Councillor Lister writes to Putney

Policing Putney, the 37 bus and the Mayor Livingston's demand for 16% more cash...


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Cllr Lister's previous diary

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It is surely unthinkable that a community like Putney should be expected to manage without a police station. When the Upper Richmond Road site was sold we were told that services would still be available at a new local office sited in the High Street next to the cinema.

So when, two weeks ago, the decision was taken to close this one remaining outpost you can imagine the response from Putney councillors.

Thankfully Borough Commander Joe Royle listened to our concerns and ordered that this important community facility should stay open.

But the problem is far from solved. The £800,000 budget shortfall that prompted the original decision has not gone away.

With police and civilian staff resources continuing to be stretched even the current part-time hours will be vulnerable to further cost pressures.

The best way to safeguard the shop’s future now is to make sure it is fully used by local people. The council will be doing its bit to publicise the new hours and I have urged our police colleagues to do the same.

If the campaign to save the police shop was short, sharp and successful the struggle by St John’s Avenue residents to have the 37 bus stand re-sited was as a much longer, more drawn-out affair. Now the saga is finally coming to an end with agreement finally reached for a new stand at the top of Putney Hill opposite the Green Man. That will remove once and for all the problems of noise, fumes and litter experienced by residents from the buses parked in their road.

I cannot close without a brief comment on the Mayor’s latest bid to take an extra 16 per cent from us in his council tax demand next year.

Am I alone in wondering why his organization seems to be only local government body that manages to avoid the spending constraints and performance checks that all other councils live with year-in, year-out?

Edward Lister

Edward Lister is the Leader of Wandsworth Council and a member for Putney's Thamesfield ward.