Sep 17th, 2013
Save the Wheatsheaf
By Tanya Prytula
Jon Irwin, a 38 Degrees member from Wandsworth, started a campaign back in July to save his local pub, the Wheatsheaf, from being turned into a supermarket. Just over a month later, over 8,000 of us have joined Jon in the fight against closure, and have successfully turned the pub into an Asset of Community Value.
However, the fight is not over yet. Read Jon’s message below, and make sure to sign his petition here to help secure the pub’s future.
One weekend, earlier this summer, a little spark caught fire in Tooting.
That Saturday morning, I’d got up a little later, and was checking some of the local online newsgroups and mailing lists. It was quickly apparent that there were some real concerns about the possibility of a local pub being turned into a convenience supermarket.
Being quite involved with a number of local community groups (Wandsworth Environment Forum, Wandsworth Cycling Campaign and Wandsworth Living Streets) I knew that, sadly, well meaning concerns of a few does not always translate into tangible action by our council, or elected representatives.
Translating the concerns voiced on these newsgroups into a tangible quantity of people would be essential in any ask to save the pub. Having set up a few petitions using 38 degrees earlier in the week, I knew that setting one up would be quite easy, so 15mins later I had set up the petition.
Just over a week later, over 8,000 people had signed the petition. It was an amazing response, which highlighted how strongly people felt about the pub. That support brought with it cross-party political support at a local level, which has already resulted in the pub gaining a listing as an Asset of Community Value. In November, the council will consider an Article 4 listing, which in planning terms will make it very difficult for whoever owns the pub to change the use from a pub to something else.
It’s only with the huge support shown by the local community that the listing went through so quickly. I believe, in light of the huge show of support, we are in a strong position to get the Article 4 listing.
The campaign isn’t over. If you haven’t signed the petition, make sure you do. I’ll keep you posted when we need to email councillors next to remind them that they need to make the Article 4 listing, as a direct response to local demand.
Thanks for your support,