New administration hits the ground running with series of landmark initiatives in first 100 days

Published: Friday, August 12, 2022

Wandsworth Council’s newly elected administration has outlined a series of key policy initiatives in its first 100 days in office.

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Landmark policies and pledges detail how the council’s new leadership will help residents in the cost-of-living crisis, protect our environment and build 1,000 new affordable homes.

Council leader Simon Hogg said: “I’m proud of the work we have done in our first hundred days. We have outlined a clear vision to the people of Wandsworth of how we intend to proceed over the next four years

“We know that Wandsworth is a brilliant place to live. We are going to keep it special and make sure everyone can benefit from the fantastic opportunities it provides.

“Working with partners across the borough, we will create a compassionate council that truly listens and creates genuinely affordable homes and safer, greener neighbourhoods.

“Our vision is based on fairness and common sense with solid ambitions to deliver a better place to live, study and work for everyone in our borough.”

Among the key policy priorities outlined in its first 100 days are the following:

• Keep the same council tax low.

• Ensure new council contracts pay staff the Living Wage.

• Start the delivery of 1,000 new council rent homes.

• Expand food waste collections to help reduce emissions that fuel global warming.

• Declare Wandsworth a borough of sanctuary for refugees.

• Fund the cost of school uniforms for hard-pressed families.

• Provide more bike hangars to offer safe storage for bicycles.

• Providing free Covid-19 testing kits to frontline workers.

• Provide more energy efficiency and water saving devices to council tenants and work with internet providers to secure low-cost internet connections for struggling families.

• Create a new £100,000 Capacity Building Fund to support local grassroots organisations that help residents overcome the cost-of-living crisis.

• Invest more in homelessness prevention and reduce the use of temporary accommodation.

• Improve road safety around schools to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

• Reduce food poverty by working with schools to deliver a holistic food strategy for children which covers breakfast, lunch and after-school.

• Deliver more electric vehicle charging points to encourage emissions-free motoring.

• Arrange monthly mega-skips to ensure fewer vehicle trips to waste disposal sites and reduce fly-tipping.

Looking ahead the council’s future priorities include

• Explore the establishment of an E-bike hire scheme.

• Review the ways housing estate repair and cleaning services are carried out.

• Review major works bill payment arrangements for resident leaseholders.

• Begin the process of introducing a landlord licensing scheme to ensure private renters get a better deal.

• Establish a Cost-of-Living Commission this autumn to look at how the council can support residents facing tough financial times.

• Propose the creation of a Cost-of-Living Hub in partnership with Citizens Advice, to ensure residents can access all the help they need and are entitled to.

• Increase resources to tackle domestic violence.

• Provide additional support for unpaid carers and to address isolation and loneliness particularly experienced by older residents.

Councillor Hogg added: “The country is facing tough economic challenges and our residents are confronted with a deepening cost of living crisis. This administration is determined to do everything it can to support residents in this worsening economic situation.

“We know too that there is a mental health crisis in this country and that young people in particular are badly let down by the system. That’s why as we look ahead we are going to focus on improving mental health provision in schools.

“And we know our residents are deeply concerned about climate change and the future of the planet. This is why we have laid out a series of proposals to address these challenges and why we will shortly convene a Citizens’ Assembly on air quality which will draw on the energy and expertise of local groups and residents committed to tackling climate change and help us achieve carbon neutral status by 2030.

“This administration is committed to making sure Wandsworth is a safer, healthier and fairer place to live.”