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



Anyone who thought libraries were just places where you borrowed books will be in for a shock when they look at the plans for the remodelling of Roehampton Library. The £400,000 refit will transform the Danebury Avenue premises into a modern library and centre for learning.

For young adults the focus will be on basic skills training. A new generation of library user will be attracted by modern, state of the art facilities including 15 computer terminals with specialist guidance provided by a team of trained tutors.

For too many young people a trip to the library can be a turn off. But with youth unemployment on the estate at one of the highest levels in the borough a library based in the heart of the community is a vital learning resource that we need to use to the full.

One look at the plans put forward by developers for new homes on the garden centre site in Dryburgh Road will be enough for many people to judge that this scheme is just too big.

The land was marketed on the basis of a planning consent for 10 apartments or five houses. The applicant wants to increase this to 14 flats. Size is just one issue. There will also be concerns about the quality of the development and its relationship to surrounding properties in the conservation area.

The proposals come before the council's planning committee next month. I shall be urging members to reject the scheme and in so doing force the developer back to the drawing board.

Two cheers for environment minister Michael Meacher this week with his promise to double fines for litter bugs and fly tippers and at the same time allow councils (who employ the litter wardens) to keep the income.

What we now await is confirmation that the Government intends to stiffen the law so that wardens have the power to require an offender to give his or her name and address when challenged. Without this change it will remain difficult for councils to issue on the spot fines to people observed dropping litter on the street.

The council is certainly doing its bit already. The Times newspaper reported last week that our street care team was responsible for around three quarters of the fines issued last year in the entire country!
Let's hope the minister's announcement encourages councils in other parts of London to raise their game.

The furore over the planned closure of Richmond Park's Robin Hood Gate (now thankfully postponed following the council's intervention) and its impact on traffic in Roehampton has masked the equally outrageous attempt to stop people driving to the heart of the park.

Shutting off the Pen Ponds car park is a spiteful act that will put this part of the park off limits to many elderly visitors as well as mothers with young children who will have great difficulty making this journey on foot.

Just who do the Royal Parks Agency think the park is for?

Edward Lister
Leader of the Council

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

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