Councillor Lister writes to Putney

the strengths of Putney, Street Pastors and the Post Office....


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Last month the Evening Standard reported that Wandsworth had the best council-run sports facilities of any London borough.

Last year we spent £1.6m upgrading the leisure centre and pool in Dryburgh Road while this summer we opened a new gym at the Barn Elms complex.

You only have to look around to see how fitness-conscious local people are – jogging in Wandsworth Park or on the towpath, playing tennis in Leaders Gardens, or cycling over to Richmond Park for a circuit or two.

It's one of the joys of living in Putney – there are so many choices for a healthy lifestyle.

It's not just in sport that Putney excels.

I was delighted to spend Sunday afternoon at the launch of the new sculpture trail. This is a unique public art initiative which adds interest and vitality to our town.

The pieces were donated by local sculptor Alan Thornhill.
We all know how well all the different arts events involving local people are supported during the year. The Thornhill displays are a lasting symbol of that energy and creativity.

Thanks to the Town Centre Partnership, the Western Riverside Environmental Fund and the council's economic development team for helping to make such a positive statement about Putney.

Over in Wandsworth town centre there's a new scheme about to start which involves leading church members and ministers getting out and about on the street meeting and engaging with young people.

Street pastors make it their mission to seek out the places where young people hang out so they can learn about their problems and the issues they face. It's a genuine community initiative that is starting to take off across London. The council is backing the experiment and will be looking at the potential for extending it to other areas.

Finally, what a shame Post Office bossed had to kill off the imaginative plans for a counter service at St Mary's church. The objection seemed to be that the replacement service might actually have been successful so that other branches would lose business.

I can't help thinking it's a bit late in the day for the Post Office to be expressing concern for the future of their fast-shrinking network.

Edward Lister

September 18, 2008

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