Proposals by three Putney councillors to rebrand an area of the town as “Putney Riverside Village” have been lampooned by residents.
In January’s Thamesfield ward monthly newsletter ward Councillor Mike Ryder announced plans for the new village that would encompass the stretch of road starting at the junction of Putney High Street and Lower Richmond Road.
The village border would then run all the way down the Lower Richmond Road to Putney Common including all the side roads to the north that head down to the river.
Writing in the newsletter Coun Ryder said: “It is felt that this would reflect its ‘villagey’ feel and give it an individual personality.
“An informal steering committee has been set up and in the new year the committee will examine ways to get financial backing from the council, local traders and other interested groups towards hanging baskets, signs and posters, which would announce the Putney Riverside Village.”
But the reaction from many residents was at best sceptical and at worst disdain with many taking to community website putneySW15.com to ridicule the suggestion.
One contributor Martyn Forrester said: “It’s wannabe-elitist nonsense. What’s next after ‘branding’, fencing it off as a gated community?
“Call me cynical, but I bet the ‘informal steering committee’ consists entirely of estate agents hoping to give the area some kind of cachet in advance of the common being tarmacked, the main and side roads becoming gridlocked, and property values plunging.”
Another Sam Curtis said: “I personally think this re-branding is a bit pointless.
“What does it make the area from High St along Putney Bridge Road? It’s still going to be Putney, and would rather councillors and others spend their time and money on more important issues, such as lack of affordable housing in the area, care of elderly, and I don’t think it’s going to make any difference to getting people to act in a more ‘village’ community way.”
Furthermore some residents have also suggested an area south of Putney, which lies near Putney Heath, is already called Putney Village.
If you would like to get involved with the project email Coun Ryder at mryder@ wandsworth.gov.uk or write to him at the Members’ Room, Wandsworth town hall