East Putney

Welcome to the Sprint 2019 e-Newsletter from your East Putney Councillors

Please feel free to forward this e-Newsletter to any East Putney residents who may be interested.

To join our circulation list, please emailheretohelp@wandsworthconservatives.co.uk

To contact your Councillors:

Cllr Ravi Govindia: rgovindia@wandsworth.gov.uk

Cllr George Crivelli: Cllr.G.Crivelli@wandsworth.gov.uk

Cllr Sarah Binder: cllr.s.binder@wandsworth.gov.uk


Hammersmith Bridge closure ‘seriously bad news’, says Ravi

The sudden and “indefinite” closure of Hammersmith Bridge by Hammersmith and Fulham Council, citing safety concerns, has disrupted traffic on local roads and caused severe congestion on other river crossings.

East Putney Cllr and Wandsworth Council Leader Ravi Govindia said: “This is seriously bad news, especially for our residents living near Putney and Wandsworth Bridges. The problems with Hammersmith Bridge are very well known and have led to numerous closures over the past decade. This has not suddenly emerged out of the blue, so Londoners will rightly ask why Hammersmith and Fulham Council have allowed the bridge to deteriorate so much that it must now be closed without warning. Neighbouring communities should not be suffering from the failure of Hammersmith & Fulham Council to get a grip on this long-standing problem; they have a major responsibility to get the bridge repaired and reopened.”

Wandsworth transport chiefs are talking urgently with TfL to try to managetraffic flows and diversions, to cushion as far as possible residents living on the Putney and Wandsworth Bridge approaches. Our Council is also closely monitoring the impact on air quality around Putney High Street.

Our MP Justine Greening has set up a petition urging Hammersmith and Fulham Council to get the bridge reopened as soon as possible. You can sign it by clicking here.

For information about the closure, see Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s website.

Pedestrians and cyclists can still cross the bridge, but bus routes 33, 72, 209, 419, 485 and 609 are disrupted. Passengers can check for updates on the TfL website or at @TfLBusAlerts on Twitter.

Motorists can get up to date travel information at www.tfl.gov.uk/trafficnews or via Twitter @TfLTrafficNews.


Putney Pergola - Palmhouse

On 25 April the Council Planning Committee narrowly approved the application for a ‘Palmhouse’ restaurant and drinking venue on the rooftop of Putney Exchange Shopping Centre.

Cllr Sarah Binder said: “I know a number of residents were concerned about this and were pleased when the previous application was withdrawn last year. They will be disappointed that the Planning Committee decided to support this application. The Palmhouse will have capacity for 700 patrons, operating from 12 noon-11pm most days and 12 noon-11.30pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

“I am concerned that licensed premises of this type could potentially lead to more congestion on the High Street and anti social behaviour. With a venue this size local residents are rightly concerned about the noise and disturbance that could be created when customers disperse.  The next stage is for the Licensing Committee to evaluate whether the Palmhouse should be granted a licence. Along with other Council colleagues we will be working to ensure that the licensing committee is fully aware of residents’ concerns about the potentially negative impact on the local neighbourhood from this type of late night drinking venue.”




Heathrow disappointment

Cllr Ravi Govindia has expressed his dismay at the High Court’s failure to quash the Government’s Airport National Policy Statement (ANPS) on Heathrow expansion.

Ravi said: “Today’s ruling is hugely disappointing for Londoners. It shows that the Government can drive through expansion plans without properly considering the full environmental and health impacts. But this is not yet over. A third runway still faces enormous legal obstacles, particularly around air pollution.”

Wandsworth and four other Councils, Hillingdon, Hammersmith and Fulham, Richmond upon Thames and Windsor and Maidenhead, had asked the High Court for a judicial review of the Government’s decision to build a third Heathrow runway. Joined by the Mayor of London and Greenpeace, they argued that it would mean demolishing thousands of homes, greatly increasing road traffic and making life noisier and unhealthier for millions of Londoners.

The court refused a judicial review essentially because at this policy stage the decision to support a third runway at Heathrow need only meet a low level of judicial scrutiny.

But Ravi added: “There will be another stage where the damage to life, health and the environment will be more closely scrutinised. Objections must be heard then and any decision to approve it will be open to challenge through the courts. We will continue to explore every possible avenue to protect our residents from the health and environmental consequences of a third runway.”

The councils say a new runway would run a very high risk of breaching air quality limits, and as there is still no evidence as to how air quality obligations can be satisfied, this makes it increasingly unlikely that a third runway could ever be built and opened.

Smart bins

East Putney is to be one of the areas taking part in the Council’s 12-month trial of new ‘smart’ bins.

Cllr George Crivelli said: “Lytton Grove will have a smart bin installed, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this develops. These bins are fitted with a sensor that alerts the Council’s waste team when they are full, which means collection teams can focus on the ones that need emptying. Eleven smart bins will be installed throughout the borough and they have great potential to ensure Wandsworth’s bins are emptied more efficiently. We’ll be watching keenly to see how the trial works.”

Tackling rat running

A 6-month pilot scheme to deter rat runners is being used to stop motorists at peak times from leaving the A3 at Tibbet’s Corner and using residential streets to avoid traffic queues going down to Wandsworth. One of the roads worst affected by the rat running was Granville Road in East Putney.

Since the end of March, motorists have been banned from turning left from Wimbledon Parkside into Withycombe Road and the northern end of Inner Park Road from 7am-10am. The aim is to keep traffic on the main West Hill trunk road and deter motorists from cutting through quiet back roads. Cameras are being used to ensure drivers obey the restrictions.

Cllr Sarah Binder said: “Residents were concerned about the volume and speed of traffic in several residential streets. Studies showed that much of this traffic was not local - drivers were cutting through these roads to avoid queues on the A3 from Tibbet’s Corner. Some residents have already said the pilot scheme is having a positive impact. The views of local people will determine whether we make it permanent, so I urge residents to take part in the survey and give us their opinion on the pilot scheme.”

Residents can register their views athttps://haveyoursay.citizenspace.com/wandsworthecs/west-hill-19

we will make the changes permanent.”



Street trees blooming!

East Putney is enjoying its annual spring display of blossom as Wandsworth’s many street trees start blooming. Over the last two winters, about 1,000 new trees have been planted on the borough’s pavements, with more planted on housing estates and in parks. East Putney has received 51 of these new street trees, six of them in Kersfield Road alone. Another 200 street trees will be planted next winter. The species include London plane, cherry, lime, pear, crab apple, rowan, oak, hazel, whitebeam, maple, hornbeam and birch.

The Council looks after more than 60,000 trees in its parks, commons and open spaces and around 16,000 grow on our residential streets and housing estates.

Cllr Ravi Govindia said: “We aim to make Wandsworth one of inner London’s leafiest boroughs, and our planting programme over the last two winters has been our biggest ever. Many of our street trees are monitored by local tree wardens - residents who work with the Council to look out for the health and well-being of their neighbourhood trees. I’d like to thank everyone who helps us to look after our trees.”

If you’d like to become a tree warden, you can email Wandtreeward@aol.com


London Mosque Liaison Committee

The London Mosque Liaison Committee held its latest meeting in April at the Gressenhall Road Mosque, with Mosque members and other local residents discussing issues around parking and the Mosque redevelopment.

Cllr George Crivelli, who chaired the meeting, said: “Members were updated about the relocation of the Caliph and the construction proposals at the Mosque by Akram Ahmedi, National Vice President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association. The Caliph, Hazrat Mirza Masoor Ahmad, has recently moved to his new accommodation at Tilford in Surrey. The Mosque anticipates that this will mean fewer worshippers coming to Gressenhall Road, which will potentially address local residents’ concerns about congestion and parking.

“Meanwhile we heard that the Gressenhall Road Mosque will continue to be the HQ for the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, and Mosque representatives said early 2021 is the most likely start time for the Mosque redevelopment, which will include a new multi-purpose hall.”



More electric vehicle sockets on street lights

Another 220 charging sockets have been fitted to street lights as part of a £400,000 project to deliver up to 900 street charging points across the borough. The latest sockets have been fitted to lamp posts in partnership with Siemens and the leading charging provider ubitricity. Electric vehicle owners can either use a special Ubitricity cable that comes with the customer’s own electricity tariff, or a standard cable for pay-as-you-go.

East Putney so far has 9 lamp post sockets in Carlton Drive, Galveston Road and Merton Road. Charging at street lights doesn’t impact on parking, as parking spaces next to them can be used by both electric and non-electric vehicles.

Another electric charging company, Source London, is also providing about 200 charging points around the borough, and there are others at supermarkets and petrol stations.

