Councillor Lister writes to Putney

Good news on Putney High Street, Post Offices and more....


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Cllr Lister's previous diary

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Good news from the high street with a new retail study showing the town centre performing well above the national average.

The same report comments on the healthy mix of national and independent retailers - most of which it says are of a high quality.

The authors also note the high number of bars, cafes and eating places - more than 80 in the central area - which it says are popular with many of the newer, younger residents.
Overall it shows Putney doing well despite some of the well known constraints such as traffic.

The outlook for local post offices is much less promising.
Following the decision to shut down the Putney Bridge Road and Lower Richmond Road branches, the council has written to Gordon Brown.

We've told him we're keen to do what we can to help but not if all the costs fall to the council tax payer. With all the savings Government is making from these closures it would be absurd if none of this money could be used to pump prime new local initiatives

But while we wait for his answer more worrying news could be on the way. Postmasters fear that if the Government does not award them the contract for the new Post Office Card Account next year, that could spell the end for a further 3,000 branches nationally.

Instead of just forcing through closures without offering any alternative, what a pity ministers don't plan ahead and look at new ways of retaining some of the most vital services.

With Wandsworth's reputation for low council tax I was delighted to be asked to join the new Mayor's war on waste at City Hall. If I can bring a touch of Wandsworth-style value for money then we might at last begin to see an end to the year-on-year tax hikes that were the hallmark of the previous administration.

Finally Wandsworth and Richmond councils go to the High Court next week trying to win a reduction in early morning flights. We've already proved some of the aircraft at this time of day are simply too noisy to fly. What a shame we have to ask a judge to put right what the transport secretary failed to do.

Edward Lister

May 16, 2008

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