This Sunday’s Antique Market is another shining example of Community led initiative. Held in Chiswick, now becoming a focus for well organised Sunday markets in the middle of Chiswick Town Centre, fast recovering from the worst impacts of Covid-19. Residents of all four Chiswick wards and welcome visitors should be able to enjoy a safe experience (and hope for good weather).
Listening to the Community across Hounslow
Six weeks of campaigning came to close this week and as I write this blog, I have yet to learn of the outcome of all the results from London’s Mayoral Election and GLA. We also contested two by elections in the West of the Borough of Hounslow, with two incredibly strong and hardworking female candidates in the Hounslow Heath and the Cranford Wards. It was a hard fought campaign and as Deputy Leader of the Party I am very proud to be associated with our two outstanding candidates, Nada Jarche and Shabnam Nasimi who have given residents a glimpse of what prospective Conservative Councillor candidates can achieve. Their work ethic and personal campaigning was reassuringly Conservative.
I count the number of steps I made, the doors I knocked on and the number of residents I spoke and listened to across the Borough. There was an overwhelming sense of dissatisfaction with this administration. Nothing new there I suppose. People are entitled to complain when services aren’t delivered and when the lamps, roads and pavements are not properly maintained and potholes remain potholes.
Residents have endured years of empty promises and poor services, so that they have given any hope for a better run Council. But in the words of GK Chesterton, ‘Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all.’ The hope for many people is to have a focussed and listening administration next year. To stem the tide of mismanagement the only cure is to embrace change and return a Conservative majority across the Borough in 2022.
The Chiswick Community and Recovery
Campaigning across Hounslow makes you appreciate Chiswick even more. It really is a very special place in so many ways; made more special by the people that we deal with every day, rain or shine. Chiswick is the only place where one minute you can be having a heated political debate with someone and the next minute you are working together as volunteers in a worthy cause. Say, the Chiswick Flower Market.
A few months ago I wrote that we needed to be work collaboratively with residents and community leaders as we recover from the pandemic and the lockdown. There was a report commissioned by Hounslow and produced by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies called the, Community Engagement Review; it gave recommendation for delivering a community led recovery.
They shouldn’t have bothered with recommendations. It comes naturally in Chiswick. They could have just come to the Chiswick Flower Market to see a blueprint for a community led initiative that can actually work! They can also just pop down to the Highroad this Sunday from 9am to engage with over 40 traders at our first Antique Market. And as for the environment, we can just point them to the numbers of community champions who go out of their way to volunteer as either litter pickers, gardeners or planters.
Chiswick is well placed for a community led recovery. The sense of civic pride is deeply imbedded in our psyche. Residents in Chiswick as whole are so much more engaged with the goings on in their community than any other part of the Borough. Just Look at the activities on the Forum to the left of the screen. Our residents are active participants. They want to be heard and they resent not being consulted on matters concerning their area.
Chiswick Area Forum
The Chiswick Area Committee used to stand for localism, not now that the Administration has emasculated its authority and responsibilities leaving no more than a shadow consultative forum with little executive capacity. It is obviously no coincidence that the administration is not politically represented in Chiswick.
The mistake that the current administration always makes, is that they think they can bulldoze their way into Chiswick without any engagement or consultation. That’s what has led to a number of unwanted LTNs and a Cycle Superhighway that is not only an obstruction and safety hazard to bus passengers, pedestrians and shoppers alike but is also the cause of constant tailbacks on the Highroad and a huge increase in pollution from traffic (now standing not moving).
You just couldn’t make it up! They think they can raise Council Tax by 6% and escape censure whilst unemployment in Hounslow has climbed and people are having trouble attempting to pay the tax. Moving out of the pandemic is part of the cure and Chiswick Conservatives are working hard to develop plans and programmes to meet the challenge.
Making the Change
As we come out of this pandemic, and ease restriction, it is our hope as Chiswick Councillors that TfL and the administration absorb the comments in their limited traffic management and minimum statutory consultation, will then rethink their policy of imposition. and will then join our pledge as Chiswick Conservatives to be listening on the side of the community in a collaborative and properly consultative future manner. We promise all residents of Hounslow that May next year will be a game changer with a new conservative administration.
The beating heart of Hounslow is actually here in Chiswick. Our task is to spread Chiswick into Hounslow.
Cllr Ron Mushiso