Tony Colman MP for Putney writes

In this week's diary for our MP covers education, World Health Day, Easter & football......

Education, education, education

1.Eddie Lister and the other Conservatives regrettably have refused to reverse the cuts on voluntary groups in Putney at the 31 March Council meeting. Unfortunately he has also refused to do anything about the underfunding of schools by Wandsworth of £0.5million this year (and last year). Perhaps he could justify this in his next column?

2. I am still waiting for South Thames College to explain how they are going to continue to provide Adult Education in Putney. I asked the Council to refuse to consider the change of use for the Putney Hill site until STC had agreed to a Putney pledge: regrettably the councillors did not request the information before they gave permission. I do not believe we should allow this issue to go away.

3. Higher Education Bill and Top Up Fees: I again voted against variable fees at the Report Stage and Third reading of the Bill in the Commons last week - supported in doing so by the local universities and Putney residents. The Bill now goes to the Lords. As I have said before, access to Higher Education must be on the basis of ability, not ability to pay. Variability of fees could lead to fees of £20,000 plus for science degrees. There should be a standard fee for all universities (as there is now). I was particularly moved by the lobby from St Georges Medical School where 3000 doctors are in training in Tooting (but often living in Putney).

World Health Day - 6 April.

1.Smoking ban in Putney pubs and restaurants? I see the Wandsworth Borough News has decided to join the debate. First New York, now Ireland has taken action. Can London be far behind? Perhaps candidates for the GLA could give their views?

2. The theme of world health day this year was, 'Road safety is no accident.' Road humps are a pain for car drivers - but my experience in Merton was a dramatic drop in road injuries after their introduction. I think they should stay - together with mandatory 20mph speed limits near schools.

Easter - and football

I wish all of you a peaceful, thoughtful and joyful break this weekend.

The Chelsea win over Arsenal last Tuesday must have brought joy to their fans in Putney. Easter weekend is the climax of the League programme and you may have noticed my team, Norwich City FC is still top of the Nationwide Division! Come on the Canaries - you're nearly there!

For more information about what I've been up to and how to contact me go to my web site Or just e-mail me with any concerns/problems:

Tony Colman MP

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April 8th, 2004

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