An update from your local ward councillors
Welcome to the Winter 2018-19 e-Newsletter from your East Putney Councillors
Ravi breaks new ground – literally!
East Putney Councillor and Council Leader Ravi Govindia has broken quite a lot of new ground as our Council Leader, but he was doing it literally in January in Putney Vale, as he joined builders starting a £7 million construction of 21 new council homes - part the Council’s drive to build 1000 new homes on council land, mostly for low-cost rent or shared-ownership with the Council. East Putney’s Kersfield Estate is also being consulted about joining the 1000-homes drive, with 37 homes potentially added there by extending existing blocks.
At Putney Vale, half the 21 new homes will be for low cost rent and half will be adapted to enable residents with physical and learning disabilities to live independently. Ravi said: “We also aim for this project to help provide training and employment opportunities for local people, with on-site apprenticeships, work experience placements and structured training programmes. We aim to have at least 10% of the workforce drawn from people living in Wandsworth.”
Have your say about two planning applications
(1) Your Councillors are keen for residents to have their say about two current planning applications.
There is a further application to build a 699-seater ‘Palmhouse’ Pergola-style restaurant, bar and music venue on the roof of Putney Exchange on the High Street, within the rooftop car park. The proposal would remove over 40 parking spaces. An application to build this venue was withdrawn last year, but has now been re-submitted with adjustments which the developer hopes can address residents’ concerns.
Cllr Sarah Binder said: “While I support projects offering new and exciting attractions in Putney, I’m concerned that this proposal is in some ways excessive and could do with more thought about how the different users of Putney Exchange will need to be catered for, especially in relation to parking, access and noise. It’s important for residents who use our High Street to have their say.”
You can comment at the Council's planning page; search for application no. 2019/0124. The deadline for your comments is 14 February.
(2) At London Square, 119 Upper Richmond Road, there is a proposal for a ground floor unit to be occupied by the Toolstation shop with its standard logos and signs (application no. 2018/6192) and a linked application for Toolstation to open from 6am instead of the permitted 8am (no. 2018/5934).
Cllr Ravi Govindia said: “London Square is an exceptional new development, and we all want the ground floors of these developments to add to the vibrancy of Putney town. What do you think about this proposal - do you think it is good for our town centre? Please give us your views.”
You can comment at the Council's planning page; search on the application numbers. The deadline for comments on the signage is 14 February, although comments may now be closed on the 6am opening application.
Gym application rejected
Meanwhile residents at Estate House on Upper Richmond Road were relieved to learn that the Council has rejected an application for a 24-hour gym on the site of the old Carpetright store at 225 Upper Richmond Road.
Cllr George Crivelli said: “Estate House residents were concerned about the potential for patrons attending the gym at all hours. This posed a risk of disturbance for residents living above the gym as patrons came and went, and also of noise from patrons using the gym equipment. Planning permission was refused on the grounds that the proposed use was unacceptable on a secondary frontage within a town centre.”
Have your say on Heathrow
Councillor Ravi Govindia is urging any East Putney residents concerned about noise from additional flights to respond to a current ‘Airspace and Future Operations’ consultation by Heathrow Airport, which is open till 4 March. The consultation document is at www.heathrowconsultation.com and an online postcode checker shows residents if their home is likely to experience noise from arrivals and departures at an expanded airport.
Ravi said: “A third Heathrow runway will mean an extra 260,000 flights a year, yet the people most likely to be affected were kept in the dark while the decision was going through Parliament. Now people all around the airport can see what could be in store for them. I urge any resident concerned about Heathrow expansion to check their postcode and tell Heathrow just how unacceptable the risk of additional noise would be.
Heathrow are now trying to squeeze in extra 25,000 flights, which will be a taste of things to come - more early morning arrivals and more people affected. The airport’s current limit is 480,000 movements a year. The proposal to add 25,000 flights on existing runways - before a third runway is even open - would breach this limit. Most of the extra movements are expected to be before 6am and 7am, with up to 25 extra arrivals in this period. The Council will oppose this and continue to challenge the false prospectus on which the third runway is based.”
Residents can also hear more about the proposed Heathrow expansion at a public meeting organised by our Putney MP Justine Greening, at 7pm on 20 February 2019 at the Community Church in Werter Road.
New road surfaces
Four of our East Putney streets look set to get new road surfaces during 2019-20. Your Councillors will be supporting residents in bringing the Council’s ongoing paving and roadworks programme to Findon Way, Lebanon Gardens, Woodlands Way and Chepstow Close, with new highway resurfacing.
Cllr Sarah Binder said: “We are investing heavily in keeping our roads and pavements looking good, to make cycling, driving and walking safer for residents. Since April 2012, we have invested some £15 million in fixing over 35,000 potholes and keeping more than 230 miles of road surface in good repair.”
Don’t forget that residents can also report potholes or broken pavements via www.wandsworth.gov.uk/potholes or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good news for council estates
Your Council has earmarked £450 million for council estate improvements over the next four years, with an extra £90 million for repairs and improvements, regenerating estates and building 1000 new homes on council land.
East Putney’s Melrose Court is one of many properties set to benefit, with a brand new roof and windows. Improvements to other estates include upgrades to lighting, heating, security, lifts and boilers.
The Council also plans to reduce council rents by at least 1% from April, across Wandsworth’s average weekly council rent of £125, which compares to an average rent of £216 in Wandsworth’s private sector.
