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

Good news for local parents this month as the new Church of England secondary school at Sutherland Grove, Southfields launched the search for its first head teacher.

It's no exaggeration to describe this as the best head's job in London. After all how often does a head teacher get to start a brand new school from scratch with hand-picked staff in gleaming, state-of-the art buildings?

The first 150 boys and girls will start at the school, St Cecilia's, in September 2003. The admissions process will begin next autumn for primary children currently in year 5.

edward lister Putney

The new school will be especially popular with parents of children at the borough's nine Church of England primaries who currently have to leave the borough for their secondary education.

Good news too for elderly residents in Putney and Roehampton with the announcement of exciting plans by the council in conjunction with Richmond Churches Housing Trust for two new residential developments in Arabella Drive.

One will become the site for a brand new sheltered housing complex for elderly residents with high care needs. The other will house a 45 bed residential care home - all designed to the latest standards and including en-suite bathrooms.

Both new developments will widen the choice of living and care options available for elderly people in the borough.

And finally the prospect of some long-overdue relief for anyone in Putney kept awake by night-time aircraft noise.

A landmark ruling at the European Court of Human Rights in October found that the UK Government had put economic arguments ahead of environmental and quality of life concerns.

The case had been brought to Strasbourg by eight west London residents. They were backed by Wandsworth Council, which helped to raise more than £50,000 towards their legal costs from other councils in London and the south east.

Sadly there is no sign of ministers taking immediate action to limit night flights following the judgment. Indeed it seems more and more likely that the next big announcement will be the official go ahead for Heathrow's Terminal Five.

These are difficult days for the aviation industry. But if events since September 11th have taught us anything it must be that we need to rethink our whole approach to siting airports in built-up areas.

Now more than ever is the time to look afresh at our assumptions on future demand for air travel - and in particular the scope for sharing airport capacity more evenly around the South East.

Edward Lister

You can contact Edward Lister at the Town Hall on 0208 871 6041 or by email at elister@wandsworth.gov.uk

Tony Colman MP for Putney speaks about current local issues