Hearty congratulations to Edward Lister, Chief of Staff to the Mayor for London and former leader of Wandsworth Council, on being granted a knighthood in The Queen's Birthday Honours list.
Edward was leader of Wandsworth Council for 19 years. That is an exceptionally long period of public service in such demanding a role of being a Council leader. But that is not the point. The point was what he achieved in that time for the people of his borough and the example he offered to the rest of us. Wandsworth became the exemplar of combining a low Council Tax with excellent services.
As Ronald Reagan said of his efforts to build a "shining city on a hill": “We weren't just marking time. We made a difference. We made the city stronger, we made the city freer, and we left her in good hands. All in all, not bad, not bad at all.” Edward was not just marking time in Wandsworth. His legacy is of tremendous value.
The best news is that Edward new role offers scope for his experience to be put to the benefit of Londoners as a whole. As well as Chief of Staff at City Hall he is also the Deputy Mayor for Planning. You can see his answers to a London Assembly Plenary session on June 8, in this webcast about an hour on. Let's hope that having achieved such a low Council Tax for Wandsworth he can help other Londoners get some easing of this burden so far as the Mayor's precept is concerned.