Tenants and leaseholders in some 3,000 properties with communal boiler systems are also set to see their heating and hot water bills either reduced or held at current levels during the next financial year, due to the Council buying its gas supplies in advance at very competitive rates. Last year bills fell by 5% and the year before by 10%. Buying energy this way has led to big cost savings in these properties; for example bills in 2-bedroom homes have more than halved over the last 10 years, while costs for other domestic energy customers have increased by about 20%.
Cllr Ravi Govindia said: “We have a long record of investing heavily in our housing estates to ensure that our residents live in good quality accommodation. These plans mean we will go on doing that, while careful management of taxpayers’ money means we can also reduce costs for our tenants on low incomes in affordable and social rent properties.”
Anti social behaviour
Cllr George Crivelli has raised with council officers and local police problems with anti social behaviour at the Putney Old Burial Ground on Upper Richmond Road. George said: “Several residents at Percy Laurie House told me people were drinking and playing music in the Burial Ground into the early hours of the morning, disturbing nearby residents. This sort of behaviour is totally unacceptable and a tremendous nuisance to people who have been woken at all hours by drunken shouting and blaring music. Since April 2017, the Parks Police have issued 14 written warnings, including evictions from the Burial Ground, and they have now increased their patrols to prevent this anti-social behaviour. If residents continue to experience this nuisance, they can contact the Parks Police so that they can deal with it.”
The Parks Police can be contacted on General Enquiries: 0208 871 7532 / Patrolling mobile: 07500 959442.
Small Business Saturday
East Putney Cllrs George Crivelli and Sarah Binder were out and about with other Wandsworth Cllrs in Putney High Street in December, supporting our annual Small Business Saturday, run by the Council with our Business Improvement District, Positively Putney.
Cllr Sarah Binder said: “Small independent local businesses are vital to our Hi gh Street and offer great service to our community. Research has found that of every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business, 63p stays in the local economy, compared to 40p with a larger business – so it makes sense to ‘shop local’. To help residents find their local independent shops, the Council has produced a colourful new guide. It includes plenty of Putney shops, and it would be great if you could support them.”
You can download the Council’s Specialist Independent Shops Directory here.
Less Mosque traffic
At the January meeting of the Mosque Liason Committee, attended by local residents and Mosque representatives, members heard that the Mosque envisages less congestion and traffic in and around Gressenhall Road when the Caliph moves to a new site near Farnham this year.
Cllr George Crivelli, who chairs the Committee said: “The building work in Telford is expected to finish mid-2019, and it’s likely that the Caliph and his secretariat relocating there will reduce the number of worshippers at the Gressenhall Road Mosque, as quite a number choose to attend there because of the presence of the Caliph. This should potentially ease issues around parking and congestion.”
George added that the Mosque is working hard to address inconsiderate parking by attendees, and also has an effective litter-picking team that has managed to reduce litter in Gressenhall Road. Other topics discussed included local issues relating to crime, speeding motorists and zebra crossings.
Plastic bottle lids and metal jar tops - now recyclable!
Until now, Wandsworth recyclers have had to take plastic lids off plastic bottles before recycling the bottles. The good news is you can now leave the lids on – as long as you squash the bottles before they go into your recycling. Our Smugglers Way recycling plant can now handle plastic bottle tops, but the bottle must be squashed to stop the lid from firing off when bottles are compacted at the plant. Squashing also gets more into your recycling bin!
You can also now recycle metal lids, like jar lids, but please separate them from the glass bottle or jar. As well as plastic bottles (including detergent or shampoo bottles), Smugglers Way can recycle plastic trays (e.g. microwave meal trays); plastic tubs (e.g. ice cream or margarine tubs) and plastic pots (e.g. yoghurt or cream pots) – but please remove any plastic film and rinse off the worst of the food residue.
Cllr Sarah Binder said: “This all helps to reduce plastic waste, but please remember that we can’t recycle plastics like cling film, plastic coffee cups, cereal liners and carrier bags, though you can recycle carrier bags at larger supermarkets. You can find out more about reducing your waste at the re-vamped website of our contractor, Western Riverside.”
Grit for roads and pavements
If snow and ice return this winter, your Council will be busy keeping roads and pavements clear and slip-free. Gritting lorries have already spread 20 tonnes of rock salt on our main roads, while busy pavements and footpaths are looked after by a gritting team drawing on a stockpile of 4000 tonnes of salt. The job covers some 230 miles of road and 450 miles of pavements.
The Council has also supplied grit bags to 200 Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators, and you can help yourself at 55 local grit bins.
To find your nearest grit bin, click ‘grit bins’ under maps.wandsworth.gov.uk
Beautiful landmark lit up
Finally, the famous clock tower at St Mary’s Church is now illuminated by night, thanks to a levy that the Council charges local property developers to fund infrastructure projects for the community. The levy paid for low energy eco-friendly LED floodlights to illuminate the bell tower and west chapel, which dates from the 16th century.
Cllr George Crivelli said,“The lighting makes this beautiful landmark beside Putney Bridge even more prominent, and makes a great addition to the night time landscape. This is just one project in a £640,000 package we have in the pipeline to make the High Street more attractive, by also improving traffic flows, making it safer and raising air quality standards.”
Cllrs Ravi Govindia CBE, George Crivelli & Sarah Binder
February 11, 2019