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

Now's the time for elderly residents in Putney to get down to the library in Disraeli Road to collect their new travel passes. The freedom card is funded by London's councils and provides free off-peak travel on buses, tubes and trains in the capital.

It's reckoned to be the biggest free travel scheme of its kind in the country with all 33 London boroughs taking part. Take-up in our borough is one of the highest in London with around 32,500 current card-holders including people with disabilities. Whoever called it the 'freedom' pass knew the value of the scheme to Londoners. It's a great way of helping people to move around their city using public transport.

There's a buzz of excitement at Putney's Hotham School at the moment following a truly inspirational report from inspectors who visited the school in December. The OFSTED team were so taken with the school's sheer energy and vibrancy that they felt moved to refer to its 'buzz' in their formal report.

With adjectives like 'lively' and 'exciting' used to describe lessons it's a terrific boost for the school's highly talented and motivated staff and all the reassurance that any parent would want that their child was attending a school of exceptional quality. We are without doubt blessed with some wonderful schools in Putney. Well done Hotham - you really wowed the inspectors!

These are exciting times too for the young sea cadets who use the council's Ashlone Wharf boathouse on Putney Embankment. This prominent local landmark - once a corporation depot - is home to a youth river club, a sea cadets group and the Chas Newens boatyard.

Work is now under way on a £300,000 revamp, which will pay for extensive structural works as well as new and improved amenities which will benefit all the current users. The new-look premises should be ready by July 2002.


Not such good news on aircraft noise with the emergence of leaked plans for a third runway at Heathrow. Coming so soon after Stephen Byers announced he would be challenging the historic European Court of Human Rights ruling on night flights it looks like the council and anti-noise campaigners could be battling on two fronts.

The council's position is totally clear. We are not anti-airline. We know Heathrow is a big job creator and we know millions of people enjoy the benefits of air travel. It just seems poor planning to concentrate so many flights into one already overcrowded part of the capital. Both on noise and safety grounds it must be time for a serious look at the ambitious proposal for a 24-hour airport in the Thames estuary which would avoid aircraft flying over central London.

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.

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