Tony Colman MP for Putney writes

In this week's diary for our MP covers Top up fees, Wandsworth Ctizens Advice Bureaux, Smoking, Cruelty to Animals and Sporting Life.......

Top- Up Fees

The Bill has been published today, 8 January, and needs full analysis. I would welcome constituents letting me know their views on this contentious issue and whether these revised proposals, which I have lobbied for, go far enough.

Wandsworth Citizens Advice Bureaux

I am very concerned to hear that there is a proposed threat to the amount of Wandsworth Council funding for Wandsworth Citizens Advice Bureaux. The CAB currently provides an excellent service from centres in Battersea, Putney and Tooting plus a specialist money service. It is a great shame that Wandsworth Council is threatening this valuable service to many Wandsworth residents. The centres provide a very comprehensive service and amongst those helped are those whose claims for council tax and housing benefit have been mismanaged by Wandsworth Council. I hope that the Council will rethink the cuts proposed - reduced funding will hinder the ability of the Bureaux to continue with their excellent work.

Smoking in Public Places (again)

I read that from 16 February smoking in pubs and restaurants will be banned in the Republic of Ireland: polling there shows 70% in favour.

Cruelty to Animals

I would like to highlight the excellent work of the RSPCA in Putney in dealing with dumped animals particularly after the Christmas and New Year holidays. Cruelty to animals is a problem we should all address - pets are for life and should be treated as such.

Sporting Life

I am sure many of us have New Year's Resolutions to keep fit or take up a new sport. I'd like to take this opportunity to support local initiatives. Firstly I support the Lawn Tennis Association UK Tennis Academy plans for part of the Bank of England Sports Ground in Priory Lane. The Council has passed the planning application and I hope work will start shortly (financed by the sale of the Queen's Club to its members), local schools should benefit too.

The Roslyn Park Sevens competition again this March came under threat but sponsorship has now been found. We should take more pride in Putney to have this first class Rugby Club here.

Yesterday I inspected the proposals for the sliding roof for Centre Court Wimbledon (to be completed 2008). It should mean that the hassle of rained off days leading to extra overnight camping on the roads around SW19 should end.

And lastly, on a personal note, I congratulate my team, Norwich City FC (the Canaries) on leading the First Division of the Football League in 2004.


Tony Colman MP
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January 9th, 2004

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