Wandsworth has one of London’s highest electric vehicle take up rates; the number bought by Wandsworth residents has grown from 127 at the end of 2015 to about 800 today, rising by around 10% every three months. This suggests some 6,000 electric vehicles will be registered in the borough by 2025, but with more charging points, it could be nearer 10,000. The Council’s cars and vans are also being replaced by electric versions.

Cllr Sarah Binder said: “Providing the right infrastructure makes it easier for people to go electric, reducing vehicle emissions and helping to improve air quality. By creating such an extensive network of charging points we are removing one of the biggest hurdles people face in thinking of changing from petrol or diesel to electric.”




Sadness at Debenhams closure

Cllr Ravi Govindia has expressed his regret that Debenhams in Wandsworth Southside is one of the 22 Debenhams stores earmarked for closure next year.

Ravi said: “Debenhams’ arrival in 2015 signalled a new chapter for Wandsworth town and Southside shopping centre. It was a key milestone in the regeneration of the town, which has been transformed over the last twenty years. I’m very disappointed that it looks set to close. The challenges faced by department stores and Debenhams in particular have been well publicised and ultimately the sector and our town centres need to adapt to changing consumer tastes.”

Ravi has written to Debenhams thanking them for their contribution to the borough and welcoming their undertakings to support staff at the store through this difficult time. Debenhams worked closely with the Council’s Work Match team to place local people into its jobs, and Ravi has offered continuing support to help staff find work elsewhere in the borough.

He added: “I’m confident that Wandsworth town centre will weather this setback. It continues to attract investment, creating new homes and jobs. Wandsworth is a borough of opportunity with many jobs available now and in the future, and one of our priorities is to help local people from all backgrounds benefit from these opportunities.”



Employ Wandsworth the biggest yet

Meanwhile more than 750 people attended this year’sEmploy Wandsworth in April, making it one of the most successful yet. Fifty businesses were hiring on the day, and there was standing room only in the Google workshop on CV development, building a personal brand online and self-promotion skills

The free annual event is run by the Council’s Work Match team, for Wandsworth residents who want to work nearer home, are returning to work, want to step up a level or need help finding the right career. Visitors could find out about local job opportunities, talk to potential employers and get expert advice. The Interactive Skills Zone gave live demonstrations including barista skills and hair design, while construction skills were demonstrated by a scaffold tower built live in front of the crowds.

Cllr George Crivelli said: “Work Match does a great job in boosting employment in the borough. It’s a free service for Wandsworth residents that matches local people seeking jobs, training and apprenticeships with local vacancies. It also offers coaching for interviews, pre-employment training, guidance with applications, and help to build confidence. So far it’s helped over 1100 Wandsworth residents into work.

If you missed Employ Wandsworth, you can still get help. You can call the team on 020 8871 5191 or email your CV to wandsworthworkmatch@wandsworth.gov.uk

There is more about Wandsworth Work Match here, including a full list of vacancies.



Community Local Fund bids invited

Do you have ideas for improving your neighbourhood? The Council is inviting bids from residents and community groups for grants from the Wandsworth Local Fund. The Fund comes from a charge the Council levies on large developers to pay for improvements that benefit the local area. Applications for grants are invited three times a year, and bids are now being accepted until 1 July, with £710,000 available for projects in Putney.

Projects that have received funding include new LED street lights; improvements to parks, sports pitches, playgrounds, roads, pavements and public spaces; and the new floodlighting at St Mary’s Church.

Last year over 400 people responded to a consultation on how the money should be spent, leading to these priorities: improving public spaces including protecting biodiversity; community safety; street improvements such as pavements, lighting, tree planting, cycling facilities and street furniture; investing in sport and leisure facilities; improving traffic and parking.

Cllr George Crivelli said: “To make sure projects are based on what local people want, we’re asking residents to bring ideas to their ward councillors, to submit schemes to be considered for funding. You can find out more, including guidance on how to apply, here.



Don’t miss the Wandsworth Arts Fringe

The 10th annual Wandsworth Arts Fringe is in full swing, running until 19 May with over 150 events in venues across the borough. Events in Putney include ‘violin with electronics’ at St Mary’s Church, an artist making a knitted art installation, a free taster session with the Royal Academy of Dance, the Dover House Singers, the Big Red Poetry Tour, comedy and drama, and Rogue Opera performing extracts from ‘Don Giovanni’ in Putney Exchange!

For full listings, dates and venues, click here.

Who do you think you are? Your library can help you find out!


Did you know that Wandsworth libraries can help you research your ancestors? Our libraries not only have access to the world’s Most comprehensive name database but also to www.ancestry.co.uk, the top site for finding out about your family history. To access this from your home computer costs about £200 a year, but you can use this resource for free at any Wandsworth library.

Our libraries also run the Wandsworth Heritage Service, an archive and local history resource covering Wandsworth, Putney, Battersea, Tooting and Balham, based at Battersea Library.


The Heritage Service is currently organising the Wandsworth Heritage Festival,to run from 25 May to 9 June, with events this year in Putney including a literary murder mystery at Putney Library, talks on the history of Putney’s cinemas and the 1890s Putney Velodrome, a guided walk round Putney’s magnificent trees, and a tour of Putney’s Antique Breadboard Museum!



Don’t forget your Councillors are on Facebook!  Visit www.facebook.com/eastputney

Please feel free to forward this e-Newsletter to any East Putney residents who may be interested.

To join our circulation list, please email heretohelp@wandsworthconservatives.co.uk

To contact your Councillors:

Cllr Ravi Govindia:  rgovindia@wandsworth.gov.uk

Cllr George Crivelli:  Cllr.G.Crivelli@wandsworth.gov.uk

Cllr Sarah Binder:  cllr.s.binder@wandsworth.gov.uk

East Putney ‘Let’s Talk’

East Putney residents can meet our Councillors and town hall managers, give their views on council services and ask questions at the next East Putney ‘Let’s Talk’ session, on Thurs 6 December from 7pm at St Stephen’s Church, Manfred Road, SW15 2RS.  If you can't be there, you can still send in a question via this online form.

Ravi shows Minister need for second station entrance
East Putney Cllr and Council Leader Ravi Govindia has met Transport Secretary Chris Grayling at Putney Station with our MP, Justine Greening, to press home the benefits of a second entrance to the platforms from a footbridge on Oxford Road.

Ravi said: “It was good to meet the Minister in person and for him to see the situation for himself.  I told him our argument was absolutely compelling, and he listened carefully.  We have long campaigned for a second entrance, and I now feel more optimistic that there could be some light at the end of this tunnel.  A second entrance would give residents much better access to the station, would reduce overcrowding at the High Street entrance and would shorten journeys by drastically cutting the walk between the station and East Putney tube.  The Minister asked for more information, which we will give him.”

The Council has offered to part-fund a second entrance from the Community Infrastructure Levy, which requires developers to pay into local infrastructure projects.

 Speeding motorists

Your Councillors are concerned that some motorists are still flouting the 20mph speed limit on residential roads.
Cllr Sarah Binder said:  “It is essential for road safety that motorists stick to the speed limit.  We have organised Community Road Watch sessions with local police to clamp down on wayward motorists, and the Council has now paid for two more speed guns to help the police in areas where residents have concerns.  All this will help, but we’re now asking the Council to explore further initiatives so we can be tougher on motorists who ignore the 20mph limit”.

 Childrens’ Services improving

The watchdog OFSTED has made several positive comments about Wandsworth’s Children’s Services following its most recent inspection.  OFSTED reported that “significant financial investment and an understanding by senior leaders” had underpinned improvements.  It said: “Senior leaders have worked diligently to strengthen the quality of children’s services”, achieving “a good range of accessible services to improve outcomes for children and their families.”

Cllr George Crivelli is Co-Chairman of Wandsworth’s Education and Children's Services Committee.  He said:  "We’re moving in the right direction.  Nationally, some 270 children are now taken into care or placed on a child protection plan every day, which poses tremendous challenges for council children's services nationwide.  But we have been working extremely hard and are determined to improve children's services yet further.  Initiatives like our new THRIVE strategy set out our approach to early help.  By intervening early, we can nip issues in the bud with extra help and support to families before problems escalate.  The support and protection of our borough's children is vital and we will keep working hard on it.”

You can find out more about THRIVE here, and also at the THRIVE Online website.

Trial traffic ban to ease rat-running on Granville Road

The Council is to run a trial scheme to curb rat-running in and around Granville Road, in response to residents’ concerns about the volume of traffic on residential roads.  A detailed study found many motorists leaving the A3 at Tibbet’s Corner to avoid delays on West Hill by cutting through residential streets.  Granville Road had the highest volume of this traffic, with some 3600 vehicle movements from 7am to 7pm on a normal weekday.  Very little of this was local traffic; drivers from further away were cutting through the borough to other destinations.
For at least 6 months starting early next year, traffic (apart from buses and cycles) will be banned from Withycombe Road and Princes Way from 7am-10am, the busiest time for rat-runners, and a stretch of Windlesham Grove will become one-way westbound.  The 6-month trial can be extended up to 18 months if engineers feel more traffic analysis is needed.

