Category Archives: Brentford

Black Lives Matter: Brentford 28 June 2020

As the Mayor of the London Borough of Hounslow, I was asked to attend and speak at the Black Lives Matter event taking place today at Market Place, Brentford today but during the current health crisis, I did not feel confident keeping physical distance. Had I have been there in body, what follows is what I would have said,

Welcome to the politically significant town of Brentford, because this is where, until the early 1800s, elections for the county of Middlesex parliamentary seat, covering 734 km2 from Staines up to Potters Bar across to Tottenham and down to Westminster, would take place.

At the 1820 General Election, only around 7,500 property owning males from a total population of around 1 million in the county took part in the vote.

It wasn’t until 1929 that anyone over the age of 21, male, female, poor had won (because we know it was fought for) the right to vote, an entitlement to participate.

Although, by then, the establishment, hierarchies and elites had begun to consolidate their own infrastructure, which in many respects is still maintained; access to it by outsiders remains pretty well regulated.

One of the highlights during my time as Mayor was early last October learning about the achievements of (the late) Jessica and Eric Huntley with the Friends of the Huntley Archive at a Black History Month event at Brentford’s Gunnersbury Museum.

Eric Huntley at Gunnersbury Museum, October 2019

The West Ealing based Huntleys not only pioneered improvements to black children’s learning through supplementary schooling but also founded the Bogle-L’Ouverture publishing house and a bookshop off the Uxbridge Road in W13 which was attacked with regularity by racists.

Mr Huntley after one of the regular late 1970s racist attacks on the Bogle-L'Ouverture Bookshop at Chignell Place, West Ealing
Mr Huntley following a regular late 1970s racist attacks on the Bogle-L’Ouverture Bookshop at Chignell Place, West Ealing

Their first publication in 1972 was, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Dr Walter Rodney.  At that time, this was a rare modern perspective on the legacy of the four hundred years old imperialist sacking of that particular continent.

My own view is that progress can be made and lives can be changed if people want it to.  To this effect we need to be equipped with a confidence that comes from knowledge.

I would expect, that a large number of people here today have, since the death of George Floyd or the removal of the late 19th century statue of the mid 17th century slave trader Edward Colston, have been conducting their own research, learning stuff never previously considered.

Many have seen criticism of Black Lives Matter protests, some of it appearing selectively focussed on sensation, small pockets of affray and violence.  This is not what I have deduced (nor would I condone) because people of even just my generation have seen lazy reporting, on similar occasions, particularly on many matters of race during the past forty odd years of my own social and political awareness.

Not being there, I cannot tell how many citizens are present but would encourage peace, safety and comradeship here, now and beyond. Demonstrating for something you believe in is no shame but please keep a physical distance.

From Dr Rodney’s book, I leave you with my personal perspective on why I believe, today, that black lives matter too,

“to move slowly while others leap ahead is virtually equivalent to going backward”.

Dr Walter Anthony Rodney 1942 – 1980

Don’t go backward.

Thank you all for attending and am particularly grateful to Brentford’s Sharidin Mumuni for her effort in encouraging this awareness. Have a good afternoon.

TL 28.6.2020

Comments Off on Black Lives Matter: Brentford 28 June 2020

Filed under Brentford, Events, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods

Big Planning in Little Hounslow: Local Plan Review consultation events

Hounslow’s Local Plan Review runs until 10 December 2017

 

Wednesday 1 November 2017: at Thistleworth Tennis Club, 127a Ridgeway Road North, TW7 5LX from 5.00 pm to 8.00 pm including a Workshop between 6.00 pm and 7.00 pm

Wednesday 8 November 2017: at Brentford Free Church, Boston Manor Road, TW8 8DW from 5.00 pm to 8.00 pm including a Workshop between 6.00 pm and 7.00 pm

By law, all local authorities need to have a Local Plan in place to guide council planners and developers, whether small or large, on what development proposals are likely to be acceptable.

The government’s Planning Inspectorate approved Hounslow’s Local Plan in 2015 with provisos that there would be early reviews for the borough’s West Area (Heston, Feltham, Hanworth, Cranford, Bedfont) and the Great West Corridor (Syon Lane to Chiswick Roundabout), a fair chunk of the latter in Osterley and Spring Grove Ward.

The process started almost immediately with release in December 2015 of initial consultation documents for both areas seeking comments on proposals for possible developments and associated infrastructure such as new transport links. Within these, there was a concurrent call for sites seeking nominations for any sites thought suitable for development; housing, employment, leisure or other uses.

By the closing date of that consultation, in February 2016, I submitted responses with views on both localities, for the Great West Corridor and for the West Area.

The Local Plan Review is currently at its next stage and residents are encouraged to participate and contribute their comments to help shape the final document that will be presented to the Planning Inspectorate later in 2018.

