It will be a short on this week, for a few reasons.  First, a lot of my time has been spent on those routine meetings that take up a lot of time.  Second, I have managed to injure my back, which severely restricted my movement, especially at the beginning of the week. Please direct all sympathy via the comments (and even as I type that I know I’ll get none)!

Having said that there are a few parts of the week that really stand out.

Lessingham Avenue
Unfortunately this stuck out for all the wrong reasons and last night’s news that Maleha Masud has passed away  highlights the seriousness of the incident.  The police are leading on the investigation, but all the local partners are working hard not just to bring the perpetrators to justice, but also to provide reassurance to the local community although obviously, first and foremost, our thoughts and sympathies are with the Masud family.

Community Advice Day
I also popped along to the Community Advice Day the council hosted, mainly to thank those officers within my portfolio manning the stands, but I also took the time to have a look around. It was impressive to see so many stands, not only from the council, but also from our partners offering advice. They were certainly kept busy and there was a steady stream of visitors while I was there.

Regeneration and Community Safety Overview and Scrutiny Committee
This was another big part of the week. I wrote a couple of blog posts about two of the issues that came up: Tooting crime and Wandsworth’s casino policy. Given that this gives me a chance to say a little more it was a fascinating meeting, and councillors on the committee did a fantastic job of scrutinising the items on the agenda – Wandsworth has some very talented and able councillors, at all levels and (much as I would like to pretend otherwise) on both sides of the political divide.

There’s plenty I missed. I’m really sorry I couldn’t get along to the unveiling of our first green plaque, for Clement Attlee, in Portinscale Road this morning. And will, unfortunately, be missing tomorrow’s commemoration of Armed Forces Day in Battersea Park tomorrow – have a great time if you go along.

Tooting Mela 2009I popped down to the annual Tooting Mela yesterday.  I really should have advertised the event last Friday.  The afternoon, organised by London Fire Brigade was a fantastic session of entertainment, demonstrations and free food.

The London Fire Brigade have been done a fantastic job in recent years of getting out of their fire stations and promoting fire safety and prevention – with the aim of reducing the number of times they are leaving their stations to put out fires. As the tragic fire in Lessingham Avenue the previous night showed the Fire Brigade are an essential emergency service, but we should all do our bit to make sure they are used as little as possible.

One great service they provide is a free fire safety check and smoke alarm.  If you want one you can book one via the London Fire Brigade website.  Smoke alarms will give enough warning for a householder to escape without serious injury, and when you can get one installed for free there really is no reason not to have one.

They also demonstrated the potential dangers of tackling fire yourself – the video below shows them demonstrating the effect of using water on a deep fat fryer.

Unfortunately the video stops before the fire blanket they used failed to put the fire out! Instead the fat from the pan overwhelmed the blanket and continued burning. Not how they wanted the demonstration to go, perhaps, but a good lesson that it’s best to let professionals deal with this sort of thing.