Cllr Sarah Binder said:  “Granville Road residents are amongst the worst affected by the rat-running, along with residents in several streets in neighbouring West Hill ward.  We will monitor traffic flows during the trial period to make sure it’s working, and if it is effective, we will make the changes permanent.”



Kersfield Estate new homes proposal

Consultation has continued with Kersfield Estate residents about the possibility of building 37 new homes there by extending existing blocks.  The proposal is part of a major Council drive to build 1000 more homes for Wandsworth residents and workers on council land, with a majority of the homes for low-cost rent or shared-ownership with the Council.
Cllr George Crivelli said:  “We have now held a drop in session at Holy Trinity Church Hall, where residents could see the proposals and give feedback in advance of a planning application being submitted.  Our aim is to prioritise local needs for affordable housing.  Kersfield Estate can lead the way in helping us to build more much-needed local homes, and we look forward to hearing residents’ comments and ideas.”

Residents can find out more or give feedback on the proposal by emailing: developmentteam@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk

Mosque helps with Poppy Appeal

The Ahmadiyya community, whose main Mosque is in East Putney’s Gressenhall Road, has joined in the annual Poppy Appeal in aid of the Royal British Legion.  The Ahmadiyya Muslim Elders Association has organised hundreds of volunteers nationwide to sell poppies at local stations and supermarkets, including in Putney, as part of this year’s borough-wide effort.  They aim to contribute £500,000 to the Poppy Appeal.

New paving

Tideswell Road and Wimbledon Park Road in East Putney are amongst 40 residential streets getting a £2 million facelift with new paving or resurfacing in the months up to April next year.
Cllr Ravi Govindia said: “By prudently managing taxpayers’ money, we can invest in keeping our roads and pavements looking good and making walking, cycling and driving 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.”
Residents can report potholes or broken pavements via www.wandsworth.gov.uk/potholes or by emailing onstreetservices@wandsworth.gov.uk.

Putney High School

The Council Planning Committee has granted Putney High School permission to demolish a science block and build a new four-storey teaching centre for music, science and drama.
Cllr Sarah Binder said:  “Importantly, the application did not seek to increase pupil numbers, but to enhance teaching facilities. The Planning Committee imposed several conditions to ensure that the new building does not impact negatively on the neighbouring area, and the school is bringing in measures to minimise the impact construction may have on neighbouring streets.  Meanwhile the Neighbourhood Working Group made up of the school and local residents continues, and the school is working to improve its role in managing local traffic.”

Ravi welcomes Budget boost for High Streets

Cllr Ravi Govindia has welcomed Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Budget announcement of a £1.5 billion boost for town centres and high streets.  The aim is to revitalise high streets with a £675m Future High Streets Fund and to give more support to smaller businesses that will cut their business rates by a third for two years from April.
Ravi said:  “We welcome the extra support to shops and small businesses and hope to receive our share, so that we can do more to help our local businesses flourish.  More successful shops and businesses mean more local employment opportunities, and more choice for our residents.  Town centres like Putney High Street are at the heart of our communities and are key to making Wandsworth such a special and prosperous borough.”
The Council already supports local businesses through Positively Putney, our local Business Improvement District; through community events and fairs; by protecting historic pubs from redevelopment; and through Wandsworth Enterprise Month, an annual programme of events, support and advice for entrepreneurs.
The Council also has extensive plans to re-vamp Putney High Street to make it more attractive, pedestrian-friendly and less polluted, and to stimulate and promote local shopping.  There is more about the High Street plans here.  You can also find out more about how Wandsworth supports businesses here.

Small Business Saturday

As part of its programme of business support, the Council and Positively Putney will again be running the annual Small Business Saturday on 1 December.  Businesses owners are encouraged to create an offer or special deal on the day, which will be promoted via social media, poster sites and Council channels.
Cllr Sarah Binder said:  “It would be really good if residents can come out to support local businesses on Small Business Saturday, by shopping, eating or having a drink at small business stands or in smaller local shops, pubs and restaurants.  Keeping it local would be a great start to the festive season!”

‘Green wall’ proposal for cinema

Meanwhile almost 800 local residents have signed a petition to create a ‘green wall’ on the façade of Putney Odeon cinema on the High Street, to help in the Council’s work to improve the High Street and to combat air pollution.  The petition has now been handed in and the Council has been negotiating with Odeon about implementing the scheme.  So far the project is progressing well and details are being finalised.

 Clearing up High Street clutter

Also on the High Street, there have been complaints from residents about the proliferation of advertising boards and tables on pavements, which can cause obstructions, especially for people with mobility problems.
Cllr George Crivelli said:  “I have raised this ‘clutter’ issue with the Council enforcement team who check to ensure that advertising boards are within the regulations.  However, there are also tables on pavements which are considerably restricting the amount of pavement pedestrians can use.  The Council is now considering several options to help with enforcement so that boundaries for shops and cafes are clearer.  Hopefully this will allow more space for pedestrians and shoppers."

 Charlwood / Upper Richmond Road smoking bin

Local residents also contacted George about the level of debris caused by smokers congregating from local shops and offices at the open area across from Estate House in East Putney, at the corner of Charlwood Road and Upper Richmond Road.  George has now arranged for a new smoking bin to be installed there.
George said:  “The new bin will be in place shortly, and hopefully will keep the area around there cleaner”.


Welcome to the Summer 2018 e-Newsletter from your East Putney Councillors 

Don’t forget your Councillors are on Facebook! Visit www.facebook.com/eastputney

Please feel free to forward this e-Newsletter to any East Putney residents who may be interested

To join our circulation list, please email heretohelp@wandsworthconservatives.co.uk

To contact your Councillors:

Cllr Ravi Govindia: rgovindia@wandsworth.gov.uk

Cllr George Crivelli: Cllr.G.Crivelli@wandsworth.gov.uk

Cllr Sarah Binder: cllr.s.binder@wandsworth.gov.uk


Council elections, May 2018

East Putney residents voted by a big majority for our three Conservative candidates, Ravi, George and Sarah, to represent East Putney on the Council for the next four years. We offer sincere thanks for your faith in us, and pledge to work very hard for you.


Roles on the Council

Ravi will continue as Leader of Wandsworth Council, and will serve on key committees related to professional appointments and senior employees’ remuneration. Ravi will also serve on the Executive of London Councils, and his experience in housing and regeneration sees him actively involved in key external bodies: chairing ‘Central London Forward’ and co-chairing the Nine Elms Strategy Board.

George will chair the committee overseeing Education and Childrens’ Services, and the re-shaped group overseeing Education and Standards. He will also serve on committees overseeing childrens’ social care, council grants, planning applications and staff appointments.

Sarah will serve on the committees overseeing Adult Care and Health, and Community Services and Open Spaces. She will also help the committee that supports health care in South West London and Surrey.

All three of your Councillors will serve on the Corporate Parenting Panel, alongside Councillors from other parties, supporting the work of Wandsworth’s Children Looked After in Care (CLICK) team. This Panel recognises that all Councillors have a duty as ‘corporate parents’ to children in care, regardless of political party.

Surgeries: Residents are reminded that you can bring any local issues of concern to your Councillors at our weekly surgeries at 10am-11am on Saturdays at the Disraeli Road Library.

Kersfield Estate new homes proposal

Consultation has begun with residents on East Putney’s Kersfield Estate about the possibility of building 37 new homes there by carefully extending existing blocks. The proposal is part of a major Council drive to build 1,000 more homes on pockets of under-used council land, with a majority of the homes for low-cost rent or shared-ownership with the Council.

Cllr Ravi Govindia said:  “Kersfield Estate has real potential in this initiative, and can lead the way in helping us to build more much-needed local homes. We are one of the only councils who prioritise local people for new homes, so we aim to offer the homes first to Wandsworth residents and workers. Council tenants living nearby will be able ‘downsize’ to a new council home if they would like to. We will also prioritise overcrowded households, to help residents’ sons and daughters to go on living in the borough, as well as helping workers who are vital to our local services. We will fully consult with Kersfield residents at every stage, and we look forward to hearing residents’ own ideas.”


