Tony Colman MP for Putney writes

schools in Putney, bus routes, cinema hours plus an update on the WTO meeting in Cancun

Schools in Putney

Three weeks into the term and my post bag is silent on the subject of school funding. It seems that teachers and pupils are all in place after a very difficult period. I hope that Charles Clarke and his department will be working closely with Wandsworth Council to ensure that the 2004/5 budget does not cause further problems.

I am very glad the Council have now agreed to move to a system in which applicants have to prioritise their choice of school - this is overdue but very welcome. The anguish I felt as a parent in the current lottery application process only came to an end in June, when my son finally found a place at the new St Cecila's School.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the hard work of St Cecila's teachers for ensuring that the new school has got straight into the swing and that pupils are settling in quickly.

However, I am disturbed by proposals to close more primary schools in the borough. While I understand the economic argument it is important that young children should be able to find school places locally. So far there are no plans to close primary schools in Putney but I will be pressing for an assurance of no closures in our area.

The WTO meeting in Cancun

The WTO talks were not a success, however, they were also not a total failure. The Doha Development Round is planned to deliver trade justice for developing countries and completion date was set at January 2005. Cancun was a staging post. The next meeting will be in December this year - and I hope that all parties can move closer together by then.

Cinema Hours

A license application notice has gone up at the temporary south side entrance to the Arndale Shopping Centre. The application is for Cine UK, the new Multiplex operator, to have an extended exhibition licence - to 1am Sunday-Thursday and 3am (Friday -Saturday). While I am all for people having access to entertainment I am worried that these late screenings will have a detrimental impact in such a residential area. I am opposing these closing times and propose 11pm and 12 midnight respectively.

If you agree, do write to object, to the Head of Environmental Services, 78 Garratt Lane, SW18 4DJ.

Bus Routes

Transport for London have begun the bus route tendering programme for 2005/6. I want to ensure that Putney has better transport links. I believe bus services have improved over the last couple of years but we still have some way to go. Routes involved in the tendering process in Wandsworth are 19,249, G1, 280, 220, 295. We have until the 19th of November to respond. If any Putney residents would like to comment on these routes (particularly on structure/frequencies) please contact me and I can pass these points on to Transport for London.

Tony Colman MP

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September 26th, 2003

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