Councillor Lister writes to Putney

Local shops & the threat to the post office, the future of Putney Hospital & more ............


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Cllr Lister's previous diary

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At a time when everyone says they are in favour of supporting local shops the Government seems to be doing its best to kill them off.

Two announcements in the last week paint a pretty clear picture of what is really going on.

First we are told that another 2,500 post offices will have to go - that could mean five more closures at least in our borough.

Then a new planning white paper declares the end of the 'town centre rule'
which councils use to deter the major retailers from building on large 'edge of centre' sites.

Big stores with big car parks simply suck trade from established town centres, pile the pressure on local shops and force yet more traffic onto the roads.

Just as we need vital facilities like post offices and chemists in local parades, so we need the big stores to concentrate on the main town centre areas where people shop already.

One of the most controversial local issues in recent years has been the appalling neglect by the local NHS of Putney Hospital. Now the three Putney surgeries that are planning to set up in new premises on the redeveloped site are asking their patients what they think of the move.

Those affected are people currently attending Putneymead, Balmuir Gardens and Dr Aaron's surgery in Disraeli Road as well as the Eileen Lecky clinic. The PCT are holding meetings at All Saints Church on Putney Common on June 4 and 13. It will be worth getting down to find out what is proposed.

Also on the common, the funfair which has been there for the last few weeks has finally moved on. Whenever I've passed by, it never seems very busy - is there really much demand today for this kind of attraction?

I'm sure letting out the land brings in some useful income for the Conservators which helps support the upkeep of the commons - but perhaps it's time to ask local people what they think.

Finally congratulations to my fellow Putney councillor Jim Maddan who rounded off his Mayoral year with a rain-drenched tour of the borough boundaries - all 21 miles! Over the year Jim raised around £30,000 for the Leonard Cheshire Foundation with a good chunk of this coming from the walk itself.

Apart from losing a stone in weight during his training regime I know Jim gained an awful lot of local knowledge from his walks and enjoyed the chance to meet and chat with lots of different people along the way. Perhaps he's just started a new Mayoral tradition!

Edward Lister

May 24, 2007

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