Ravi honoured as ‘Housing Hero’

Meanwhile, Ravi has been highly commended in this year’s prestigious ‘Housing Heroes’ Awards, for his work in delivering thousands of new homes in Wandsworth. The Awards, run by the Chartered Institute of Housing and the trade journal Inside Housing, are judged by a panel of industry experts. Ravi’s commendation was for the priority he has given to tackling London’s housing problems and his record as Council Leader, which since 2011 has seen 19,000 net residential homes under construction, with over 9,000 delivered in the last five years; the drive to build 1,000 new homes on under-used Council land; two major estate regenerations delivering 3,000 new homes and new community, library and leisure facilities, GP practices and a new school; and his role in regenerating Nine Elms, which is creating 20,000 new homes and 25,000 new jobs.

Ravi said: “I’m delighted that our efforts in Wandsworth have been commended in this way. We aim to build as many homes as we can, in places where people want to live and of a sufficiently high quality to satisfy the aspirations of the people who will live in them. It is about more than just building homes; it is about building and supporting communities. That is of key importance to us.”


Putney High School

Cllrs Sarah Binder and George Crivelli, pictured with Mrs Suzie Longstaff, Headmistress of Putney High School, attended the June meeting of the local Neighbourhood Working Group where representatives of the school and local residents discussed school development plans and local parking issues, which have been a cause of concern.

Sarah said: “In May, the school held an exhibition where local people could see and discuss the proposed development of an existing building into a new state of the art science and technology lab. The school assured local residents that it is working to minimise disruption while the new building is constructed. Planning permission has been applied for and if approved, the school hopes to start work in Spring 2019. The school continues to work to ensure parking issues for local residents on Lytton Grove are kept to a minimum, and to this end has launched a new bus service to encourage parents to stop bringing children to school by car, and has launched wrap around care for the junior school as well.”


New paving for Lytton Grove

Meanwhile Lytton Grove residents now have new pavements along the entire street, which will make walking or pushing prams or mobility scooters easier and safer.

Cllr Ravi Govindia said: “This is part of a big Council spending plan over the next two years. We will spend £7.7 million on improving transport infrastructure, which includes resurfacing roads and pavements. We are also looking to see if we can resurface the road in Lytton Grove, and we plan to repaint faded road markings, which are exacerbating local parking problems.”

Gressenhall Road Mosque

Cllr George Crivelli chaired the June meeting of the London Mosque Liaison Group, where Mosque representatives and other residents around Gressenhall Road work to resolve concerns about congestion, parking and Mosque building developments.

George said: "The Mosque representatives reported that construction work at the Mosque is not expected to start until 2020. The Caliph is expected to take residency at a new site near Farnham. As a lot of Mosque traffic is generated by his presence, once the Farnham site is completed it is hoped there will be less traffic around Gressenhall Road. The Mosque will also be developing satellite sites, which it hopes will divert worshippers from the Gressenhall Road Mosque".

The Mosque also said it was working to address the problem of wrongly parked cars by actively pursuing attendees and challenging their behaviour if they park outside bays or in front of residents’ driveways

George added: "Residents expressed gratitude to the Mosque for proactively challenging inconsiderate attendees, as this had seen an improvement in badly parked cars and littering. A Travel Plan Working Party has also been established, made up of Councillors, residents’ groups, Council Officers and Mosque representatives, to address current and future travel issues in relation to the Mosque and the local area. It’s really great to see the community working together to resolve local issues."



This horrible fly-tip on East Putney’s Ashburton Estate was recently reported to Councillors. Your Council is determined to crack down on fly-tippers and littering.

Cllr Ravi Govindia said: "Fly-tipping is completely unacceptable. It upsets residents and we are working with local communities to stamp it out. Last year we issued over 5,000 on the spot fines to offenders. People who pollute our borough have to realise they can end up in court, paying a hefty fine and court costs. Our enforcement and legal teams are working successfully to prosecute those who illegally dump waste.”

There is no need to dump larger waste items, as the Council will remove them for a modest fee. Residents can also help to combat fly-tipping. Be careful not to employ ‘cowboy’ waste collectors who are responsible for some of the worst cases. You can also report fly-tips using an app from the Council’s website: download it here.

Or you can phone 020 8871 6396 or email flytipwitness@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk


Putney High Street

Cllr George Crivelli attended a Putney Society meeting in June where residents and Council officers discussed the Council’s plans for improving Putney High Street.

Residents expressed concerns about pollution and congestion. Nick O'Donnell, the Council’s Assistant Director for Traffic and Engineering, briefed the meeting on the Council's plans to make the High Street more pedestrian-friendly and less polluted. Nicola Grant from Positively Putney, the Business Improvement District, talked about its work and efforts to stimulate and promote High Street shopping.

George said: "Residents clearly felt the High Street must become more attractive to shoppers. Local small businesses are suffering as more people shop online, and retailers are struggling as more people have home deliveries. We need to make the High Street more customer-friendly and support small businesses in an increasingly competitive environment. The Business Improvement District is looking at initiatives to promote Putney and make people aware of what our High Street offers, while the Council can support shops by making the High Street safer and cleaner, improving the experience for shoppers and visitors".

The plans for the High Street re-vamp are extensive and interesting. You can find out more about them here.

For more about the Business Improvement District, click Positively Putney.


‘Pop-up’ music venue proposal for Putney Exchange car park withdrawn

Meanwhile a controversial proposal for a 500-capacity ‘pop-up’ drink, food and music venue in the rooftop car park of Putney Exchange was withdrawn in April.

Cllr Sarah Binder said: “This will have come as a relief to the many residents who objected. I shared the concerns that the proposal for a 4 year late night licence for 500 people would not give benefits for the High Street, would cause late night noise for residents and deprive local residents of 50 car parking spaces in Putney Exchange. We understand a new proposal may be put forward and we will watch closely to ensure that any proposal mitigates these concerns and offers real benefit to the local economy.”


Heathrow challenge

Wandsworth has joined with four other councils in Hillingdon, Windsor and Maidenhead, Richmond, and Hammersmith & Fulham to seek judicial review of the Government’s decision to support a third Heathrow runway. The councils are challenging the Government on the grounds of air quality, climate change and environmental assessment, including failing properly to deal with noise and access impacts. The councils say, for example, that the Government has misapplied the law on air quality, and that its Airports National Policy Statement fails to recognise the scale of the challenge posed by more trips to and from Heathrow, which could have unacceptable effects on the transport network and traffic pollution.

Cllr Ravi Govindia said: “The councils have shown extraordinary patience. We have given the Government numerous opportunities to address our concerns and answer our questions. All the evidence shows that a new Heathrow runway will be bad for the environment in our boroughs and bad for the health of our residents.”

The five objecting councils have notified the Secretary of State for Transport that they intend to seek judicial review. The Government must now reply to their letter. If the Transport Secretary does not agree to quashing the National Policy Statement, the councils will bring judicial review proceedings.

Wandsworth Grant Fund

Are you involved in a community or voluntary organisation that could make good use of a grant of £500 to £10,000? Round 9 of the Wandsworth Grant Fund is open until 20 August to apply for projects beginning after 1 December 2018. Advice sessions for applicants are being held in August and you can download guidance and an application form on the Council website. If you miss this one, Round 10 will be open until 17 December, for projects beginning after 1 April next year

Cllr Sarah Binder said: “It would be great to see some applications from East Putney. Council officers are very helpful in advising people on how to apply, and you can find out more about the Wandsworth Grant Fund here."


Do you run a local business?

If so, you could enter it for the annual Wandsworth Business Awards, which recognise the borough’s most innovative, successful and customer-friendly firms. The awards are organised by Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce and the Council is one of the key sponsors, alongside local firms and South Thames College.

There are twelve categories where your business might win an award, and the deadline to enter is 7 September. To find out more, click here.



Welcome to the Spring 2018 e-Newsletter from your East Putney Councillors and candidate



Your Councillors and candidate are now on Facebook. Visit www.facebook.com/eastputney


Please feel free to forward this e-Newsletter to other East Putney residents.


To join our circulation list, please email heretohelp@wandsworthconservatives.com


To contact your Councillors and candidate:


Cllr Ravi Govindia:  heretohelp@wandsworthconservatives.com

Cllr George Crivelli: heretohelp@wandsworthconservatives.com

Cllr Les McDonnell:   heretohelp@wandsworthconservatives.com

Sarah Binder:  heretohelp@wandsworthconservatives.com


Take our Councillors’ survey!

We’re always keen to hear residents’ views and get feedback on the Council’s work. One way to send feedback easily is through our short online survey. You can let us know what you think here.


£13 million for Wandsworth council tax payers

The Government has given Wandsworth Council an award of nearly £13 million for creating a record number of new homes last year. The payment, called the New Homes Bonus, rewards councils for creating homes. More than 2,000 homes were created in Wandsworth in the year to October 2017, including council homes, housing association homes and formerly empty homes brought back into use.

