Fairtrade, Aircraft noise, 24 hour drinking and more

Putney MP Tony Colman keeps us up to date.....

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I do hope that you are all well and braving the cold weather. Remember, if you would like me to represent you in any way, you can call me on 020 7219 2843 or email me on colmant@parliament.uk.

This month my surgeries will be held on:
- Friday 11th March, 3.30-4.30 at Roehampton Library, and 5.30-6.30 at Putney library.
- Saturday, 19th March, 9.00-10.00 at Southfields Library, and 11.00-12.00 at the Penfold Centre.

Fairtrade Fortnight

This month sees the beginning of Fairtrade Fortnight. Fairtrade is an important organisation, which ensures that Third World Producers are guaranteed the very best deal. Fairtrade has gone from strength to strength, and has nearly 800 products on sale - I would really encourage you all to try some of their delicious, and ethical, products! I am always delighted to support any Fairtrade initiatives, so if you are hosting an event, please contact me on colmant@parliament.uk.

Aircraft Noise

I congratulate Wandsworth Council for successfully taking on the government. I have met with Charlotte Atkins MP, Aviation Minister to again press the case against all night flights and further expansion. She was the Deputy Leader of the Opposition on Wandsworth Council, 1984-6, and knows our concerns at first hand.

Smoking Ban

The World Health Organization has introduced its Tobacco Control Treaty. The treaty has been ratified by 57 countries, including the UK, and will set out a programme to reduce the number of people smoking across the world. Under its terms, governments have promised to introduce smoking bans, tobacco advertising restrictions and health warnings on cigarette packets, draw up anti-smuggling strategies and agree to increase tax on tobacco sales. SW15.com readers already know my support for all of this.

The Diana Memorial Award

Schools in our area should be aware of The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Award for Young People. The Award was set up to celebrate the outstanding qualities and achievements of young people aged 12-18. It is a non-academic award, which acknowledges young people's contribution to society. For more information on how your school or community group can get involved visit, www.diana-award.org.uk.

Human Rights Centre, Roehampton University

I congratulate Roehampton University winning the award of £4.5 million for this work which it has been doing for some weeks. Dr. Bales from the University has founded the "Free the Slaves" Movement in the US Congress, and has been the main architect of a ban on the use of child labour in harvesting certain beans in West Africa. The Roehampton University Students Union are having a Human Rights campaigning week in two weeks which will remind us all of their work.

24 Hour Drinking

I have read Eddie Lister's comments on this. The government has taken away decisions on licensing from the magistrates and given it to elected councillors - something I am sure Eddie approves of. Each council can set its own ground rules for licensing and I welcome the restricted hours that Wandsworth Council has proposed.
I do not understand why so much fuss has been about the introduction of democratic local decision making, but perhaps Eddie's comments relate to the possibility of an election soon. I have expressed my strong views on this to the Borough Commander, Joe Royle. This is something MP, leader and Police should be able to unite around in ensuring Putney and Roehampton does not descend into 24 hour drinking.

March 4, 2005