|Councillor Lister writes to Putney|
Sewage from Mogden, Heathrow, Crossrail & more ....
Putney councillors have been pressing Thames Water to bring forward a planned extension of the sewage works at Mogden on the Twickenham and Isleworth borders. The company now says that works will be completed by 2012. The new plant will limit the sewage discharges into the Thames in times of heavy rainfall which have caused so many fish to die. The cleanliness of the river is also a vital concern for Putney's long-established rowing and sailing community.
After many long months of campaigning could it be that the battle to prevent a third runway at Heathrow is about to reach a successful conclusion? Next year's general election should settle the matter once and for all. Both main opposition parties have made it crystal clear that they will block further expansion – all of which leaves the current government looking increasingly isolated on this vital quality of life issue for south-west London .
Next Tuesday, September 29, sees the latest in a series of town centre events aimed at helping local businesses through the recession. The seminar, which has been organised by the council and the town centre partnership, takes place at St Mary's Church from 5.45pm. It will include sessions on how to raise finance for your business and improving retail sales. Contact the town centre manger for details at firstname.lastname@example.org
As if coping with the recession and soaring rates bills was not enough, businesses in Putney have emerged as among the worst affected by the planned Crossrail levy. Under current proposals now out for consultation more than 800 medium-sized firms in the borough could be asked to pay up to £2,000 extra a year for the next 20 years or more to help fund the cross-London link. Those based in Putney's Thamesfield ward which covers most of the town centre north of Upper Richmond Road are particularly badly hit. The council has told the Mayor that the scale of the levy and its impact on local firms is out of all proportion with the benefits Crossrail might bring to this part of London .
Wandsworth Council has long campaigned for the right to set the local business rate itself – instead of this being done nationally. Just as our policy of low council tax has helped to make buying a property in the borough a good investment so an equally aggressive policy of low taxes for business could give us an edge in the high street. There's no reason why every council should be the same – authorities like Wandsworth with a track record of supporting business should be entrusted with these powers for their area.
Finally two more dates for local diaries: First I'll be at the Thamesfield ward report meeting at the London Rowing Club on the Embankment on October 13 to answer your questions on local issues. The meeting starts at 7.30pm. Then, on November 9, Putney School of Art returns to its newly refurbished home in Oxford Road. The changes include a new studio offering lots more opportunities for students on visual arts courses and a new lift to all floors. Keep an eye on the website at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/psad
September 25, 2009
Edward Lister is the Leader of Wandsworth Council and a member for Putney's Thamesfield ward.