East Putney Cllr and Council Leader Ravi Govindia is committed to spending this money on frontline services for residents, and on helping to keep council tax low. Click to see Ravi’s short video message about this welcome benefit to council tax payers.


Helping Care Leavers

Wandsworth Council is now exempting young people leaving care from having to pay council tax, as they move into living independently as young adults.

East Putney Cllr George Crivelli is on the Children’s Services Committee and strongly supports the policy. George said: "Young people leaving care rarely have the family support that many other young people can fall back on, and it can be tough starting out on your own. For young care leavers, we as the Council are the ‘Corporate Parent’, and we want to help these young people through a demanding transition. Paying their council tax until they are 21 is part of our support package that also includes advice on managing their money as they take on more responsibilities."

The Children's Society supported the move, saying: “We’re delighted that Wandsworth Council is introducing this exemption, which will make life easier for many young people moving into independent living.”

George attended the Corporate Parenting panel in March at the Town Hall, and heard members of the Council’s CLICK (Children Looked After in Care) team discuss their work in helping care leavers.

George added:  “Our team’s approach has been to work with our care leavers, asking them how they believe we can support them into adult life. So care leavers themselves are helping with our pack that gives clear information about health, relationships, education, training, accommodation and work. We are also strengthening some other services, including more mental health support, better access to apprenticeships, and accommodation for young people with complex needs.”


More Schools funding

The Council is investing £17 million in local schools, including cash injections to provide more places at some of the borough’s most popular schools.

East Putney candidate Sarah Binder said : "98% cent of Wandsworth’s primary and secondary schools are rated Good or Outstanding by the education standards watchdog OFSTED. This means our schools are popular with local parents! So even with Oasis Academy opening on Putney Common, demand for school places in Putney continues to rise. The new investment means local schools will have enough classroom space to manage rising demand, and will also give parents more choice".

Ark Academy, attended by many East Putney pupils, will add two new intake classes by using space in its building, which was recently upgraded as part of a £30m school modernisation scheme. St Cecilia’s Church of England School will increase its intake by one extra class, and Brandlehow Primary will have enhanced buildings, enabling it to revert to two entry forms.

The Council investment will also support children with special needs. Investment of £350,000 will allow two new classes at Paddock special school in Roehampton, which caters for children with learning difficulties, and Riversdale School in Southfields will see a new £450,000 unit to support children with special needs.

Sarah added:  "Putney schools are achieving some exceptional results, so it’s essential to meet the rising demand for places, and the Council’s extra investment in special needs provision will directly benefit some of Putney's most vulnerable children".


Awards for Schools

Meanwhile, two East Putney schools are to receive Wandsworth Pupil Achievement Awards for their educational achievements in 2017.


St. Michael's Church of England Primary had the highest proportion of disadvantaged pupils in Key Stage 2 meeting the expected standard in reading, writing, teacher assessment and maths tests.


Ashcroft Technology Academy had the highest average points scores per academic entry in GCE A Levels.

These schools are among 22 schools that will receive Wandsworth’s Pupil Achievement Award, to be presented at the Town Hall this academic year.

East Putney Cllr and Council Leader Ravi Govindia said:  "Putney has many excellent schools. Both St. Michael's and Ashcroft very much deserve their awards, which reflect the hard work of head teachers, staff, governors and pupils in achieving outstanding academic results".



Threat to our County Court

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has been consulting on plans to close Wandsworth County Court on the Upper Richmond Road in East Putney, and move its cases to other County Courts such as Wimbledon, Kingston or Shoreditch. The MoJ says the Wandsworth court is under-used and needs significant refurbishment. But the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers has spoken out against the plan, saying the other courts don’t have the resources to deal with more cases, and “cannot take on extra work without risking some grave failures in administering justice”.


East Putney Cllr and Council Leader Ravi Govindia said:  “We think this is being rushed without the MoJ examining all options. If refurbishment costs are the reason for closure, the MoJ should look at redevelopment options, including doing a joint venture which could deliver a new court facility at no cost.”


New Paving for Lytton and Sispara


Residents in Lytton Grove and Sispara Gardens in East Putney can soon look forward to brand new pavements. The whole of Lytton Grove is be repaved, starting in April. Meanwhile work is well ahead on repaving Sispara Gardens.

East Putney Cllr and Council Leader Ravi Govindia said: “Over the next two years the Council will spend £7.7 million on improving transport infrastructure, which will include resurfacing roads and pavements like Lytton Grove. We are also looking to see if we can resurface the road in Lytton Grove.”

Ravi recently attended a drop-in session with Lytton Grove residents to discuss concerns about parking, congestion and potential developments in the area.

Ravi said: “One of the concerns Lytton area residents raised with me are the faded road markings, which are exacerbating parking problems. The Council's Highways team will repaint the markings to resolve this issue."


East Putney to get InLinked!

It will soon be goodbye to the sad old phone box between Ravenna Road and Burston Road in East Putney. It’s to be replaced with one of Wandsworth’s new high-tech ‘InLinks’ multi-media hubs – with more to follow in the next few months, including one on the Upper Richmond Road at the corner of Keswick Road.


At the new hubs, which will replace various payphone kiosks across the borough, residents can charge their mobile phones, surf the net via ultra-fast wi-fi, and make free landline and mobile phone calls through a touchscreen – especially useful for people on limited or pay-as-you-go plans, out of credit, or whose phone is out of charge. The hubs also have a dedicated button to call emergency services.


East Putney Cllr George Crivelli said:  "Last year I saw similar InLink style multi media hubs in New York. They’re slimmer and less conspicuous than the old phone boxes, so they take up less pavement space. They were also great at giving public information and promoting local businesses. Putney’s InLink screens will display local maps and weather information, and travel information about local bus, tube and rail services. They’re also expected to carry on-screen information from local organisations like the Council and police".


Over 1150 new trees

All Wandsworth’s 20 districts have had new trees planted this winter. The Council has planted 664 trees in residential streets, housing estates and parks, including more than 500 street trees. Thirty-five of the new trees are in East Putney. At least 500 more will be planted next winter, taking planting to more than 1,150 new trees over the two winter planting seasons. Some replace trees that have died, while others are in new spots. The Council looks after more than 60,000 trees in our parks, commons and open spaces, while around 15,000 trees grow in residential streets and on our housing estates.


East Putney candidate Sarah Binder said:“Sadly trees can die or become unsafe. While residents would often like replacements straight away, you typically need to let old roots rot away first, making space for a new tree to grow. But over the two winter planting seasons, most of the vacant plots will get new trees.”

Many of our street trees are monitored by dedicated local tree wardens, who keep watch on the well-being of their neighbourhood trees. People interested in becoming a tree warden can email Wandtreeward@aol.com


Grants for local community work

The Wandsworth Grant Fund is again open for new applications.

East Putney Cllr George Crivelli is Deputy Chairman of the Grants Committee. He’s encouraging East Putney community groups to look into applying for grants before the deadline, 23 April 2018.

George said: "The Fund gives grants of £500 - £10,000 to community and voluntary organisations across Wandsworth. We’d love to see some relevant East Putney bids.”

The Grant Fund supports not-for-profit activities that benefit Wandsworth residents and communities, across arts and culture, environment, children / young people, citizenship, aspirations / potential, health / well-being.

George added: "If you’re involved in voluntary activities in these fields, don’t be shy! Council officers are very helpful in advising people on how to apply. You can also email any of the ‘Specialist Officers’ detailed in the Guidance notes or contact the Grant Officer for advice."

There is an application form, advice and more information here.


News from the mosque

East Putney Cllr George Crivelli chaired the inaugural meeting of the London Mosque Liaison Group in March. The Group has developed from the local Neighbourhood Forum and brings the Mosque and other stakeholders together to discuss issues relevant to the community around Gressenhall Road.


George says: "Previously our meetings were at the Town Hall, but now we meet at the Mosque, which is an opportunity to bring the Liaison Group closer to the local community."

George, pictured with Akram Ahmadi, National Vice President of the Ahmadiyya Community, added: "We had a constructive meeting, discussing issues like parking, congestion and proposed building work at the Mosque. It's great to see residents working together to resolve and promote issues that are important locally."


Meanwhile, the Mosque has been granted Grade II Listed status by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Opened in 1926, is the international headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, and was London’s first purpose-built mosque. Its design is described as “a fusion of Indian Mughal architectural forms and contemporary British trends”.

East Putney Cllr and Council Leader Ravi Govindia said:  ”We very much welcome Listed status for this historic and important local landmark. It is a unique and striking building which represents the diversity of the borough, and deserves special protection and recognition.”


