De Cordova.
      • McLeod MauriceAnd Maurice Mcleod grew up on the Surrey Lane Estate and went to school at the long-since demolished John Archer School. I don’t think Maurice would mind if I said that he was looking for a big cause to engage his full commitment before he was elected to Wandsworth Council in 2018. He is now the Chief Executive of ROTA (Race on the Agenda). Both Juliana and Maurice were elected Battersea Park councillors with me.
      • Sara Linton lives on the ShaftesburyLinton Sara Estate. She has been active in Battersea Labour Party (BLP) for about twenty years. Rather romantically, she became connected with the BLP after falling in love with husband, Martin Linton, when Martin was Battersea’s M.P. (1997-2010). Sara has been elected Chair of the Labour councillors and is one of the Labour councillors for Shaftesbury and Queenstown Ward along with
      • Dikerdem AydinAydin Dikerdem (pronounced eye-dun) is Battersea born and bred; he went to Elliot School, Putney (that’s the one that stars in Love Actually and is now compulsory Xmas viewing). Aydin lives just north of Clapham Common, near to Battersea Arts Centre. After the election, he was appointed the Cabinet Member for Housing – Big Job! The third councillor for the ward is
      • Steve Worrall, who grew up in ZimbabweWorrall Steve and has worked around the world, for example in Bahrain and South Africa, and now in the UK, providing professional advice on Sexual Health and welfare-related issues. He has lived in Battersea for over 12 years. He is a keen dog lover having adopted a Staffie from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and is a supporter of animal charities. Steve, Sara, and Aydin represent Shaftesbury and Queenstown Ward.
      • Hogg Simon was originally from the Midlands but has lived in Wandsworth for the last 20 years. He has three sons and a daughter and, of course, a hard-working wife! He has represented Latchmere for 12 years but now represents Falconbrook. On 22 May, his fellow Labour councillors elected him Leader of the Council. Simon was previously a journalist in the architectural press.
      • Simon’s fellow councillor in Falconbrook is Kate Stock. Stock KateKate is a barrister specialising in fraud.  She is a mother of two very young children (one 8 months old) and manages to be also Cabinet Member for Children.  Like her colleague in Falconbrook ward, Simon, she is from the Midlands but has lived in Battersea for over 10 years.
      • Davvies SarahSarah Davies is the new councillor for Wandsworth Town. Sarah volunteered in Brussels for the EU Socialist Group, and later researched in a wide range of social studies, including the creative industries, education, and grief counselling. Sarah trained as a teacher and taught in Tooting and Lambeth primary schools. Obviously, with plenty of spare energy(!), she is mothering two teenagers and has now taken the role of Labour Group Secretary.
      • Sarah’s fellow councillor in Wandsworth Town Jafri Sanais Sana Jafri. Sarah and Sana face the interesting and new challenge of having their ward split between the three Parliamentary constituencies: Battersea, Putney and Tooting. But I am sure that Sarah and Sana will be fully able to cope with that.
      • Lee JessicaJessica Lee (Jessie) is a councillor for St. Mary’s ward. She grew up in Devon and has lived in Battersea for the past decade. She is a Psychology graduate and a Speech and Language therapist who has worked with children but now works at a mental health hospital with adults, who have autism and learning disabilities.
      • Jamie Colclough, St. Mary’s ward, alsoColclough Jamie grew up in Devon and now lives on the Surrey Lane estate. He works as a Software Developer and at 24 years old is the youngest councillor in Battersea and second youngest in the entire borough. We welcome his youthful energies and IT skills. And on a historical note: the last Labour councillor in Wandsworth as young as Jamie is now Mayor Khan of London!
      • Digby JoFinally, but definitely not least, Jo Rigby won in Balham ward, where she has lived for almost 20 years. She has two children, who attend Chestnut Grove Academy.  Jo was an Earlsfield councillor from 2018 – 2022 and is now delighted to be representing the people of Balham. Jo has been appointed Chair of the Transport Committee.

  1. The first month after a Council Election is full of training sessions for councillors and appointments to posts of greater and lesser importance, but either way of little general interest to those not involved. I did, however, go to the Annual General Meeting of the Ethelburga Tower Residents Association (ETRA). What a change to meet real people in a real meeting after two years of online meetings!
  2. On 26th May I went to the Battersea Together meeting at St. Peter’s Church, Plough Road. This was a stimulating think tank organised by the Battersea Alliance, Battersea Together+consisting of four of Battersea’s principal voluntary organisations, namely Carney’s Community, Caius (pronounced ‘Keys’) House, Katherine Low Settlement, and St. Peter’s. We considered what we thought of as the major needs of the community and what could be done about them. I was in a group discussing crime and youth matters. It was a fascinating and let’s hope a useful guide to future action.
  3. On the 27th May, my fellow councillor, Juliana, and I walked round the site of the Randall Close development and discussed Labour’s intention to make more of the development (100+ residential units) available for social, and not, market rent, in other words, council homes for those most in need and not expensive flats for those with the ability to pay. Battersea Park ward sees the first major impact of Labour’s win on 5th May!
  4. On 30th May, I attended a tribute to those who Big Dipper Memorialdied in the Big Dipper disaster, in Battersea Park, fifty years ago on 30th May 1972. It was organised by two survivors of the disaster, Hilary and Liz, and a brilliant occasion it was – very moving. It is now up to the Council to devise and create, with them, a suitable memorial to the five who died and to the many more injured and damaged in the disaster.

My programme for June

  1. The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee will be celebrated with street parties and other events, including the lighting of a Jubilee Beacon in Battersea Park at 8.30 in the evening. The date is the anniversary of the coronation and not the date of her father’s death, which was 6th February 1952.
  2. The Falcon Festival, Falcon Road, is on 2nd June. The main centre of the Festival is outside Providence House.
  3. On the 18th June, there is a Dedication Service for the new Battersea Chapel. The chapel is the third new building completed and brought into use during the Winstanley Regeneration Project. The first and second are Mitchell House (Thomas Baines Road) and Duval House (Grant Road).
  4. Junction Jazz, a jazz group with strong connections to the Battersea Labour Party will be performing on the bandstand in Battersea Park on 18th June between 2.00 and 4.00 pm.
  5. June 28th is my first Planning Applications Committee as chair.
  6. 29th June I will be attending an event marking the completion of the giant, £billion sewage Thames Tunnel dug parallel with the Thames and designed to ease the pressure on London’s sewage system during and after heavy rain.

Did you Know?

Last month, I asked, “What and where is theBallast Wall Ballast Wall? And why is it so different from any other structure in Battersea Park?” The answer is that when shipping was a far larger part of the Battersea economy, when for example coal was shipped from Newcastle to Battersea’s riverside industries including the Power Station, the ballast was dumped and later used during the drainage of the Battersea Fields and the construction of Battersea Park. The wall is apparently a geologist’s puzzle as the rubble comes from all over the world.

Big Wheel
And this month?
What do you know about the long-gone Battersea Funfair? When was it opened and why? Where was it? And when and why did it close? How many visitors did it have?

About Tony Belton

Labour Councillor for Latchmere Ward 1972-2022, now Battersea Park Ward, London Borough of Wandsworth Ever hopeful Spurs supporter; Lane visit to the Lane, 1948 Olympics. Why don't they simply call the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, The Lane? Once understood IT but no longer

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