Cllr Will Sweet is the candidate for Putney, Southfields and Roehampton in the General Election and a councillor in Wandsworth.
I’m standing to be the MP for Putney, Southfields and Roehampton, in Wandsworth. This is my home. It’s where I grew up, went to school, got my first job, bought my first home, and met my partner. I’ve got a strong track record delivering for Putney, Southfields and Roehampton on the Council and I’d like to take it into Parliament.
As a councillor, it is inspiring listening to Putney parents who are aspirational for their families, just like my parents were for my brother and me, here, over 35 years ago. Meeting local residents every week has given me an insight into local concerns and ambitions. I believe you should be able to make the most of your life, no matter your background.
Sheep are not a common sight in urban Putney, but that’s what I saw recently at Ronald Ross primary school. They won a national competition to have their school transformed into a farm for the day. Our local schools lead the nation. With schools like Ronald Ross, Brandlehow and Sheringdale, we have one of the highest numbers of Outstanding schools in the country. As the local Cabinet Member for Education, I understand what it takes to keep it that way. I’ve announced almost four per cent extra funding for education and £6 million for school buildings, continuing years of funding boosts. And I’ve supported our youth clubs, like BASE in Roehampton, to raise young people’s aspirations.
I’ve been inspired by the compassionate care given to disabled children at our fantastic special schools, including Paddock, Linden Lodge, and Greenmead. I’ve allocated more funding for special needs and increased staffing for ASD. I want our area to be the best place to raise a family and that means using my experience to advocate for our young people in Parliament.
I know what it’s like to rent and struggle to get on the housing ladder. We had the highest number of new homes in London when I was Planning Chairman. At Riverside Quarter, Mapleton Crescent, and on the Alton Estate, we’re getting some of the highest levels of affordable housing in the city. New homes need to work for existing communities too. Several buildings won RIBA architectural awards, including new halls at Roehampton University. I pushed developers hard to get first-time buyers on the housing ladder. I want to use that experience as our MP to fix our housing system and make Putney somewhere residents’ children can afford to buy.
The rush hour misery of local transport has got to end. I worked on the one-way system re-design, which will improve traffic along West Hill, Putney Bridge Road, and Upper Richmond Road. I’ll use that experience negotiating with Transport for London to sort out the unreliable District Line at Southfields and East Putney, where I’ll get a new lift. We got more trains to stop at Wandsworth Town and I’ll be working on South Western Rail to make more trains stop at Putney. We’ve already found initial funding for a second entrance for Putney and I recently discussed it with the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Council has given me the tools to progress these issues as our MP.
I worked on our Council plan to declare a Climate Emergency and make Putney, Southfields and Roehampton carbon neutral by 2030. The Mayor of London keeps sacrificing us for the rest of London and I’ll work to change that. We need electric buses to reduce pollution on Putney High Street; we need a roads strategy to stop A3 rat running; we need to lessen the effect of ULEZ expansion; and we need a solution to the Hammersmith Bridge closure. I’ll protect our local environment for future generations.
I know what it’s like to be woken by planes from Heathrow. I’ve been part of the Council legal action against Heathrow since 2014 and I have no intention of changing my mind. We recently agreed to another court challenge. As our MP, I’ll have teeth to push for a review.
Knife crime destroys lives. I’ve found it devastating to be notified of stabbings. I’ve spoken with the Chief Superintendent about muggings targeted at schoolchildren in Putney and Southfields and I’ve increased the number of frontline staff working with vulnerable families, to give everyone the best chance of making a success of their lives. We need a more visible police presence and that’s why I support our pledge for 20,000 more police.
Whether you live in Putney itself or Southfields or Roehampton or Putney Heath or Putney Common or around the Dover House Road, I want to be an MP for everyone. Our villages revolve around our high streets. I helped get Putney on to the Future High Streets Fund, so as our MP I’ll make sure our high streets get the investment they need. That means making them greener and more welcoming, to support local businesses.
Growing up here and being a councillor has shown me that there is nowhere like Putney, Southfields and Roehampton. It has the river, parks, and family feel, but also an ambitious, urban buzz. As our MP, I’ll take my track record and continue it in Parliament. That means protecting the environment, supporting schools, and more police. It means friendly communities with better transport, homes, and high streets. These are the things you’ve told me matter to you and your families and I promise I’ll deliver them for you.