Rachael Stokes

Earlsfield Woman

Votes and Voices from Earlsfield

Election Night 22 May 2014 So I am now writing this blog as an elected councillor for Earlsfield. Wow. When I decided a few years ago that I wanted to get more involved in my local community, I has no idea it would end – or should I say begin – with this!

Having had a week to digest the news, I am still feeling utterly thrilled, honoured and excited, not to mention a little daunted by the responsbilities I now hold. Thank you for voting, thank you for voting for me, and thank you for spending time on your doorstep to share with me and the Earlsfield Labour team the issues that matter to you and the problems you think need addressing in Earlsfield.

I plan to use this blog to update you on what I’m doing, both in our ward and on the Council. But perhaps more importantly I want to use this as a space to encourage discussion and debate on Earlsfield issues.

In the meantime, I shall attempt to highlight just a few concerns that have come up on the doorstep over the past 18 months or so which will be informing my work over the next four years:

Housing, housing, housing
“I love where we live and want to stay here but we can’t afford to buy. Even the rents are going up.”
“I have damp in my property and have reported it to the council, but nothing has happened.”
“I’m now paying more because of the bedroom tax. Even though I’ve been on a waiting list for the past six years to move to a smaller property.”

Schools and school places
“My daughter doesn’t have a school place for this September. I don’t understand why – we’re only in the next street from the school.”
“Why are we having to build a new school when we only closed the Wandle Primary School a few years ago?”

Earlsfield station
“The platform going into London is severely overcrowded in the mornings. I have to wait for three or four trains to go by before I can actually get on. It’s also potentially quite dangerous.”

Garratt Lane shops
“It all seems to be estate agents and tanning salons these days. Where are the proper shops that most people need?”

Parking
“I often can’t find anywhere to park near my house and it seems to be getting worse. It’s a real problem when I’m trying to unload shopping with two small children.”

Well that’s probably enough for me to be starting with! Please do comment and reply with any other issues you want to raise. By the way, I will also shortly have a Wandsworth Council email address for you to contact me on. Will share as soon as it goes live.

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3 comments on “Votes and Voices from Earlsfield

  1. Richard Metcalf
    June 1, 2014

    Congratulations again, Cllr Stokes. Those issues all look like good places to start. I’m especially concerned about housing and in particular those affected by the “bedroom tax”. There’s one such story from Battersea here – http://labourinwandsworth.wordpress.com/2013/10/02/meet-mrs-simpson-victim-of-the-bedroom-tax/ – and I am worried there might be other similar cases in Earlsfield, but that people may not have come forward. How many people are going to end up in rent arrears because of this policy? It must be extremely stressful for them.

    • rachaelstokes
      June 1, 2014

      Thanks Richard. Sadly, I have come across similar stories here in Earlsfield. Tenants should simply not be being penalised with the bedroom tax because of a shortage of suitable alternative housing in their area. This is why Labour is campaigning on this locally and nationally – and has committed to abolish the bedroom tax if elected in 2015.

  2. Helen Godwin Teige
    June 1, 2014

    Reblogged this on Wandsworth Labour.

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