Our changing borough …


Yes, Battersea for is up for Sale …. in New York City, no less. And probably elsewhere too.

Perhaps the name alone reminds our noble American friends of their own Battery Park – not to mention nearby Chelsea … surely this will help them feel at home here …

So don’t be surprised when good old Battersea Park Road is re-named …. wait for it …… New York Road.


in the weeks and months ahead THE WANDSWORTH VOICE will be following very closely all media articles and council statements into the proposed re-routing of the road systems in and around the currently rather sad High Street.


Disruption there will be, whatever the scale and nature of the final scheme.

We must ensure that local residents’ views are heard throughout the process and are not summarily rejected by a series of council representatives and TfL folk whose minds are made up already.

Add to this, the never-ending growth and impact of the Nine Elms developments – those of us who like living here, and have done so for many, many years, need formal reassurance that in the twilight of our lives these ‘grands projets’ will not be a shocking blight on our brighter borough.


More on our new town centre …

East is East and West is West … Unless you’re those fine road builders of TfL – who would have not got far in Roman times as they clearly do not know their ‘orient’ from their ‘occident’ …. And probably not their ‘sinister’ from their ‘dexter’ either ….

Two of their fine artist’s impressions appear to be wrongly captioned.

The first thing they show is Wandsworth High Street (East) and the second they say is Wandsworth High Street (West).

Anyway have a look ….and decide for yourselves …. and then check it out on their website … If you’re as incredulous as we are ..



Looks like it’s another one for Dick Tracey, Special Agent


Telling it like it is …. Mr Richard Tracey attended a meeting

—–Original Message—–
From: John Fowler
To: mayor
CC: Len James ; Christopher Howe ; Alex Balkan ; emma.christie ; richard.tracey ; sjolley
Sent: Sun, 19 Oct 2014 23:19
Subject: Fwd: Meeting with Mr Richard Tracey – Battersea/Wandsworth – Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dear Mr Johnson

It is with both sadness and regret that we must advise you that the undertakings made by your Mr Richard Tracey, AM, during and following our local meeting with him on September 25th 2014 have not yet been addressed.

(See attached correspondence).

Whereas the representative of Wandsworth Borough, Mr Jolly, who was present throughout, appears to have put in motion the things he was deputed to do, the promises made by Mr Tracey have been shown to be completely hollow.

Sadly, Mr Tracey does appear to ‘have form’ in his dealings with the local people of York Road, Battersea. He did meet them on not dissimilar issues some 18 months ago – and nothing came of that. Their noise and traffic pollution problems have got worse not better.

We do ask ourselves whether Mr Tracey is competent to handle both his local AM responsibilities along with his transport portfolio within the GLA.

As you may well imagine, we have received a similar lack of response from the local MP, Jane Ellison, whose buck-passing capability among her constituents is now classified as legendary, as well as being risible.

We are decent, concerned citizens – we simply ask that our democratically elected representatives do what they were voted in to do – they should not avoid their responsibilities.

We are also going to publish this on our website – THE WANDSWORTH VOICE – as well as sending as copy to our local papers – The Wandsworth Guardian and The South London Press.

Actions not words, please.

Best wishes.

John Fowler, Len James, Peter Lebby

Sent from my iPad

Begin forwarded message:

From: Emma Christie
Date: 1 October 2014 09:39:14 BST
To: “‘John Fowler'”
Subject: RE: Meeting with Mt Richard Tracy – Battersea/Wandsworth – Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dear Mr Fowler

Thank you for providing such a thorough summary of your meeting.

Richard is currently pursuing these matters with TfL himself so I hope that the issues will be resolved swiftly.

Kind regards


From: John Fowler []
Sent: 29 September 2014 11:11
To: Emma Christie
Cc: Len James; Ken James;
Subject: Meeting with Mt Richard Tracy – Battersea/Wandsworth – Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dear Emma Christie:

Please find below a summary of a meeting/fact-finding expedition undertaken in Battersea and Wandsworth by Mr Tracy last Thursday at the invitation of Mr Len James of Dungeness House, York Road. Mr Tracy was accompanied by Mr Jolley of Wandsworth Borough.

I myself, John Fowler, a friend of Mr James and a fellow resident of Wandsworth Borough, was also in attendance.

We would first of all like to thank Messrs Tracy and Jolley for accepting the invitation to come and see/experience for themselves some of the difficulties being experienced by local Wandsworth people in relation to traffic, roads and pavements and other local environmental and general quality of life issues.

We felt that the whole atmosphere of the meeting was very positive and we hope that the issues raised will soon be resolved by the relevant parties.

Best wishes.

John Fowler
77 Santos Road
London SW18 1NT


1. A recognition that the width of the pavement directly outside Dungeness House had been reduced to accommodate the cycle lane on York Road. And that this caused inevitable issues for pushchair / pram / buggy users.

2. This on occasion was made even worse when wayward cyclists decided to ride their bikes on the pavement instead of using the cycle lane.

3. Such has been deterioration of the re-designed/re-engineered road and cycle lane surfaces outside Dungeness House that mud/water is thrown up on to the pavement itself. Photographic evidence has been submitted previously – to no avail.


4. The trees along the outside of the old Elteringham School really do appear very vulnerable as the development moves towards its completion, as it transpires that no-one is sure who is responsible for their immediate and future welfare.


5. The lighting under the railway bridge that goes over the Trinity Road has failed – and has not been replaced. Major security problem/risk for pedestrians and cyclists.

6. Deterioration in the road surface under the above-mentioned bridge has caused unacceptable amounts of mud and water to be thrown onto the pavements. The residue of which is very apparent.


