Staveley Road and Burlington Lane – Trial Restrictions
I am still wading through the emails from distressed residents who do not know whether or not their application for access through the new trial access restrictions has been accepted or rejected by Hounslow Council. We are told that that over, 1,600 applications have been received. Unfortunately, residents have not been automatically contacted if their application is successful. My confirmation was received on Thursday, four days after the restrictions were imposed.
Well done to my colleague, Councillor Mike Denniss, whose intervention has resulted in the incorrect signage for the trial restrictions being replaced. Is it too much to expect an apology from Hounslow Council for the confusion and distress that they have caused? As my other ward colleague Councillor Gabriella Giles often says “project planning is a skill not often displayed by this administration”.
While you are at it please comment on the Staveley Road / Park Road barrier. The council will shortly be replacing the temporary barrier with a much bigger permanent one. The new trial access restrictions will make the barrier largely redundant. Where is the logic in even contemplating making the barrier permanent before the evidence has been gathered on the impact of the new trial measures? Hounslow Council have provided no explanation.
Have you seen the plans for the proposed permanent barrier? I thought not. May I suggest that you ask Hounslow Council to share them with you? firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to protest against the traffic schemes being imposed on Chiswick, you may like to take a look at this petition.
Cancelled Borough Council Meeting – 25th January The Labour Administration decided that there was insufficient business to discuss and cancelled this meeting at short notice. Really? What about all the business that was pushed through the 11th January Hounslow Cabinet meeting; the Council Tax base for 2022/23, updated plans for financing the borough’s schools, increases in council house rent and service charges for 2022/23, and the report on ‘reimagining our town centres’. Nothing to discuss? I beg to differ.
One of the matters raised in the report on school finances is the fact that the local authority funded schools are sitting on what the council itself describes as “excess balances” of nearly £19m. This has been under review since 2016 but only now is the council thinking of about actually clawing some of this money back to spend on other educational areas. Surely this needs a full and detailed public airing?
What this council cannot stand is informed criticism and closing down public debate at borough council meetings is just yet another way of achieving this. What do you do if the Overview and Scrutiny Call-In Panel tells you that your consultations on the plans to make experimental traffic measures permanent are inadequate, and that the data on which your decisions are based is incomplete and unconvincing? Easy, if you are running Hounslow - just ignore the Call-In Panel’s conclusions and plough on regardless.
New Ward Boundaries – Many of you will have received notification from the council about the changes to ward boundaries coming in to affect at the Council Elections on May 5th. For many people there will be no change but for some your polling station will have changed and possibly the name of the ward that you live in. If you are unclear if anything has changed for you, contact your councillor (see below) or email@example.com
Do not lose your right to vote and make sure that every eligible person living at your address is registered to vote. This includes anyone over the age of 16, a British, Irish or European Union Citizen or a Commonwealth Citizen with leave to remain (or who does not require leave to remain). If you need to register contact www.gov.uk/registertovote
Turn out at Local Elections can be disappointing so paradoxically your vote is even more valuable than at a General Election. This is your opportunity to determine how essential local services are delivered to you, your family and your neighbours. Now more than ever you need to be sure that your local representatives understand the nature of the climate emergency and how to mitigate its impact.
Monitoring the performance of your councillor - Hounslow Council still refuses to publish the casework statistics for each councillor for ‘technical reasons’ . This is something I have been campaigning on since 2017. I strongly believe that when a sitting councillor asks you to vote for them you are entitled to know how much casework he or she has done over the last four years. Not too much to ask you would think.
Building on the flood plain - Following the refusal by the Planning Committee, earlier this month, of the planning application to build houses on the flood plain adjacent to Hartington Road there is a need to clarify the flood status of the area with the various statutory bodies responsible . The current uncertainty is distressing for residents and unfair to developers acting in good faith. A statement from the council is urgently required.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Most council meetings are now taking place in person at Hounslow House though a few, such as licensing panel meetings, continue to be held virtually. Even if they are held in person, you can watch them live (or later) on the council's YouTube channel . Please check for each meeting by looking at the agenda reports pack for each committee.
The key council meetings coming up are:
- 1st February - 7:00 pm Overview and Scrutiny Committee
- 8th February – 7.00 pm Cabinet Meeting
- 1st March – 7.00 pm 2022/3 Budget Setting Meeting
- 3rd March – 7.00 pm Planning Meeting
SURGERIES ARE BACK!
We are now able to hold face-to-face surgeries again and, as before, will be available in Chiswick and in Gunnersbury. Chiswick: Every Saturday from 9.30am to 10.30am at Chiswick Library (the nine Conservative councillors take this surgery in turn). Gunnersbury: First Saturday of the month from 10am to 11am at The Gunnersbury Triangle Club, Triangle Way, off The Ridgeway, W3 8LU (at least one of the Turnham Green ward councillors will take this surgery).