Tileman House, Putney Bridge & The Thames And Unemployment

Labour's man Stuart King writes to Putney

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Tileman House
Earlier this month the community scored a huge victory when the Tileman House overdevelopment plans were unanimously rejected by councillors . In recent months the local campaign against overdevelopment, which I'm proud to have played a small part in, has turned back two attempts over Tileman House, Putney Place , the 42-storey Clapham Junction towers and the Ram Brewery site approved and heavily backed by the Conservative Council has been called-in for review by the Labour Government.

It's remarkable how far, and how fast we've changed the political landscape on these issues. Only a few weeks ago, Conservative Councillors were delivering letters in East Putney clearly articulating the developer's case for Tileman House. Now we have unanimous rejection of the plan and even Putney's Conservative MP has belatedly recognised that until we have a comprehensive Plan for Putney we're never going to be able to rest easy that overdevelopment plans won't keep rearing their ugly heads.

Although there are still more of these threats facing Putney and Roehampton; not least Capsticks and Danebury Avenue , I suspect I'm not alone in hoping that the community's valiant work has turned the tide in our favour.

Thames & Putney Bridge
The sewage spillage at Chiswick in July caused a lot of damage to the Thames downstream here in Putney, and I've been chasing up Thames Water to find out whether their plans for the Tideway Tunnel will help prevent such problems in future. Click here to read their reply .

And several of you have been complaining rightly about the neglect of Putney Bridge ; specifically the council's failure to maintain the lighting. I've been concerned about the bridge for a while now ; there is a fairly serious problem of water penetration within the bridge structure which the council has been aware of for years but has failed to address and we may have finally discovered why .

Finally, I wanted to talk about one of the big issues that's facing Britain and Putney: unemployment. Our area has not been immune from the global recession but the crumb of comfort we can take is that Putney is in a far stronger position to rebound than it was in previous recessions. Even today at the depth of our recession, unemployment in Putney is 30% lower than it was when Labour was elected in 1997.

But unemployment is a personal blight for every single person it affects, which is why I am committed to keeping a new generation of school-leavers and graduates off the unemployment scrap heap.

This September, for the first time in UK history, we're guaranteeing every 16 year-old who wants it a place at Sixth Form, in further education or on an apprenticeship. We're creating internships so that those who can't find work can experience and gain contacts in the sector they hope to win employment in eventually. The Future Jobs Fund is targeting the long term young unemployed: any young person out of work for a year or more is guaranteed work or training for at least six months.

I support these policies 100% and am sure they will help today's Putney school leavers make the most of the opportunities available to them.

Stuart King

February 22, 2010