Another great year for our libraries


The latest figures show that in 2016/2017, Wandsworth residents borrowed 1,414,828 books from local libraries, the second highest number in London. Our libraries also issued 718,244 children’s books.


The Council has kept Wandsworth’s 11 libraries open and improved the service, when many other councils are closing them. A big help in this has been outsourcing day-to-day management to the charitable social enterprise GLL, the country’s largest public libraries provider, which works closely with the Council. There are new e-resources and software, cloud-based printing and photocopying, more e-books, free wi-fi, access to computers, children’s activities, author readings and adult learning classes.


The Council will also build new libraries in the Roehampton and Wandsworth Town regeneration schemes.


East Putney Cllr George Crivelli, Deputy Chair of Education, said : “It’s great that so many children’s books are being borrowed. Young people do better in school if they read regularly, so a local library where they can read, do homework, borrow books and use computers helps them to get on in school and in life.”

To find out what’s on each month in our libraries, click here.

Charging points - on lampposts


The Council has begun a radical plan to install over 700 new electric car charging points, including on lampposts. The aim is to boost air quality and make it easier for people to switch to more eco-friendly travel.

Over 400 electric vehicles are now registered in Wandsworth, and the number has been rising by as much as 10% every three months. With the right infrastructure, there could be around 10,000 by 2025.

There will be at least 350 charging lampposts, to be offered on request to residents who have or are buying an electric car. You can register interest in having one near your home here.  Charging plugs will also be installed on every suitable lamppost in two pilot zones; about 150 near Putney High Street, and some 240 in Battersea. The results from these trials could see lamppost charging extended further.

Lamppost charging points will not affect parking; there will be no restrictions on the types of vehicles allowed to use adjacent parking spaces, which can be used by both electric and non-electric vehicles.

Another 120 Source London charging points are also planned, adding to the 99 in use at 33 places in Wandsworth. The Council’s own fleet is also gradually being replaced by electric vehicles.

East Putney Cllr and Council Leader Ravi Govindia said: “We want to remove barriers to cleaner travel. We will also continue working to improve air quality in other ways, including lobbying for cleaner buses, encouraging cycling, and putting in measures to improve traffic flow on our busy streets. We have recently seen great improvements in Putney and Nine Elms air quality, so we’re on the right track.”


Revamp for Putney High Street


In our Winter e-Newsletter, we reported that y our Councillors were working on proposals for Putney High Street, to improve air quality, relieve traffic congestion and enhance the street scene. A radical revamp for the High Street has now been agreed.


The first phase, costing over £600,000, will include widening parts of the pavements, improving the junctions with Putney Bridge Road and Lacy Road, installing public art or a ‘green wall’ on the cinema façade, uplighting key buildings, trialing a ‘Copenhagen crossing’ to make crossing easier, removing unneeded guardrails, planting trees, bringing in a 20mph speed limit, trialing a cycle lane and creating more cycle parking. Improvements slated for later include investigating whether the High Street taxi rank might be relocated round the corner, more public art, more open spaces and better bus stops.

There is more about the upgrades here.


Floodlighting for Putney Bridge


Plans are also afoot to install uplighting on Putney Bridge later this year, to make the most by night of this magnificent Grade II listed landmark designed by Sir Joseph Bazalgette.

£450,000 has been secured towards the cost from the Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy, a tax the Council charges on large-scale housing developers to help pay for local improvements. The Council has commissioned a full topographical and electrical survey of the bridge and a design team is developing lighting options. Your Councillors look forward to reporting further as the project develops.


Putney Exchange car park proposal

A 500-capacity ‘pop-up’ drink, food and music venue has been proposed for the top floor car park of Putney Exchange for 4 years.

East Putney candidate Sarah Binder said:   “I’m concerned about the negative impact to Putney High Street and residents’ enjoyment at weekends if the proposal is approved in its current form. 500 more people in Putney Exchange just for drinking, eating and playing loud music doesn’t seem to have benefits for local businesses or residents, who will be impacted by noise, late night rowdiness and losing 50 car park spaces in an area where parking is already limited.”  You can find out more, and comment or object until 12 April. Search for Application number 2018/0905  at the Council website here.  .


Council rejects “inappropriate” plan for High Street site

Meanwhile the Council has rejected a controversial plan for a large housing and retail development on Putney High Street. In January, the Planning Committee threw out an application for a development on the corner of the High Street and Putney Bridge Road, the site currently occupied by Preto and Mascalzone.

They decided the proposal, for a ten storey building and 115 flats, would reduce existing retail and business space without adequate benefits for the community, and would be “an inappropriate form of development… unduly dominant and detrimental to the streetscape”.


2018 Careers Fair

The Employ Wandsworth careers fair is returning to the Town Hall on Friday 20 April, with dozens of companies offering hundreds of job opportunities. Organised by the Council’s Work Match team, the event is for people who live in Wandsworth and are returning to work, want a job closer to home or with more hours, want to step up a level or need help finding the right career. Visitors can find out about job opportunities, talk to employers, get expert guidance on CVs, career development and starting a business, and find out about training to boost their skills. About 1,000 people attended last year, and this year’s event is expected to be even bigger.


East Putney candidate Sarah Binder said: “This is a great opportunity to take see the jobs on offer in our booming business sector, overcome barriers to employment and get help from employment experts.”

To be first in line on the day, you can pre-register online here.

Work Match is a free service for Wandsworth residents that matches residents seeking jobs, training or apprenticeships with local vacancies. The team also offers interview coaching, pre-employment training, and help with applications and building confidence. So far they’ve helped more than 800 people into work.


There is more about Work Match here, along with a list of vacancies. You can also call Work Match on 020 8871 5191 or email your CV towandsworthworkmatch@wandsworth.gov.uk.


Wandsworth Arts Fringe 2018 

The Council's Wandsworth Arts Fringe, south London’s leading arts festival, returns on 4 May - 20 May. The festival has grown in success over nine years, and will feature over 180 shows in some 55 venues – from pop-up dance performances at the Royal Academy of Dance in Battersea, an interactive art workshop at WildCity’s Big Art Picnic in Tooting and Nine Elms, The Waste Paper Opera Company in Balham, to performance partnership Fragility taking over The Arches at St Mary’s Church in Putney. There will be life drawing in Roehampton, an Affordable Art Exhibition in Furzedown, and spectacular circus events in the new Battersea Circus Garden.


East Putney Cllr and Mayor of Wandsworth Les McDonnell said: “The Wandsworth Arts Fringe reflects our borough’s vibrancy and helps to create and cement a sense of community. We are proud to support it”.

You can find the full programme here.


East Putney Neighbourhood Police web page

Did you know that every Wandsworth Neighbourhood Police Team has its own ward page? You can find out about police activity in East Putney, which are the top reported crimes in our area, get crime prevention tips and tell our local police the crimes that worry you most via the online ‘Voice Your Concerns’ facility. It’s a good idea to tell the police what worries you most, as results go into deciding local priorities. For the East Putney police page, click here.

Your East Putney Councillors and candidate are now on Facebook. Visit www.facebook.com/eastputney

Please feel free to forward this e-Newsletter to other East Putney residents.

To join our e-newsletter circulation list, please email heretohelp@wandsworthconservatives.co.uk

To contact your Councillors and candidate:

Cllr Ravi Govindia: rgovindia@wandsworth.gov.uk

Cllr George Crivelli: GCrivelli@wandsworth.gov.uk

Cllr Les McDonnell: lmcdonnell@wandsworth.gov.uk

Sarah Binder: sarahbinputney@gmail.com

January Newsletter

East Putney Councillors

Setting our bar high on service, low on tax

For years, Conservative-run Wandsworth Council has consistently delivered some of the finest frontline services in London – for some of the lowest council tax rates. 

The average Londoner now pays twice our Wandsworth council tax. We aim to keep on delivering great services, jobs and homes, while keeping our council tax among the lowest in Britain. We’ve managed to keep council tax rates in Wandsworth consistently among the lowest in the country through innovation and efficiency, while still protecting key services such as libraries and weekly rubbish collections. Whether it’s our lovely parks, fixing 7,000 potholes a year, or ensuring high standards in 
our schools – 97% of which are rated by Ofsted as either Good or Outstanding – our aim is to always deliver the best services in London. We’ve attracted £15 billion investment to Wandsworth, which is creating more than 25,000 jobs, we’re delivering new transport links and building new homes to buy or rent. We’re investing £120 million to improve our council estates, more than any Labour London borough, and have delivered over 1,000 more-affordable homes in the past two years, with more to come.

