The Red Hedge

Osterley and Spring Grove Ward Councillors Tony Louki, Unsa Chaudri and Aftab Siddiqui

Happy to provide a local update after Thursday’s poll in Osterley and Spring Grove.  The 34% of voters who turned out, and, for the first time in successive elections, helped return three Labour Party councillors to represent the borough’s biggest and greenest Ward.

Here are the results from 5 May 2022,

Osterley and Spring Grove Ward results from 5 May 2022

Tony Louki, first elected here in 2014 and Unsa Chaudri from 2018. This week we were joined by Northumberland Estate resident Aftab Siddiqui.  An already active resident, we’ll help further develop him the Osterley and Spring Grove Ward way.

Always around, trying to represent our residents.

TL 7.5.2022

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Filed under Events, Neighbourhoods, Northumberland Estate, OSG data, Osterley, Spring Grove

Introducing Osterley and Spring Grove Ward Labour Party Team for the London Borough of Hounslow Council Elections on 5 May 2022

Mr Aftab Siddiqui, Councillor Unsa Chaudri, Councillor Tony Louki

 

Councillor Tony Louki

Since taking a seat from the Conservatives in 2014, I have attentively served as your Labour Party Councillor for the last eight years.  My presence in and around the Ward (our borough’s biggest and greenest) and an honest and well run campaign improved on that result in 2018.  With the continued support of voters, I would be honoured to maintain this role together with Councillor Unsa Chaudri and Mr Aftab Siddiqui.

 

In 2019, I became the 55th Mayor of the London Borough of Hounslow, a position held for two years in the time of Covid.  Even with that responsibility, I maintained Ward duties and continued to deliver a heavy, councillor’s work caseload.  During, since and as before, I have represented; resolving issues for individuals, families and neighbourhoods.

Councillor Tony Louki representing at the Syon Lane Tesco Homebase Public Inquiry

Since May 2019, and in the face of derision from some quarters, the Labour Councillors here, in Osterley and Spring Grove Ward, have advised, guided, supported and often led residents on how to practically challenge developer proposals which could greatly alter the face of Syon Lane at Tesco and Homebase.  Having sought it, I have been participating at the Planning Public Inquiry since 15 March 2022; presenting on behalf of the three Ward councillors, physically attending to speak for three of the so far nine days.  Aftab Siddiqui also made representations on the first day.

With Greenwood Osterley Archers at Goals Gillette Corner, both of Osterley Sports Network

As an active councillor and for the advantage of the Ward, I always encourage partnership between public services, Hounslow Council, Hounslow Highways, West Thames College and the Ward Police Team for example.  Having established the Osterley Sports Network in 2015, I continue to support sustainability and collaboration between the Ward’s numerous sports clubs and providers including Thistleworth Tennis, Wycombe House, Indian Gymkhana and Old Isleworthians.  I want to see facilities thrive, maintained and not threatened or taken over by developers; sharks will often circle and try to pick off those on their own.

Residents, Police and Hounslow Council checking the Osterley Bowls Pavilion

I tried a number of ways to sustain Osterley Bowls Club but, with an aging membership, it folded in December 2020.  Lately, I have met with residents and been brokering a proposal with the council, police and the Ward’s Police Safer Neighbourhood Panel to use some of the former bowls club pavilion as a Ward Police touchdown base, separate community use associated with Osterley Library and recreation on the bowling green.

With Osterley Library’s Jenny Cox, Clare and local authors Amer Anwar and Khurrum Rahman at a Meet the Author event, October 2019.

Osterley Library is dear to its 30,000 plus users, it is the Ward’s only Council building north of Great West Road.  Although not blatant this time, Conservatives’ usually put out closure scare stories before every election; I and any other Labour Councillor representing here will never allow this. However, it should be said that, despite twelve years of austerity cuts started by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition Government in 2010 where Hounslow Council has lost more than £400 millions of funding, not one of the borough’s eleven libraries has been closed down.

Cutting the ribbon to launch the Syon Lane Station lift , December 2020.

