|Councillor Lister writes to Putney|
Thames Tunnel, Street Parties & Council Tax......
It’s encouraging that that Thames Water has identified alternative sites on the Fulham side of the river for their tunnelling instead of Barn Elms. It gives a glimmer of hope that they have finally listened to the people of Putney.
We won’t be resting on our laurels, though. We need to keep the pressure up and present a united front to Thames Water, and local people need to be aware than even if the Fulham alternative is chosen there will still need to be some tunnelling work at Barn Elms, albeit very much reduced.
And we need to keep a close eye on proposals for the new sewage shaft opposite Kenilworth Court near Putney Bridge. There’s a lot of concern from local people about the impact of this, and we have made it clear to Thames Water they need to think carefully about how they connect the existing combined sewer overflow under the bridge to the main Thames Tunnel. For example, we would expect the resulting spoil to be removed by river rather than road.
We are pushing for decisions about the site of any permanent ventilation structures there to be taken by us, and not the secretary of state, and expect Thames Water to ensure any permanent structure is not an eyesore.
We’re also working closely with the Environment Agency to minimise the impact of refurbishment works at Ashlone Wharf by Beverley Brook..
It’s an important flood defence and we accept that the work – which is unrelated to the Thames Tunnel - needs to be done.
Refurbishment starts in April, and a temporary construction site will have to be created. The Environment Agency has promised to cause as little disruption as possible to Barn Elms users and local people. We’ll be holding them to that.
We’ve got a celebrity street party champion, TV chef Antony Worrall Thompson, to support our campaign to get people organising street parties this summer.
The council’s slashed red tape and cut the cost of road closures. Most events will be £50, and it will be completely free for the royal wedding and next year’s Golden Jubilee, so now there’s no excuse not to hold one.
I think street parties are a great way of bringing people together. We’ve already got a strong sense of community in Putney, but it can never hurt to find more excuses for getting to know your neighbours. I don’t like the thought of the council sticking its nose in and telling you what you can and can’t do, so we’re taking a new ‘hands-off’ approach.
Wandworth’s council tax is again the country’s lowest - £687 for a band D property. We know times are hard, and we’re determined not to put the burden on the hard-pressed tax payer. We’ll make the savings we need to make by becoming more efficient and finding creative new ways of providing services through our Wandsworth Challenge agenda.
March 10, 2011
Edward Lister is the Leader of Wandsworth Council and a member for Putney's Thamesfield ward.