Councillor Lister writes to Putney

Litter, change in demographics & more ............


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If you dump your litter in our streets you'd better be prepared to pay the penalty.

Over in Tooting recently the council fined a woman £80 for discarding a plastic sack full of rubbish on the road. That should have been the end of it but because she failed to pay up in time the case went to court where magistrates imposed a £100 fine together with costs of £260.

The council is taking a tough line on littering across the borough - there really is no excuse for this kind of anti-social behaviour.

Good news for people living close to Daisy's fast food take away in the Lower Richmond Road. The owners had wanted to extend their opening hours beyond 11pm to 12 in the week and 1 am at weekends.

The council stood firm which meant the case was decided by a government planning inspector. We've just heard that the decision went in our favour with the inspector ruling that, in his view, later hours would result in unacceptable noise and disturbance at a time when residents could reasonably expect some peace and quiet.

There's hardly a service the council provides, whether it's waste collection or schools that doesn't depend on knowing exactly how many people there are in the borough. That's why the council is joining other London boroughs in challenging the latest official population statistics.

More than half the borough's population is aged between 20 and 44 with most new international migrants known to be in this age range. Poles make up the fastest growing group in the borough - according to data on National Insurance registrations their number has risen by 700 per cent in four years.

In Putney alone there have been 4,250 new NI registrations in the last year with Poles, South Africans and Australians making up more than half the total. The problem is there is no easy way to update population estimates in non-Census years. The formula used by officials is too rigid and is reckoned to undercount numbers in the highly mobile younger age groups.

We know the Government is planning further changes in the way councils like Wandsworth are funded - if we don't get a true measure of our population this could lead in the long run to big losses in grant that could affect our ability to maintain services at their current level.

Edward Lister

September 28, 2007

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