I did lead the campaign to save the H28 bus route via Wood Lane and have continued to advocate for step free (lift) access at our local stations.  I was proud, as Mayor, to cut the ribbon at Syon Lane Station and proclaimed the new lifts at Osterley Station, commissioned by Labour Mayor Khan after Mayor Livingstone’s proposals were scrapped by Conservative Mayor Johnson.  Since 2015, I have pursued lift installation at Isleworth Station and funding is now allocated by the Department for Transport.  Since 2014, I have called and chaired meetings and made written responses on rail franchises, trains service changes and infrastructure consultations.

Hounslow Council traffic engineers, with South Western Railway on the long negotiation to get a cycle short cut from London Road to St Johns Road.

I have also pursued cycle access through Isleworth Station Car Park from London Road to St Johns Road with works set to start this year; a safe and convenient detour to avoid the Sainsbury’s junction.  The three Ward Councillors also submitted a response to Transport for London on Cycleway 9, we are in general support of its passing through our part of London Road subject to provisos of honest consultation pedestrian controlled crossings at St Johns Road, maintaining shoppers parking by the two parades and safe bus stops around Isleworth Station and West Thames College.

St Mary’s Crescent Gate at Jersey Gardens June 2016. Neglected by the Conservatives; fixed through Councillor Tony Louki’s efforts.

Since 2014 Councillor Unsa Chaudri and I, have played an active part in reviving the Friends of Jersey Gardens and Friends of Thornbury Park, bidding for and securing resource to make improvements, repair infrastructure, fix and renew equipment and to plant new trees, see here.  Whether intentional or not, the previous non reporting of repairs in parks, on roads or pavements by Conservatives makes it appear that a Labour run council neglects its assets, when all that needs to be done is submit casework.

June 2014. Previous Conservative ward councillors did not appear interested in ridding Clifton Road’s trade waste and flytips. Following Tony Louki’s pursuit and LBH help it is now a very rare occurence here and other parts around London Road shops.

I regularly walk Osterley and Spring Grove and can honestly say that our Ward is the best kept in the whole borough.  Also encouraging others to do so, I report flytips, litter, A4 subways graffiti, dead trees for replacing, broken paving, potholes and all the rest to Hounslow Highways via https://fms.hounslowhighways.org/.

Genuine living rent housing at St Johns Road on the former Moore Brothers site.

Whichever way analysed, what your Osterley and Spring Grove Labour councillors work on to improve their residents’ immediate happiness and wellbeing do reflect their party’s ambitions and values.  Whilst proud of my own achievements here, I am delighted with my part in helping to secure those with a big impact too such as rehousing individuals and families as well as supporting policy compliant planning applications in the borough that would deliver homes at proper council rents.

Councillor Tony Louki with residents of Wood Lane, Syon Lane and Wyke Estate, 28 April 2015. The day Mary Macleod MP spilled the beans on her long hidden secret on the Conquest Club proposals, and then, a few days, later got booted out of office.

I am also very much aware that, since joining as a kid in 1978 (nine Leaders and counting), I have been formed of the Labour Party.  There are several voters in Osterley and Spring Grove who, possibly as conditioned, would otherwise not choose us.  I do know, though, that because of my and my colleagues’ approach to representative Ward work, people appreciate what they see and what we do in this part of the borough and continue to lend us their vote these past eight years.

Please look at the archive here at www.osterleyspringgrove.org, follow my Twitter account, https://twitter.com/tonylouki or look at the Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/councillor.tonylouki  to learn more.

 

Councillor Unsa Chaudri

 

The last two years have been some of the most difficult we in this country will have faced for many years. However, both Hounslow and our community in Osterley and Spring Grove Ward have come together to support and care for those most in need.

I have been fortunate to have been one of your three Councillors during this time, working closely with residents, our community groups, and statutory services to ensure Osterley and Spring Grove is able to thrive once the pandemic is behind us.

Councillor Unsa Chaudri with residents and planning officers examining an application from Access Storage to permit articulated trucks on site via Northumberland Avenue (yet to be determined at 1.5.2022).

I have been active in the local community for over ten years, narrowly missing out in 2014 before helping to secure three Labour seats for the first time ever in 2018 in this now marginal ward where we know that we have to work to earn your vote.

