How not to conduct a public consultation

Hounslow Council’s handling of the Church Street road closure in Isleworth could not have been less democratic

For many years the well-heeled residents of Church Street have complained – not without reason – of copious volumes of through traffic seeking to by-pass the already congested Twickenham Road en route to and from Busch Corner.

A reasonable solution had been sought that may have provided some reduction in the inconvenience for people living in the street.  Closure had been considered – always, though, with the caveat that it would only have been a last resort. And any closure would have had to follow a satisfactory consultation with residents of the wider area as well as improvements to Twickenham Road to counteract the impact of increased traffic. But, without support from the wider community in Isleworth, it was always a non-starter.

However, the current council appear to have been schmoozed by a small – but slick and determined – group of campaigners and they have imposed total closure with apparent disregard to the consequences for the thousands of people who would be adversely affected. Continue reading “How not to conduct a public consultation”

Public meeting: Fighting Islamaphobia and the rise of the right

Venue: St John’s Community Centre, 80 St John’s Road, Isleworth TW7 6RU.
Date/time: Thursday, 20 April, 8pm

Incidents of anti-Muslim abuse and attacks in public areas rose by 326% in 2015. Attacks mainly target visibly Muslim women reports Tell MAMA, the anti-Muslim hate monitoring group.

Four years ago, 82-year-old Mohammed Saleem was stabbed three times in the back by neo-Nazi Ukrainian Pavlo Lapshyn, Lapshyn fled the murder scene, leaving Mr Saleem with fatal wounds, and went on to embark on a campaign of terror and Mosque bombing in and around the west Midlands. Continue reading “Public meeting: Fighting Islamaphobia and the rise of the right”

Planning meeting votes in favour of seven storey flats in Brentford

Essential Living’s planning application for the redevelopment of the Morrisons’s site in Brentford was passed by the Planning Committee on Thursday, April 6, with 7 councillor voting in favour and four against.

Report from Brentford TW8 website

At the beginning of the meeting, the developer, Essential Living (EL) made a presentation in which they said there was no issue with sunlight and that there is, as yet, no guarantee that a supermarket will be on the site (although EL said they are in negotiations with Lidl).

Nick Kilby, local resident and member of Friends of St Paul’s Recreation Ground then spoke out against the development, making the following points: Continue reading “Planning meeting votes in favour of seven storey flats in Brentford”

How can we improve our local democracy?

Local campaign groups need to support each other in the run up to the local council elections

There is a lot of frustration in Hounslow about the way that the council is run and the way that decisions are reached.

It is undoubtedly to the council’s credit that council workers are all paid the London Living Wage and, unlike other boroughs, we have not closed any of our local libraries.

brentfordstadiumflatsHowever, we clearly have enough high-rise luxury flats being constructed all over the borough. These are not going to address the housing crisis as even the ‘affordable’ units are beyond the means of anyone earning less than £40,000 a year.

There is a lack of joined-up thinking on education and health too.

There is a shortage of school places and, as well as a highly controversial faith school being given planning permission in the heart of leafy Osterley, we are seeing a glut of new schools proposed for a half-mile square area around Gillette Corner. It seems as if no thought has been put into the logistics of this. Continue reading “How can we improve our local democracy?”