Councillor Lister writes to Putney

Taking responsibility for your children , Council Tax and Age Concern...........


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Expecting parents to take responsibility for their children seems a big ask these days. But over in Roehampton one 14-year-old's antics have earned him an ASBO and could even put his family home at risk.

The teenager was banned from parts of the Alton Estate after a judge backed local people who had had enough of his intimidating behaviour. Breaking the order could mean immediate arrest and the prospect of a detention and training order.

The council's housing department has now warned his mum that if her son breaches the ASBO it could also lead to her home being repossessed. It's all part of the council's no nonsense approach to anti social behaviour which is designed to make the borough a safer place for everyone.

On a cheerier note it's great to see the progress being made by the new Active Days service which is based at the Age Concern Wandsworth office.

The council-funded programme offers a rapidly-growing roster of daytime activities for older residents based around 50 local groups in all parts of the borough.

It's a dynamic new way of encouraging people to get out, make friends and develop different interests. Some of the most popular activity groups cover gardening, reading, cooking and photography - but there's always the opportunity to try something new

You can find out what's happening in Putney by calling the scheme's enthusiastic coordinator Becca Jones on 020 8870 2020.

Local residents will shortly be getting their council tax bills through the door. It's no secret that this year's budget round has been a challenging one for the council and certainly the 4.9% increase on our share of the bills is more than I would have liked.

All of us in local government are expecting the Chancellor to squeeze funding even more next year so the link between councils' spending and their performance will attract even more scrutiny.

Wandsworth scored highly in this year's Audit Commission league tables - we are ranked in the top 10 councils in the UK with only Kent matching us on value for money.

With a council tax that is still the lowest in the country - and half that of neighbouring Kingston and Richmond - Wandsworth continues to demonstrate that high quality public services and affordable taxes can go together.

Edward Lister

March 16, 2007

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