Working closely with Ward colleagues, we have been able to fight for our community, elevating their voice to even national level on matters such as the Tesco/Homebase development. Locally, I challenged and publicly scrutinised the Leader of the Council’s proposal to buy flats off plan from the then yet not even submitted for planning Homebase proposal.

Councillor Unsa Chaudri at the Ward Councillor arranged Tesco/Homebase public meeting. St Francis of Assisi Church, 20 November 2022

Through regular surgeries and canvassing activity, I have come to know our community intimately and this shows in the hundreds of pieces of casework I have handled for residents from housing challenges, abandoned horses right through to anti-social behaviour and reviewing the licence of the Osterley Park Hotel.

Councillor Unsa Chaudri at a residents meeting to explain a Osterley Park Hotel licence variation application. Nishkam School 16.11.2022

However, being a councillor is not just about addressing problems, it is about finding solutions. I am proud we have managed to deliver step free access at Syon Lane and Osterley stations, I am proud that Jersey Gardens has reclaimed its prestigious green flag and I am proud that we have been able to prioritise pothole and pavement repairs for our roads.

Councillor Unsa Chaudri with Hounslow Parks Team’s Sonia Ferdousi and West Thames College Vice Principal Michael Michaelides planting the Thornbury Park Orchard, January 2018.

Professionally, I work with local authorities across the country to support them in improving services for residents. I use this experience in Hounslow as firstly a ward councillor and secondly as a Deputy Cabinet Member to ensure our services are constantly developing.

I attended the Green School and until recently was a committed Governor there and at present I am a Governor at Heston Primary School.

Councillor Unsa Chaudri and Osterley Library’s Jenny Cox in the meeting room where Councillors’ advice surgeries take place.

My values are also driven by my union background. I am a member of Unison and working as a work place representative and assistant branch secretary, I successfully fought for the rights of library and parks staff here in Hounslow.

In politics though nothing stands still and it is easy for us to rest on our laurels. It is vital that councillors are able to be held to account, and that is why I pledge that if reelected I will:

Councillor Unsa Chaudri with Ward Police after an open air joint meeting for residents at Spencer Road in 2021.

  • Ensure we put pressure on developers to deliver the affordable homes and infrastructure we need in a way that is sensitive to our community
  • Campaign for South Western Railways to reverse their cut to services at Isleworth and Syon Lane
  • Remain a strong critical friend ensuring Council policy is right for our community and enshrined in our Labour values
  • Work with council officers to improve our vital parks and green spaces
  • Develop a series of roving surgeries to ensure we are constantly listening to residents who are less engaged in the political process

 

Mr Aftab Siddiqui

 

I have lived in Roxborough Avenue, in Osterley and Spring Grove Ward, for over 15 years with my wife, and three children who attended Marlborough and Green Schools.

Aftab Siddiqui is an expert on alternative energies and was delivering at the European Energy Conference in Vienna, March 2022.

Working in the finance and environment sector, I am responsible for developing strategies to help price sources of energy including hydrogen and other environment friendly fuels.  I am an MBA and an MSC and in my free time, I play squash, cricket and write on economic and political issues.  My finance and environment background helps me to being more in-depth knowledge and to better represent residents’ views at the council.

As well as the Labour Party’s wider manifesto for this 2022 council election, my personal, side platform here in the Ward is, simply, the Three Es, Education, Environment and Economics.

Aftab Siddiqui, residents and Hounslow Police on Great West Road after a tour of ASB locations around the Northumberland Estate in 2019

I know, from close experience, that we have many families in the borough unable to secure nearby places for their children with special educational needs.  Numerous children have to travel far to get the required education and I will work and campaign to increase local education provision.

Aftab Siddiqui on Great West Road at Leigham Drive by one of the six new trees planted for Osterley and Spring Grove Ward by Transport for London.

We have lovely green spaces and parks; however, we need more.  This will help improve air quality whilst increasing outdoor activities provisions.  I want to foster park usage by raising the standard of facilities available to families.

We have numerous independent shops and businesses in the area and I want to support their owners to run them in a more friendly and peaceful environment, actively attending to anti social behaviour.

