Putney Christmas Market, the Half Moon Oyster cards & more ....
Congratulations to all those involved in organising last Friday's event in Church Square which marked the switching on of the Christmas lights. It was a team effort involving the council, Putney Partnership and supported by Chesterton Humberts Estate Agents, Russell-Cooke Solicitors, Scotts Surveyors, Virgin Active, Putney Society, Putney Rotary, La Mancha and Craftwork Interiors. There were lots more stalls this year which made it a great occasion for the many town centre shoppers who dropped by to join in the festivities.
Not such warming news for live music fans who will have been shocked to learn that the Half Moon may have to close in the New Year. The pub is a stalwart of the annual Putney Music Festival which coincides with the Boat Race weekend and has been putting on bands for almost 50 years. My fellow councillor Jim Maddan recalls seeing the Stones play there more than 40 years ago. The best way to show your support for this Putney landmark is to get down to the Lower Richmond Road in the coming weeks for a music night.
One of the big struggles in the High Street in recent years has been containing the spread of amusement arcades. Most recently we have been concerned at a proposal by the operator to subdivide premises at 152 Putney High Street . This was a ploy to get round the restrictions on the number of high value gaming machines at any one site. Thankfully after pressure from local councillors the application has been withdrawn.
Also in the High Street the council is keen to crack down on the often intrusive activities of so-called ‘chuggers' or charity fundraisers. These try to persuade shoppers to divulge personal details like bank accounts and obstruct already crowded pavements. It's particularly frustrating because the Charities Act 2006 ought to give local authorities the powers to say where and when these groups should operate. Unfortunately the Government is dragging its heels in implementing the key part of the legislation so the council is now trying to get the national bodies round the table so that it can agree some common sense controls for local town centres.
Finally it was back in 2006 that the council launched a campaign across south London for Oyster pre-pay to be accepted on rail services. It's been a particular problem for us because we depend so much on overland rail to get around town. Now the Mayor Boris Johnson has delivered on his promise which means that from January south Londoners will have the same freedom of travel around the capital's transport network as people living north of the river. All of a sudden using Putney station is going to become a lot simpler.
December 3, 2009
Edward Lister is the Leader of Wandsworth Council and a member for Putney's Thamesfield ward.