Councillor Lister writes to Putney

Hotham School, Neighbournhood Watch, Roehampton Regeneration & more ............


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Congratulations to Hotham School for winning the Green School of the year award in a competition organised by the South London Guardian and local councils.

The Putney primary carried off the regional trophy which attracted entries from schools in five boroughs

Pupils aged 7 to 11 started a litter watch, boosted paper recycling and checked up on the school's purchasing of green materials. They are an example to us all as they set about encouraging the best environmental practices.

Perhaps some of these young people, with their concern for the community, will become the neighbourhood watch members of the future. The council is currently running a campaign encouraging more people to start local groups.

Putney has always enjoyed an active network of watches. If you would like help in getting something going in your neighbourhood, call Al Busa in the council's Watchlink team on 020 8871 6584.

There has been a lively response from Roehampton residents to the different proposals for the revitalisation of the Danebury Avenue area.

Consultation on the various options runs until December 15 and it is important that everyone with a stake in the future of Roehampton gets involved. Whether you want better shops, new leisure facilities or something done about the road traffic now is the chance to have your say.

D-Day for the C-Charge is moving steadily closer. From February 19 expect to see even more traffic on Putney and Wandsworth Bridges as drivers skirt the new extended zone to avoid the £8 daily toll.

The council has argued that the western extension, which reaches as far as Earls Court, has been rushed. The Mayor characteristically brushed aside opposition from residents and businesses in his consultation and forced the scheme through. How ironic that a measure that its supporters say is geared to improving the environment inside the zone runs the risk of creating more congestion and pollution in surrounding areas.

Putney may seem a long way from the Olympic Village but you can be sure local people will be paying a hefty price for the 2012 Games. Last week the organisers admitted that the costs have ballooned by £900 million in just fifteen months.

Already the Olympic Tax is adding an extra £20 to council tax bills over an 11-year period. This is a real burden at a time when government grants for London councils are not keeping up with inflation.

The Olympics will be a great event for the nation. Londoners are already paying more than their fair share. With the bills likely to go on mounting - and the Mayor unlikely to ever win any medals for budgetary control - the Chancellor must put a cap on London's contribution.

Edward Lister

December 1, 2006

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