Posted: 03.05.21 at 08:33 by Kurt Robson
The people living in Balham and Tooting’s Bedford ward will be going to the polls on the 6th May to elect a new councillor for the area.
The local by-election is being held on Thursday, May 6 following the resignation of former councillor Fleur Anderson.
Voting will take place on the same day as the Mayor of London and London Assembly elections.
Nub News invited all of the candidates for a Question and Answer session.
Here is our interview with Tom Mytton. The Conservative Party candidate.
1.WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU AS A CONSERVATIVE PARTY COUNCILLOR WILL BRING TO THE BEDFORD WARD?
Someone who will be a representative who will listen and engage with local residents on all issues, no matter how difficult they may be. I'm not doing this to have 'councillor' in front of my name, I am doing this to make sure that local residents have their views heard. I have a proven track record of doing this; I have represented patients with long-term chronic conditions for the past seven years, and will apply the same passion and commitment as a councillor as I have as a patient representative.
2. WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE MAIN ISSUES FACING TOOTING AND BALHAM RIGHT NOW?
The Mayor of London's A24 changes, which were put in without any impact assessments or consultation with local residents. This is what I am hearing when I am out on the doorstep as well. I want cyclists to be safer, but the current developments have increased traffic congestion, which inevitably generates more pollution. There must be a better way that works for everyone, and I am committed to working with TFL, the Council Planning Team, local residents, local businesses and local cycling groups to propose a better alternative.
3. OBVIOUSLY, A VERY POLARISING ISSUE, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF LTN'S AND HOW THEY WERE IMPLEMENTED INTO THE AREA?
I was keen to see how they would deliver on their goal of reducing pollution and traffic on our residential streets. However, the evidence and our own experiences showed that they were not working and I was very pleased to see the council listen to local residents and remove them.
4. WHAT DO YOU THINK THE GOVERNMENT AND THE MAYOR OF LONDON HAVE DONE WELL/BADLY WITH THE COVID CRISIS?
The vaccination rollout programme has and continues to be a roaring success and something we as a nation should be very proud of. Due to my own personal circumstances, I have now received both doses of the vaccination so I can also speak from personal experience and want to commend the NHS, the volunteers and all of those involved in ensuring it's a total success.
As it becomes safer to do so I would like to see a real emphasis from the Mayor of London on encouraging people to use public transport, and making sure public transport can cater for demand.
We have one of the best public transport systems in the world in London, but the Mayor has not managed it well and over the last few years it has needed multiple financial bailouts. This makes the return of passengers even more important, and more people using public transport, when it is safe to do so, should reduce pollution and congestion.
5. WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT TOOTING AND BALHAM?
What, aside from the fantastic local residents? It has to be having Tooting Commons right on my doorstep. When moving to London over seven years ago a key part of my search was to find somewhere near open green space, somewhere I could walk and get my balance of 'countryside' as well as that of living in a city, luckily I'm only a short walk away so I get to visit it most days. This has definitely helped during lockdown.
Protecting and maintaining our environment is a key priority for me - I try and do my bit by helping out the Friends Of Tooting Common with litter picking and by sitting on the Tooting Commons Management Committee. If elected, I will continue to support the protection, maintenance and enhancement of our green open spaces.
6. ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD?
I have been a local volunteer with local foodbanks, environment groups and charities for the last couple of years and have met so many fantastic people. I hope on the 6th May local residents put their trust in me to take their causes at the heart of our community to the Town Hall as their representative.
Nub News will be releasing interviews with every candidate who responded to our interview request.