 

Published and promoted by Conor Hill on behalf of Labour candidates in the London Borough of Hounslow, all at 367 Chiswick High Road W4 4AG

 

TL 4.5.2022

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Filed under Brentford, College Road, Council Business, CPZ, Education, Events, Great West Road, H28 bus, Hounslow Highways, Housing, Leisure, Licensing, London Road, Neighbourhoods, Northumberland Estate, Osterley, Parks, Planning, Public transport, RAs, Reports, Roads, Sports, Spring Grove, TfL, Thornbury Park

Tesco Homebase Syon Lane – what’s really going on?

 

Homebase, Syon Lane from the steps at Firestone

Lately, the Conservative candidates have been giving or residents false doorstep assertions that, should they  be successful here in Osterley and Spring Grove Ward after Thursday’s council election, the Berkeley Homes Tesco Homebase proposals will be turned down.  Sadly, this would not be the case.  It’s nonsense and gives cruel, false hope.

Since May 2019, no other candidates have done more to battle the development proposals than Councillor Tony Louki, Councillor Unsa Chaudri, Aftab Siddiqui.  We have faced derision and criticism and attempts made to prevent our participation but we have persisted and pursued in a way that no other local politician (actual or wannabe) aiming to represent our Ward has..

This will never stop and, the three of us shall continue to encourage the Secretary of State do dismiss these out of place and overbearing developments.  Should he do the right thing and the developer decide to apply again, we will advocate for and pursue humane, socially viable and environmentally appropriate developments in Osterley and Spring Grove.  Not just on Syon Lane but also elsewhere in our Ward.

There will soon be a change of leadership at Hounslow Council and, by having three provenly independently minded Labour Councillors representing you, residents would be assured that our influence would be fully maintained in a most likely majority Labour Council, after Thursday.

Together, we have been behind our residents, 100%, and have played the active part that our constituents have come to expect in all Ward matters here, and not just planning.  We have shared intelligence, given advice, called public meetings, questioned the developers, challenged decision makers, sought information, spent many hours in meetings and, even during a busy election campaign, continue to participate at the Planning Inquiry.  Despite their assertions, the Conservatives have been notably absent from the nitty gritty and the fights.

In a recent campaign leaflet, the Conservative Party candidates say that they will work closely with residents to oppose the Tesco Homebase development.  There has been little sign of that close working over three years of the campaign.  Two of them have separately turned up to a couple of demonstrations against the development; one held a placard for half an hour and left, the other passed the time chit chatting, the third was nowhere to be seen.  The Labour Councillors have been a part of the campaign, attending meetings, and demonstrations, along with speaking and writing on the issue.  We also note that one of the Conservative councillors on the Planning Committee bizarrely supported the Tesco development but not the Homebase one.

The following, however, is our record.

20 November 2019 – Labour Ward Councillors appraised 100+ residents of the Berkeley/Tesco/Prudential proposals at St Francis of Assisi Church which we organised and paid for.

21 January 2021Councillor Unsa Chaudri forensically challenged council leader Curran and planning boss Matthews at formal scrutiny of a proposal to buy 164 properties off plan at the as yet unapproved Homebase scheme.

8 April 2021 – All Labour Ward Councillors, Louki, Chaudri and Eason represented their residents at the Planning Committee.

12 April 2021 – Councillors advise OWGRA to start its petition to higher level decision makers.

12 May 2021 – Councillor Tony Louki accompanies OWGRA and the 4,332 signatures petition to City Hall for presentation to the Mayor of London.

2 September 2021 – Councillors attend and lobby the London Assembly Meeting at City Hall.

28 September 2021Ward Councillors write to the Secretary of State asking for a Planning Inquiry.

13 January 2022 – Ward Councillors submit their case to the Planning Inspector.

15 March 2022 – Planning Inquiry commences and Councillors and candidates participate, present and represent.  Watch Councillor Tony Louki and watch Aftab Siddiqui.  Read Tony Louki’s script here.

At all times, these past three years of this saga, we could not be further away from being NIMBYs.  We know that the borough needs housing but it should match the housing  need (just 14% of the proposed units are three bedroomed),  be appropriate for the location and on a humane scale.  We are with our residents and remain staunch despite the efforts of others to prevent and curtail our continued proven success in representing here in Osterley and Spring Grove Ward.