Working with local police
Gunning for bad drivers

Sarah Binder and George Crivelli joined Westleigh and Chartfield Avenue residents in helping our local police catch drivers breaking the new safer 20mph speed limit.  Residents have been working with police to learn how to use hand-held speed guns in a bid to catch inconsiderate and dangerous drivers out. More than 50 speeders were caught and received a cautionary message to “slow down”. 

More new council homes 

Kersfield Estate could help to pioneer the latest council home-building drive. Ravi says: “Using innovative techniques, we aim to build 605  much-needed new council homes for low rent or shared ownership on pockets of council land over the next eight years, and Kersfield can lead the way. “Residents and borough workers will get first priority for the new homes, and we will consult residents throughout.” There’s more on the council website which you can find by clicking here.

Mosque Meeting

Uniting neighbourhoods 

George is supporting a Neighbourhood Forum where Ahmadiyya Mosque members and other Gressenhall Road residents discuss mosque building plans. Ravi and George are also helping a new Neighbourhood Working Group for Lytton Grove residents to discuss traffic and parking issues at Putney High School. The school now has planning permission to expand, but the Councillors achieved strict conditions on reducing traffic and maintaining the Working Group for residents to report problems.

December 2017 E- Newsletter

New Council homes in big housing expansion

Over 600 new council homes for rent or shared ownership are on the way across Wandsworth, and East Putney’s Kersfield Estate could be one of the pioneers.

East Putney Cllr and Council Leader Ravi Govindia has launched a major drive to build 1,000 more homes on pockets of under-used council land: 605 new council homes for low-cost rent or ownership shared with the Council, with the rest sold to help pay for the council homes. The initiative expands the Council’s ‘Hidden Homes’ programme, which has so far created some 300 homes for council rent or shared ownership on under-used council land.

Ravi says: “Through innovative techniques, we can build much-needed homes on carefully-chosen pockets of council land. We are one of the only councils who prioritise local people for new homes, so we’ll offer the homes first to Wandsworth residents and workers. Council tenants living nearby will be able ‘downsize’ to a new council home if they would like to. We will also prioritise overcrowded households, as we want to help residents’ sons and daughters to go on living in the borough, as well as helping workers who are vital to our local services.

“Kersfield Estate has potential for new homes, and can help lead the way. We will fully consult with Kersfield residents at every stage and look forward discussing the possibilities with residents and hearing their own ideas.”

Ravi is also saddened that while the initiative far exceeds what other councils are doing, and exceeds the Mayor of London’s home-building targets, Labour did not support it.

Ravi said: “Wandsworth Labour Party voted against building these new homes. They didn’t stop the plan, but their attitude makes no sense. We’re getting on with building the homes people need, but the local Labour Party seems too riven by Momentum factionalism to offer anything to local people but hot air. Cross-party support for building affordable local homes would be a lot more constructive.”

Elsewhere in Wandsworth, the Council is building over 3,000 new homes by regenerating the Alton Estate in Roehampton and the Winstanley and York Road Estates in Battersea, and guaranteeing new homes for residents on their own estates.

Putney High School

Your East Putney Councillors have been speaking up for residents concerned about proposals to expand Putney High School. Residents around Lytton Grove have been troubled for some time about traffic, parking and congestion around the school, and filed a large number of objections. The school sought to expand pupil numbers from 976 to 1060, build a two-storey temporary teaching block (with a permanent building subject to a future application) and create a new pedestrian entrance in Lytton Grove.

A Neighbourhood Working Group has been set up for residents and the school to air the issues, and Cllr Ravi Govindia and Cllr George Crivelli presented the residents’ case against school expansion to the Planning Committee that considered the proposals in November. The Committee approved the increase to pupil numbers, but the Councillors achieved strict conditions.

Ravi said: “While the application was granted, there were provisos. The school has committed to a more respectful dialogue with residents, and must work to reduce its traffic impact. The Committee required the school to improve its travel plan, arrange more places on school buses to alleviate parking and congestion, encourage pupils to cycle, walk and use public transport, and maintain the Neighbourhood Working Group where residents can report any issues to the school.”

After the Planning Committee meeting, Ravi and George met with Lytton Grove residents, and will continue working with residents and the school to ensure that the issues are properly addressed.

Outstanding St. Michael's Primary

Meanwhile George, as Deputy Chair of Education, visited East Putney’s St. Michael's Primary School in October with the Council’s Education Standards Group. St. Michael’s is rated 'Outstanding' by OFSTED, which rates 97% of our Wandsworth schools as Good or Outstanding.

George said: “We maintain a hands-on relationship with all our schools to make sure our standards remain high. It was a pleasure to see at first hand what an excellent job St. Michael’s is doing. It clearly deserves its Outstanding rating.”

More money for schools

George has also criticised allegations by the Labour Party and trade unions that Wandsworth school budgets are being cut by 2020.

George said: “This is pure scaremongering and fundamentally misleading. There are no cuts. The new Fair Funding formula, which spreads schools funding more fairly throughout the country, is providing the biggest increase for over a decade, at £5.3 billion. It initially committed £4 billion, and to help London schools, we lobbied successfully for another £1.3 billion.

“The unions’ figures are based on historical data that don’t reflect schools today. They also ignore the fact that funding is driven by pupil numbers, and will rise or fall as school rolls rise or fall. The new formula will give Wandsworth schools an increase of £2.035 million to 2020: our funding will go up by £1.36m in 2018-19, and by a further £0.675m in 2019-2020. And that’s based on today’s pupil numbers; if our pupil numbers rise next year, the increases are likely to be even higher."

Improving Putney High Street

Your Councillors have been working on proposals for Putney High Street to improve air quality, relieve traffic congestion and enhance the street scene. They have identified various options including re-routing traffic away from parts of the High Street, relocating the taxi rank at Putney station to Upper Richmond Road, ‘green walls’ and photo-catalytic paint to improve air quality, and new ‘Copenhagen’ crossings to help people walking or cycling. 'Copenhagen' crossings slow down vehicles going in or out of side roads, encouraging them to give way, and are common in other European cities considered best for walking and cycling. All the ideas still have to go through extensive evaluation, including a road safety audit.

East Putney Cllr and Council Leader Ravi Govindia said: “Despite a lack of support for our High Street work from Transport for London (TfL) and the Mayor of London, we have widespread support from residents and our MP Justine Greening, and we will get this moving.”

East Putney Cllr George Crivelli said: “High Street congestion could also be eased by opening a second entrance to Putney station on Oxford Road. The Council has offered £400,000 to help pay for it, and Network Rail have now undertaken to develop the plans. We continue to urge Network Rail to build the entrance.”

Air quality: Meanwhile previous council initiatives to improve air quality have had encouraging results. Putney High Street exceeded EU hourly nitrogen dioxide limits six times from February to June 2017, compared to 742 times in the same period in 2016.

High Street ideas on display on Small Business Saturday

The options for improving Putney High Street were on display at a Councillors’ stall in Putney’s Winter Wonderland on Small Business Saturday in December. Small Business Saturday, supported by the Council, encourages residents to explore their neighbourhood shops and ‘buy local’. Councillors were on hand to explain the High Street improvement options and residents were invited to stick comments on an ideas board, while helping themselves to chocolates!

East Putney Cllr George Crivelli said: “We support Small Business Saturday in encouraging people to shop locally. It was great to get residents’ comments on the options for making the High Street a pleasanter and safer place to shop, work and eat. Small businesses are vital to our community and we want to see them thrive. For every pound spent in a local independent shop or locally-owned business, up to 70p benefits our community, but if people shop online or further away, as little as 5p finds its way back. If we can help by making the High Street better, that’s all to the good.”

Road safety on Putney Hill

East Putney candidate Sarah Binder has been helping our MP Justine Greening to address residents’ concerns about road safety on Putney Hill. Residents have been surveyed about what they think could be improved, and offered several ideas. These included doing something about crossing times at the junction where Putney Hill meets Putney High Street and Upper Richmond Road, and difficulties for pedestrians crossing Putney Hill around Cambalt Road, St John's Avenue and Carlton Drive.

The Council has now begun a study into what can be done to improve road safety in this stretch of Putney Hill. This needs to involve Transport for London, who manage Putney Hill.

If you have any views to feed in, please contact your Councillors or Sarah your candidate.

Ravi welcomes breakthrough on EU residents’ rights

East Putney Cllr and Council Leader Ravi Govindia has welcomed the breakthrough in Brexit talks that guarantees the rights of EU citizens in the UK, and British citizens in the EU. Since negotiations began, Ravi has been pressing both sides to reach agreement on citizens’ rights. Some 30,000 EU nationals live in Wandsworth, and many were very worried.

