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

Wandsworth's council tax remains the lowest average figure in the country - despite the best efforts of the Mayor of London and the
Government to pass on more and more of their own taxes to our residents.

In almost three quarters of the London boroughs next year's council tax bill will top £1,000 for a Band D property. The Wandsworth figure is £580.

Ministers have of course carefully manipulated the grant system this year so more money goes to the north. Wandsworth has suffered worse than most. The borough's government grant increase was just 3.5 per cent
- the lowest amount possible. It means a difference to Wandsworth of £6
million compared to other councils.

The shortfall means the council is having to find money from elsewhere to meet nationally agreed costs for teachers. These have gone up by 10% including wages, employers' national insurance contributions and pension costs.

The flow of money out of London will continue next year - taking the current losses up to a maximum of £106m of which Wandsworth's share could be as high as £17m.

The grants carve-up means all the London councils are having to charge more. And every single one of us also has to charge a band D householder £224 just to meet the cost of the Mayor's spending.

There is one other pressure which the Government will find it increasingly difficult to ignore. Falling stock markets have left their mark on pension funds everywhere. Our own is showing an estimated deficit of £70m. We have been prudent in putting extra money aside (£6m next year) to tackle this shortfall.

These are the external forces that have combined to push up our council tax bill this year by £182. This compares with a London average rise of £161. We could have contained our increase by ignoring the pension timebomb - which is what most London councils have done - but
then this would hardly be the mark of a prudent council.

We are committed to keeping our bills as low as is sensibly possible. But no council, particularly in London, can protect its residents from the full force of the changes now taking place in local
government funding.

Edward Lister

3 March 2003

There's not a council in the country that looks after its residents' money as carefully as Wandsworth........Cllr Lister's Diary

New school, new homes and a new-look park in 2003 ......Cllr Lister's New Year Message

A week of great achievements as both the Council and many of Putney's schools exceed in their individual grading systems. Whilst the failure of a resident management organisation (RMO) gives the Council concern.......Cllr Lister's Diary

Cllr Lister is not cheered by the Queens Speech nor the Chancellor's pre-budget statement..........Cllr Lister's Diary

Cllr Lister's Diary declares war on fly posters, and draws our attention to Connexions investment in Roehampton.

anti-third runway meeting bonfires and planning alert system.........Cllr Lister's Diary

Busy October 2002..........Cllr Lister's Diary .

Redevelopment of Roehampton Rec, the completion of Ashlone Wharf plus taking up the baton for a link between the Rail station & East Putney Tube........Cllr Lister's Diary .

Local impact of government housing policy, crime and news on Richmond Park...... Cllr Lister's Diary .

New Surgeries - a new ways to meet your councillor plus the Leader expresses his concerns over the news of gun crimes in Putney ..... Cllr Lister's Diary

Jubilee celebrations, the 3 star service offered by Social Services and name change for Lavatory Gardens ...Cllr Lister's Diary.

The state of the NHS in Putney and the fight against night flights ....Cllr Lister's Diary

Pedestrian safety - especially around schools and Neighbourhood watch .... Cllr Lister's diary


Church cheer, wharf worries and Richmond Park relief - Cllr Lister's diary.

Cllr Lister speaks against the Dryburgh Rd plans, the threat of closing Pen Ponds to traffic and litter.

The Postal Service, Richmond Park and Council Tax changes are all on Cllr Lister agenda.

Cllr Lister comments on the current planning furore, pigeon mess, cctv and policing.

Cllr Lister writes on Pensioners Freedom Passes, good news re Hotham School, development progress at Ashlone Wharf and aircraft noise from Heathrow Airport.

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

Cllr Lister writes on the new school for the area, housing development and Heathrow.

Cllr Lister writes on developments at the Putney School of Art & Design, The Leisure Centre and the excellent league results for local schools.

Tony Colman MP for Putney speaks about current local issues