Crocodile tears though, as usual from the local Conservatives.  Since former Chancellor George Osborne’s Slums of the Future planning “reforms” of July 2015, Conservative legislation has put developers into a stronger position against councils and it is increasingly difficult and costly to refuse poor applications to develop. They say nothing of that in their literature, nor of property developers’ regular and hefty contributions to Conservative Central Office; Russian oligarch proportions.

At this critical stage wherever any embedded political loyalties may be, please maintain the investment of experienced and honest voices speaking up for everyone in Osterley and Spring Grove.

Don’t encourage their nonsense.

Vote for Tony Louki, Unsa Chaudri, Aftab Siddiqui

Thursday 5 May 2022 from 7.00 am to 10.00 pm

Published and promoted by Conor Hill on behalf of Labour candidates in the London Borough of Hounslow, all at 367 Chiswick High Road W4 4AG

TL  4.5.2022

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Filed under Great West Road, Housing, Neighbourhoods, Northumberland Estate, Osterley, Planning, RAs, Wyke Green

Pre election wind up on Jersey Road

Wycombe House Cricket, Tennis and Social Club – new members and participants welcome

 

Told by a respectable local, that a “reliable source” told their spouse, “that Wycombe House has been offered £6m for the site”, I had a long telephone conversation with Mr Kevin Grindrod, Honorary Secretary of this, one of the long established sports and social clubs in Osterley and Spring Grove Ward, also founder participants in the Osterley Sports Network.

I know that all undeveloped space in our Ward, regardless of its mainly Metropolitan Open Land status, is coveted by developers and their mates.  When, as the 55th Mayor, Wycombe House kindly hosted my charity cricket match, one of those mates was keen to learn, “who owns it?”.

To clarify his response to the £6m, I asked Kevin to drop me a line to share with those who had raised this, along with others, and he responded thus,

“Hi Tony,

As per a couple of conversations can I categorically state that no purchase approach has been made to the Club nor has there ever been any intention of selling.

In fact, we’re beefing up our constitution and Trustees to ensure the Club remains as is.  I explained this to you.  Below is a digest of part of my General Secretary report for tomorrow’s (13.4.2022) Management Committee.

“Finally, I had a call from Tony Louki yesterday who had been contacted to be informed that the Club had been sold.  I did assure him that it was completely false.  Indeed, the whole point of the project I’ve just outlined above is designed to ensure we remain an independent, volunteer, not for profit unincorporated members’ club.  Have any of you heard anything similar?”

I hope this puts various minds at rest.  I suspect there’s some pre–election mischief going on?”

Seems like Kevin may have hit the nail on the head.  Some folk must be desperate using the development bogey man at a time like this.

Desperate tactics – Silly Mid On

Our residents already know that their Osterley and Spring Grove Ward Councillors will stick our necks out to always support them against the inappropriate.

TL  14.4.2022

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Filed under Leisure, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Parks, Sports, Wyke Green

Application to demolish Vine Lodge refused

The planning officer managing an application submitted on 4 February 2022 (reference P/2022/0601), has just published a report explaining their reasons for refusing the scheme.

Vine Lodge from Osterley Lodge.                                   Photo courtesy D Pavett Esq

The proposal was to demolish a prime and liveable house in the Spring Grove Conservation Area, and replace it with a pair of new ones.  Parts of the original property, Vine Lodge, date from as early as 1804, probably the only surviving workers dwelling known within the former Davies Estate.

Whereas the Davies Villas (a number still survive around The Grove) were built for the rich, Vine Lodge was originally a pair of gardeners’ cottages built for those who toiled and their families.

Vine Lodge, Church Road: Refused proposal

The officer’s refusal letter clearly outlines the council’s concerns, saying that the proposal is “bulky, obtrusive and incongruous within the Spring Grove Conservation Area”.  She went on to declare that it would be, “an unneighbourly form of development which would negatively impact the enjoyment of neighbouring properties”.

Thanking the many residents who pursued and made contact with their Osterley and Spring Grove Ward Councillors on this matter.

TL  29.3.2022

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Filed under Neighbourhoods, Planning, Spring Grove, Thornbury Road