7. There are clearly unresolved issues between TfL and Wandsworth Borough as to which of these two illustrious organisations has the responsibility for the management of ‘grassy areas’ on the western side of Trinity Road and beyond into Birdhurst Road.

8. The presence of ‘rat holes” and council-set ‘rat-traps’ along Birdhurst Road is very unpleasant – council officials are aware of the problem and are doing their utmost to resolve it. Even though the rats get bigger and more daring, there appears to be no immediate resolution.

9. The sad prevalence of ‘canine faeces’ on the grassy area along the front of the houses on Birdhurst Road was clear. Mr K James of 37, Birdhurst Road indicated to the representative of Wandsworth Borough Council how inappropriate ‘canine waste disposal’ methods were causing potential health and disease problems. Possibly either because of too few or badly sited disposal units.

10. The condition of the road surface in certain places along Birdhurst Road was all too apparent – major dips, furrows, inexplicable hollows – and nothing apparently has been done because ‘criteria’ for repair have not been met to the satisfaction of Wandsworth Council. Whatever that means.

11. There is no doubt but that the road traffic noise emanating from Trinity Road can indeed be intrusive. Mr L James suggested that different forms of bush/shrub could be planted which would act both as a form of barrier against the noise and whose lack of lower leaves would not allow animals to hide/shelter there or litter to gather there. A two-fold problem could be solved by one single solution.


12. On the corner of the approach to Wandsworth Bridge and York Road stands a very imposing tree. It was feared that such a tree might suddenly disappear because of its proximity to the new, as yet unoccupied, apartment blocks.


13. The turnings in and out of Petergate, into and across York Road, were inspected – at length. The inherent dangers and damage caused by of all forms of road users entering Petergate, going into Elteringham Street and then reversing back into Petergate in order then to cross the road directly into Battersea Reach were clear to all. (We were joined by other local residents for this section of the meeting and their scary anecdotes were graphically recounted.)

One possible solution would be to extend, simply by several feet, the existing carriage-way ‘divider’ – a form of central reservation – running along York Road from the roundabout eastwards towards Battersea. This would prevent direct access from Petergate into Battersea Reach.

14. ‘Through traffic’ continues to use the parking area between Filey House and Dungeness House as yet another way to enter Petergate and then access Battersea Reach. Another ‘accident waiting to happen’. A simple solution would be to ensure that one of the existing gates is locked shut thus preventing though traffic using this essentially residential area as a ‘rat run’.

Sent from my iPad

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This is all very straightforward and not at all complicated.

It is certain to work perfectly without any confusion at all.


And there will now be no need to go to the Hampton Court Maze – we shall have one on our doorstep.



Here are two buildings that no longer fulfil their original purpose and indeed therefore are no longer the people’s amenities that they once were.



Yes – that’s Battersea Police Station and Wandsworth Museum.

Both no longer perform their original mission of serving the local community in terms, respectively, of security and learning.

Both, to my mind, were peremptorily shut down without reference to local people.

Where the un-joined government comes in is that TfL buses still call their bus stops just by these erstwhile fine institutions …. guess what …. Yes, you’ve guessed correctly – Battersea Police Station and Wandsworth Museum.

This indeed adds insult to injury ….


Here are some heartfelt comments from a local Battersea resident, Jane Eades.

And they have been sent by her to the appropriate people in Wandsworth Town Hall. Who we trust will act very quickly to right these wrongs and restore a decent quality of life for their residents.

Here is what she writes …

The location for all her concerns centres around the footpath between Petergate and the Usk Road footpath under the railway bridge and leading to Nantes Close, SW11. Some photos are attached.

1. Rubbish

The piece of land between Nantes Close and the railway bridge is, and has been for months if not years, in a disgusting state (1st photo). I don’t know when it was last cleared. As you can see from the photos part is on the footpath and part is on the grass with a BCHT sign, although I don’t know who actually is responsible for the grass area. A couple of days ago there were 3 contractors standing around, one of whom had a leaf blower – do they not report or act on rubbish like this?

2. Footpath clearance

The leaf blower: do we really pay our council tax to have a man blow leaves onto the grass, only to have the wind blow them back as soon as he is gone? In other parts of the borough a machine which picks up the leaves is used. Is there any reason why the footpaths around Petergate Green cannot be swept with a machine?

3. Trees

I have repeatedly raised this. The trees from both Petergate Green and the railway line block the light from the street lights making the footpath very dark and, potentially, dangerous. Only a short while ago, residents had to intervene when a girl was beaten up by a group of youths on the footpath. We have had drug dealing by the railway arch and I found a knife hidden on the green. (The police are aware of all these incidents). Please can the trees either be cut hard back or removed. I like trees but also like the safety of my neighbours and myself. (I acknowledge that the buddleia in Tours Passage has been cut back)

4. Trees and some related issues

The cherry trees in front of Bridlington House, Petergate, were, at my request, cut back earlier this year. However, the amount they were cut back was minimal and the problem persists. As an aside, I feel sorry for the poor residents of the flats who must have to use electric lighting at all times of the day. Please can these trees be cut hard back and, possibly the residents of Bridlington be consulted about whether they want them to be removed.

In one response on trees, something was said about reducing the amount trees are cut back in order to reduce the risk of disease. To be honest, Petergate Green was planted with too many trees in the first place and at least one tree has had to be cut down because it was swamped by the other trees and was dying.

Network Rail. When I moved into my house the embankments were regularly maintained. Trees were cut back and litter was removed, probably once a year. Since privatisation is seems that this tradition is one of the services which no longer applies.

Birds One of the environmental effects of the overdosing of trees in the area is the reduction in the number of small birds. Part of the reason for this is that the larger trees both on the green and on the railway, has encouraged magpies, crows, etc and we have lost: house sparrows, many small warblers.