Councillor Lister Writes to Wandsworth Town

the first of many - the Leader of the Council will keep residents up to date

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There was a great turnout for Sunday's Civic Prayer Service at All Saints Church which this year focused on the needs of young people.

We heard about the launch of the new Street Pastors scheme which is coming to the town centre later this year.
Local ministers and senior church members will, after a period of training, be out and about in places like Southside and King George's Park engaging with young people and trying to build a constructive dialogue.

The Wandsworth scheme will build on the first trial in Balham which is being set up by a group of ministers from local churches. It is a terrific example of how communities can reach out to those who feel excluded from society.

As if the queues at the main town centre post office were not long enough already, the proposed closures of nearby branches in Garratt Lane, Trinity Road and Putney Bridge Road can only lead to more frustration for local people.

When the Post Office did their sums, they inexplicably overlooked the current town centre building boom which will generate more demand for counter services from the occupiers of the new homes and offices either planned or under construction.

Work is a now about to start on the Business Village development in Broomhill Road and on the latest phase of Wandsworth Riverside Quarter. With a new round of Hardwicks Way flats under construction and a planning application now in for the Young's site, the town centre could see more than 1,000 new homes in the next few years.

So many Wandsworth residents now work from home and rely on a local branch for picking up packages - it seems incredibly short-sighted of Post Office bosses to be cutting back on an already stretched local service.

There's lots of debate at the moment of course about the impact of the credit crunch and other economic pressures on property values.

Encouragingly, investors' confidence in the rejuvenated town centre remains high and with the low Wandsworth council tax assuming even greater significance for new buyers and renters there's plenty of reasons to be upbeat about the future.

A stroll along the changing Wandsworth riverfront in the welcome Spring sunshine shows the vitality that comes when people start moving into newly regenerated areas. Some parts have been closed off to the public for 100 years or more but today's investment is helping to create the new communities that are essential to the continuing transformation of our town centre.

Councillor Edward Lister

Leader of the Council

April 22, 2008