Ravi wrote to both Mrs May and Michel Barnier, head of the EU negotiating team, asking them to make rapid progress on securing the rights of Wandsworth’s EU residents, and told a Government inquiry that EU citizens should have their status confirmed as soon as possible, in view of their contribution to London’s economy. In December, Ravi gave Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis a tour of Wandsworth’s Nine Elms regeneration zone in Battersea, and pointed out the role of EU citizens in revitalising the area.

Ravi said: “I’m delighted that this landmark agreement secures the rights of EU residents who have made Wandsworth their home. From speaking to many, we knew they were worried about what Brexit would mean for their families. I’m so pleased this has been resolved. EU citizens play a role in our borough’s cultural and economic well-being, and we hope those now living here will stay and thrive.”

The Council has also set up a phone, email and drop-in advice service for EU nationals in Wandsworth who may still need advice about Brexit, provided for the Council by Citizens Advice, at Battersea library. Residents can email euadviceservice@cawandsworth.org or find out more here. The Council also offers other support to EU citizens; there is more about this here.

Repaving – and getting things fixed

The Council’s major re-paving programme is well underway. Carlton Drive is one of the many streets getting new pavements, and will complete this winter. If you think your street should be included in the programme, please let your Councillors know.

Meanwhile, the Council’s ‘Wandsworth Report It’ app has made it quick and easy to report issues like damaged paving, flytips, graffiti, missed rubbish collection or overgrown trees, and to request repair or clean up. The app, for Android, Windows and iOS devices, can be downloaded from the Apple, Android or Windows app store, or via the Council’s website. You can take a photo of a problem, and the app logs its location. You can then add some comments or a description, and send it straight to the town hall for action.

Wandsworth top for economic growth and one of the best for disadvantaged residents

A new study by the cross-party think-tank Demos has placed Wandsworth top of London’s 32 boroughs for boosting economic growth. Published in PwC’s ‘Good Growth for Cities index 2017’, it studied 42 of the UK’s largest cities on indicators critical to economic success and wellbeing, including employment, health, income, skills, housing costs, commuting, environment, income inequality and business start-ups.

East Putney Cllr and Council Leader Ravi Govindia said: “Wandsworth is a great place to live, work and do business. We work to have great schools and transport links, build homes for people on all incomes, support local businesses and provide great leisure, cultural and sporting opportunities. I’m delighted that this detailed study has highlighted our success.”

There is more about the Demos-PwC study at www.pwc.co.uk/goodgrowth.

Meanwhile the Social Mobility Commission has placed Wandsworth among the country’s top boroughs in helping disadvantaged residents. In its annual “State of the Nation” report covering 324 English councils, the Commission found Wandsworth fourth best in the country in helping people overcome deprived backgrounds. It examined education, employability and housing prospects to find where people from disadvantaged backgrounds are most or least likely to make social progress.

Ravi added: “This study highlights our work to support all our residents, especially those from lower income backgrounds. Through our comprehensive Aspirations Programme we’re providing good quality affordable homes, superb early years services for children and some of the country’s best state schools, while our regeneration programmes have created thousands of local jobs. We’re delighted our efforts have been recognised, but we won’t be standing still.”

Community Road Watch

East Putney Cllr George Crivelli and candidate Sarah Binder were out with residents in Westleigh Avenue and Chartfield Avenue in October, using speed guns to help our local Safer Transport police team catch drivers breaking the 20mph speed limit, as part of the Community Road Watch initiative. In just two hours, some 55 speeding car and motorbike drivers were caught - some doing well over 40mph or even 50mph. Residents hope the activity will bring it home that drivers must slow down in these residential streets!

Neighbours come together on Mosque development

East Putney Cllr George Crivelli has continued to support a Neighbourhood Forum where members of the Ahmadiyya Mosque and other Gressenhall Road residents discuss issues around parking and congestion related to Mosque building plans. The Mosque has planning permission for development, subject to certain requirements. However at a meeting in November, Mosque representatives said there will be no building at Gressenhall until late 2019 / early 2020, as the Mosque in Morden is being prioritised for development.

George said: “It was a lively meeting that again saw residents and Mosque representatives working constructively together to resolve traffic and parking issues.”

Heathrow expansion

The Transport Secretary announced further consultation in the autumn following updated evidence about long-term aviation forecasts, passenger numbers and GDP (gross domestic product) figures. These are issues that your Councillors and MP Justine Greening have already highlighted in campaigning against Heathrow expansion. The new evidence meant the National Policy Framework had to be redrafted, and residents have been able to respond to the further consultation until 19 December. For more information, click here.

Meanwhile Wandsworth and three other councils have told the House of Commons Transport Committee that a third runway could not be built without causing unacceptable air and noise pollution.

East Putney Cllr and Council Leader Ravi Govindia said: The latest evidence fails to show how an expanded airport could meet air quality limits. This makes a third Heathrow runway unbuildable, but Gatwick expansion could go ahead without this risk. If there is a need for more capacity in the South East it can be built more quickly at Gatwick, at lower cost, within lawful pollution limits, and with fewer people affected by noise. It would also offer more domestic routes than Heathrow.”

You can read the submission to the Transport Select Committee from Wandsworth, Hillingdon, Richmond, and Windsor and Maidenhead Councils on the Transport Committee website.

Gritting for winter

As the weather gets colder, your Council has again given out free bags of grit and rock salt to residents and Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators, to help people clear icy footpaths or garden paths. The Council is also filling neighbourhood yellow grit bins, and will have its fleet of vehicles out gritting roads and pavements, with special attention to areas outside stations, hospitals, OAP day centres, schools, care homes, clinics and nurseries.

Grit bins hold a ton of extra grit that can be put down on residential roads with problem areas or steep inclines, such as Putney Hill, and you can use them to clear ice and snow from footpaths in front of your home. To find your nearest grit bin, tick ‘grit bins’ on the menu beside this map.

More new trees

While it’s wintry outside, your Council is preparing for spring by planting over 600 new trees in streets, parks and housing estates. The Council looks after over 60,000 trees in our parks and open spaces, with around 16,000 on streets and housing estates. Wandsworth was one of Britain’s first urban councils to establish tree wardens - local residents who help the town hall by keeping an eye on the well-being of their neighbourhood trees.

East Putney Cllr and Council Leader Ravi Govindia said: “If there is an empty tree pit near you, please let us know, and we’ll get it into the planting programme. Wandsworth has a great reputation as one of London’s greenest boroughs, and this is part of our work to make our borough an even better place to live.”

Superfast broadband for Ashburton Estate

Ashburton Estate is now being offered some of the fastest broadband speeds in London. The Council is working with Community Fibre to roll out superfast broadband to Council-managed blocks, and aims to reach 20,000 homes over the next few years. 5,500 homes on six estates had access by the autumn, and Ashburton is one of eight estates in the latest wave.

Community Fibre installs fibre optic cables directly into homes, so customers don’t pay for line rental, and families can download films, music and browse on multiple devices at the same time. Its ‘Gigafast’ service can download at over 1,000 megabits per second, over 40 times faster than the UK average. The ‘Gigafast’ package costs £50 a month, and there are lower-cost packages for residents who don’t need top speed. To find out more or sign up, visit the Community Fibre website.

Crackdown on high-street gambling

East Putney Cllr and Council Leader Ravi Govindia has long been critical of how a Labour Government law allowed high-stakes gambling machines to spread in our high streets. So he has welcomed a Government review into how these ‘fixed-odds betting terminals’ may be driving up problem gambling. These machines allow people to bet, and potentially lose, hundreds of pounds a minute. The Government is now consulting on proposals that could cut the maximum stake to just £2.

Ravi said: “High-street gambling machines and betting shops proliferated after Labour’s 2005 Gambling Act, which removed many previous controls and made it harder for councils to oppose new betting shops and high-stakes fruit machines. I hope the spread of these machines can now be curtailed, along with the damage they can cause to vulnerable people.”

There is more about the Government consultation here and you can have your say here until midday on January 23.

Some good news about trains and tubes

Putney station now has some new longer trains to ease over-crowding. South West Trains have introduced a number of new ‘Class 707’ trains with 10 or 12 carriages instead of 8. This follows Network Rail’s work to extend platforms at Waterloo and adjust signalling and tracks. The new trains run through Putney on the Waterloo / Windsor & Eton Riverside line, and on the Hounslow loop through Barnes. The new carriages have free WiFi, modern climate control and real-time updates for passengers. You can have a look inside them here.

East Putney tube station will hopefully offer a more reliable District Line service over the next few years. TfL have said that as they complete their signalling upgrade, they will be able to increase capacity and improve services through East Putney. Meanwhile, your Councillors continue to urge TfL to improve the grotty appearance of East Putney tube forecourt, and have offered council money to help pay for an upgrade. Watch this space!