As it stands, there are a number of possible redevelopment proposals which if realised are likely to have impact in Osterley and Spring Grove Ward. These include sites such as Tesco Syon Lane (563 housing units and retail), West Cross, the former Firestone factory (827 housing units and employment) and the Gillette building (114 housing units and employment. More details on these and other locations are shown in the site allocation document.

The Great West Corridor Local Plan Review document can be found here and there is a heap of further information on these dedicated Hounslow Council website pages.

The consultation runs from Monday 23 October to Sunday 10 December 2017. Please take part and would be happy to discuss any aspects with Osterley and Spring Grove residents prior.

TL 30.10.2017

Comments Off on Big Planning in Little Hounslow: Local Plan Review consultation events

Filed under Brentford, Council Business, Events, Great West Road, Housing, Leisure, Neighbourhoods, Northumberland Estate, Osterley, Planning, Public transport, Sky, TfL, Traffic, Wyke Green

Special IBAF on Monday 9 October 2017 for Local Democracy Week

Local Democracy Week runs from 9 to 15 October and gives local people opportunities to be listened to and influence decisions.

Following a well attended Isleworth and Brentford Area Forum at Spring Grove House last Thursday, another will take place on Monday 9 October 2017 at 7.00 pm at Brentford Free Church, Boston Manor Road, TW8 8DW to mark Local Democracy Week.

Special because that evening we plan to focus on the IBAF Action Plan where each councillor has been sponsoring a particular piece of work within our area, an Open Forum devised led by young people from local schools and the input of agencies and council departments delivering in Isleworth and Brentford.

The meeting agenda has just been published and will include updates from

  • Transport for London
  • Hounslow Highways and its Hounslow Council Contracts Management counterpart
  • Hounslow Council Enforcement
  • Hounslow Council Parks
  • Hounslow Council Traffic and Transport.

All residents are welcome to attend and contribute alongside the area’s 12 ward councillors.

TL  30.9.2017

Comments Off on Special IBAF on Monday 9 October 2017 for Local Democracy Week

Filed under Brentford, Council Business, Events, Great West Road, Hounslow Highways, Leisure, London Road, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Northumberland Estate, Osterley, Parks, Public transport, Roads, Schools, Spring Grove, Thornbury Park, Traffic, Wyke Green

I B A F on Tour

At Hounslow Council’s Annual General Meeting on 23 May 2017, I had the honour of being appointed to the Chair of the Isleworth and Brentford Area Forum for 2017/2018.

Until now, the location of the IBAF meetings have been pretty static, held in Brentford but this year we are taking this bi monthly democratic event on the road and trying as best to give advance notice of items planned for discussion and decision.

Tomorrow’s meeting will be held in Syon Ward at the St Johns Community Centre, 80 St Johns Road, Isleworth then on 28 September 2017 we shall be at the splendid Spring Grove House, West Thames College.  Current proposals for locations and items for future meetings through to March 2018 can be found here.

A special meeting of the IBAF, to mark Local Democracy Week 2017, is being planned for early October 2017 where the focus will be on the current IBAF Action Plan and a Young People’s Open Forum; details will follow when firm.

All are welcome to attend and to contribute via the regular Open Forum agenda item and by submitting written questions prior, particularly relating to matters from the IBAF’s four constituent Wards, Osterley & Spring Grove; Isleworth; Isleworth; Brentford but also other Hounslow Council matters.

TL  26.7.2017

Comments Off on I B A F on Tour

Filed under Brentford, Council Business, Events, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Northumberland Estate, Osterley, Spring Grove, Wyke Green

Southern Fail: Sadiq would do better

Claire Perry MP couldn’t hack sorting it and resigned as Railways Minister last week.  Labour Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, on the other hand is keen to take responsibility where hapless ministers and private sector pirates continue to fail commuters.

A GTR Southern train - GTR's recent new timetable removed 300+ daily services

A GTR Southern train – with government blessing, GTR’s recent new timetable removed 300+ daily services

Hounslow commuters change trains at Clapham Junction, many from Osterley & Spring Grove Ward’s Syon Lane and Isleworth Stations to get to work at Victoria, Croydon and elsewhere using Southern Rail franchised to Govia Thameslink Railways.  A few conversations I’ve had with constituents include horror stories of half length trains, jammed and hot carriages, delays and cancellations caused, in the main, by a badly managed franchise where the onus is on cutting costs and boodting shareholder profits at the expense of a vital public service.

This week the Mayor of London wrote to the Transport Secretary asking for TfL to be put in temporary charge of the Southern part of the GTR franchise.  His letter to borough councillors describing that approach can be found here.

In 2014 the Department for Transport agreed to pay GTR £8.9 billion over the seven year franchise with GTR receiving all passenger revenues.

GTR owner, Go-Ahead Group plc Chief Executive David Brown received £2.16 million in total between July 2014 and June 2015, with the majority of this comprised of bonus payments.

TL  22.7.2016

 

Comments Off on Southern Fail: Sadiq would do better

Filed under Brentford, Neighbourhoods, Northumberland Estate, Osterley, Public transport, TfL