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

edward lister Putney
Cllr Edward Lister


One of the most pleasant evenings I have spent recently was in the company of Rob Dark and the Friends of Putney School of Art and Design.

This popular centre has gone from strength to strength under the management of Ray Barker who came in when the council took over from South Thames College. The building had been unforgivably under-used by our predecessors. But worse than that we were left with not a single book in the library.

All that has changed now. In just two years the number of students enrolled has gone up from 750 to almost 1200. We have extended provision into the "twilight hours" of the late afternoon, into school holiday periods, and at weekends - and we now have a fully-stocked library!

We could not have done this without the help of the Friends who together with the school have raised around £6,000 from the council's libraries and private individuals.

The result is a Library now boasting more than 1,000 books. It means that tutors can show students up to date, good colour reproductions of works of art and design. They can use the best modern text books to help demonstrate techniques in drawing, painting, print-making, pottery and on computer.

We still have many more exciting plans for the school. We are about to invest £200,000 in a roof-top studio. This will enable it to live up to the name of School of Art and Design - as with an extra studio we can offer computer-aided design courses.

Also new in Putney is our refurbished and rejuvenated leisure centre in Dryburgh Road.

Completed at a cost of £2.5m the centre now boasts a sparkling new reception and foyer, an extended gym on three floors, new changing facilities for men and women, a refurbished sauna and spa as well as new heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

The new-look centre was formally opened this week - it's well worth a visit!

Finally a word of praise for our local primary schools which all scored well in the national league tables published last week. Putney parents really do enjoy some of the best schools in the borough. All Saints, Putney Common and Our Lady of Victories, Clarendon Drive were at the top with all pupils achieving the national standard in this summer's tests in English, maths and science.

Not far behind were other excellent local schools like Brandlehow, Our Lady Queen of Heaven, St Mary's, Hotham and Roehampton CE all delivering superb results.

With good local secondary school choices at ADT College and Elliott - and the new St Cecilia's at Sutherland Grove opening in 2003 - there's never been a better time for education in Putney.

Edward Lister

You can contact Edward Lister at the Town Hall on 0208 871 6041 or by email at

Recent visit to the Leisure Centre was less than enjoyable - see forum.

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Tony Colman MP for Putney speaks about current local issues