Councillor Lister writes to Putney

T Mobile appeals against planning decision, taxes and night flights & graffiti ....


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Last year's successful campaign by residents living close to Putney Common to prevent T-Mobile erecting three phone masts on the roof of the Spencer Arms is set for a re-run.

The company has appealed against the decision of the Council's
Planning Committee to refuse permission. Councillors, you may recall, had been concerned about the impact of the antennae on the Putney Common Conservation area.

Now the matter will be considered by a Government planning inspector. All existing objections will be passed to the inspector but if you would like to make further representations - or if you did not respond previously - then you can email him at: . It will help if you quote the inspector's reference: APP/H5960/A/06/2011986/NWF. The last day for comments is May 18.

We pride ourselves on our low council tax on Wandsworth. You only have to cross the bridge into Fulham to get a taste of just how hard a poorly-run council can hit you in the pocket. Residents there pay almost £600 a year more in council tax than for an equivalent property in Wandsworth.

But over the weekend the media reported secret plans by the Government to test a new system of property valuations in Northern Ireland. This will look at each house separately and take into account improvements
like conservatories and local factors like a view or proximity to a park or river.

It's nothing less than an opportunistic tax grab which, if applied to England, would allow the Chancellor to cash in on London's high property prices.

Many London boroughs could face council tax hikes of more than £1,000 - including both Wandsworth and Hammersmith and Fulham. Unsurprisingly low value areas like John Prescott's Hull constituency and Tony Blair's Sedgefield would see their bills go down.

Just because house prices in London are higher than the rest of the country it does not follow that residents are better off. Try telling that to a pensioner or a young family struggling with a hefty mortgage.

Coming hard on the heels of this week's local elections is another key vote. This time it will be MPs who will get the chance to finish the job done by the Lords and reject the Government's plans for removing the cap on early morning flights into Heathrow.

The vote takes place in the House of Commons on May 8. I know our Putney MP Justine Greening has been rallying support from MPs on all sides.

It is the frequency of landings at this time which disrupts people's sleep. Until we can get a complete ban on night flights, the movements limit, which was imposed by the courts in 1993, is the best safeguard residents have against a worsening noise climate.

And finally a pat on the back for the council's graffiti removal team. Last Wednesday a new resident of Belvedere Court spotted and reported an outbreak of graffiti on the parapet wall of the Dryburgh Rd rail bridge. By Friday, she tells, me the unsightly scrawl had been cleared away.
It's a free service which shows just how much we care for our environment.

You can text your graffiti report on 07797 805456 - or email to

Edward Lister

May 3, 2006

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