The Wider World
Electioneering and campaigning came to an end on May 6th with a nail biting wait for results during Saturday 8th May. The count at Olympia covered many constituencies, many elections and many close-run outcomes. Our thanks, as politicians, go to all those who used their freedom to take part in the ballot and to all those public servants who diligently managed all the polls, counting and back up postal vote administration.
For Example: The impact of Covid 19 on the postal vote was clear with a recognisable increase in numbers for the two by elections in Hounslow and Feltham. The Conservative candidates effectively doubled their vote from 2018 with some well organised campaigning and strong messages to their neighbourhoods. Chiswick councillors supporting their colleague candidates were prominent.
Chiswick councillors as you would expect were active on behalf of Nick Rodgers (candidate for South West London) and Shaun Bailey (candidate for Mayor). We saw great performances from both. The predominant theme for them and for our by-election candidates was mismanagement at every level across London with a volume of complaints about the state of roads, waste collection, road closures and penalty charge notices issued and enforced in apparent disregard of all reasonable responses to Covid 19 and all the schemes causing confusion.
The new Mayor of London will be issuing new charges and penalty notices for his pollution schemes and congestion charges from this autumn, and expect more disruption from new schemes. Please could residents be aware of the charges (proposed for 24 hours a day seven days a week and no allowance for public holidays) for friends and relations as visiting motorists.
Covid-19 and Council Tax
Damaging Business in The New Financial Year
By now every council taxpayer in Chiswick and in Ealing will know what they are in for. Council tax bills have arrived and at the end of May if you pay in instalments like the vast majority of people you will get your second larger bill than last year. An increase of six per cent is hard to stomach in very difficult times.
We are all suffering fromc idiotic council policies, costing us money, disrupting lives and making a simple shopping trip more like running the gauntlet of cyclists running red traffic signals, and with the obvious economic and financial consequences of cars, delivery vehicles and emergency teams stuck in ever increasing traffic congestion, and at the same time contributing to the increased future need and cost of healthcare because of high pollution.
The Continuing Need for Feedback and Listening to our Residents
The Conservative group in opposition have tried very hard to help in setting agendas at the Council, supporting our the Covid-19 public health team, liaising constantly with the senior management team at the council and giving support and enthusiasm to our colleagues on the front line and fellow supporters in different neighbourhoods in Hounslow.
The continuing issue for the public is that when watching Ealing and Hounslow councils in action they get no sense of any consistency in feedback or constructive engagement. We have learnt a huge amount about this in the recent election campaigns and the constant iteration on the doorstep that no one care and no one listens to them and to the population in general.
Housing, homes and streets are a continuing feature of the work and policies we wish to introduce. Recently we have commenced surveys on street space and we are responding to the growing number of cases involving poor maintenance of council owned homes and consequent health issues. Planning is a good example of engagement but with the difficulty of remote access to Zoom or Teams getting in the way of good communication.
Thank heavens for Chiswick W4. Details of survey results are being published.
Virtual meetings have again been dogged by poor technical capacity with the recent Annual General Meeting and Mayor making of Hounslow Council bedevilled by electronic feedback (buzz) and poor-quality sound.
Our new mayor has announced his chosen charity, SSAFA – the Armed Forces charity, the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, is a UK charity that provides lifelong support to serving men and women and veterans from the British Armed Forces and their families or dependents, a very worthy cause in the opinion of many residents of Hounslow
Contacting the Councillor Team
Please continue to contact your local councillor team in Chiswick directly, if you are getting no satisfaction from direct contact with the administration. (details are below)
The Opposition Conservative Party has an absolute certainty that in future we can do better than this.
We make it clear; The only way to properly deliver local government is to listen at all times and learn what people need, and understand residents’ cares, provide moderate and progressive responses and deliver changes not just promises, that are supported and delivered after proper consultation.
Gerald McGregor Councillor