As I said last week I was stopping doing my weekly report because it didn’t quite work, and, instead, replacing it with a weekly round-up. Already, I’ve broken the promise (a politician, a broken promise, never!) by changing the name. I obviously don’t know if this will work any better – only time will tell.
Dealing with a backlog
For anyone going on holiday having work build up while you are away is just one of those things you have to live with. For most people you can delegate or ask someone to cover for you while you are away. For a councillor, that just isn’t possible. We don’t have admin support and don’t work in an office where people can keep an eye on your desk.
So I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to chip away at the back-log of emails and mail that built up – while all the time new stuff is arriving. Of course, much of this falls into the spam category (for example, as a councillor there are an amazing number of companies who think the council would like to pay several hundred pounds for me to attend their latest conference) but I don’t know that until I’ve opened the envelope or double clicked the email and read it.
As someone who likes to keep his inbox empty it is frustrating. And if you are waiting for a reply from me and haven’t had one yet. I apologise, I promise it will be coming as soon as possible.
One of the real highlights of the week has been Tooting. We had a bit of a review of how the work under the Tooting Together programme has been going – and I hope most will agree that it’s made a real difference and has been a great example of how all the council’s departments can work together to astonishing results.
One of the real successes has been the time-banded waste collection, which has meant Tooting’s streets are much much cleaner. It has also meant that we have identified a lot of businesses that were illegally dumping their waste. It was a common cry from Labour that Wandsworth wasn’t cleaning the streets enough. In fact Tooting was (jointly with Clapham Junction) the most cleaned area in Wandsworth, some parts were cleaned every couple of hours. But Labour’s political convenience ignored the fact that it wasn’t the council littering the streets in the first place.
The subsequent crack-down has made a huge difference – even though there are still a few businesses resisting, feeling they have the right to dump their rubbish on our streets.
Hopefully the successes from Tooting can be copied in our other Town Centres in coming months.
Shaftesbury Ward News
We’ve also started putting together the July/August edition of the new ward newsletter. Summer is always a quiet time, with people going on holiday and the formal business of the council taking a mini-recess (though that doesn’t seem to make any difference to how often I am there). The newsletter should be out in a week or two, but if there’s anything you’d like to see in there, or even any local events you’d like to advertise, let me know.