Category Archives: College Road

You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off: The nonsense of 18 Grove Road

An eyesore because most of the house, instead of just the garage, (see LBH Planning reference P/2020/3428) was demolished without the required planning permission, to build a couple of extensions to the rear and side, still drags on and remains an eyesore.

18 Grove Road as it was before its sale to current owners.

Neighbours will have noticed a new planning application for extensive works, reference P/2022/3149, validated 28 October 2022 but there is plenty history.

The tedious story began late January 2022 when a neighbour contacted Hounslow Council’s Building Control and their councillor to report a potential dangerous structure.  Building Control attended the site on the same day, by when the majority of this 100 odd year old structure, referred as a “positive contributor” in the Spring Grove Conservation Area, had been removed leaving just the front wall to the house.  The remainder was not supported so Building Control enacted the council’s immediate powers under the Building Act 1984 to make the structure safe by erecting scaffold support (at the owner’s expense) to remove the immediate danger.

Scaffolding erected by Hounslow Council to remnants of 18 Grove Road.

At that point, the dangerous structure came under local authority control with the building owner needing to seek council approval prior to undertaking any further work, as well as enter the site.  Building Control also reported this work to the Health and Safety Executive.

Cutting a long story short, the Head of Building Control later considered it appropriate and the council’s lawyers agreed that this should go to court.  The property owner, the builder and the building company would be prosecuted under Section 80 of the Building Act for illegal and unsafe demolition.

18 Grove Road impacting the party wall with neighbouring 20 Grove Road.

The first hearing was at Uxbridge Magistrates in October where only the builder of himself and UK Landmark Construction Limited had pleaded guilty by post to the offences (the Owner went for not guilty).  The Court was unable to accept the guilty plea by post on behalf of the builders as the law requires a director of the company to attend Court in order to enter a plea on its behalf. The case was adjourned to later that month for sentencing (of the builder) and plea and sentencing (of the company) respectively.

The builder stated as part of his mitigation that he was provided building control drawings showing a demolition plan with the walls to be removed and complete renewal of the roof by new roof trusses.  He said he had no intention of full demolition of the structure and had acted with the advice and approval of his client.

18 Grove Road, a recent view.

At the same hearing, the Owner of 18 Grove Road pleaded not guilty.  The Magistrates, after much deliberation, granted the application and the Owner’s case was adjourned to 4 November 2022.

At the November hearing, the building owner pleaded not guilty, therefore the Court set a trial date for 3 February 2023 at Uxbridge Magistrates Court at 10.00 am.

The final fine for Mr Sayeed Naveed Akhtar, the builder, was confirmed at the November hearing equating to a total of £8,090.  The Magistrates imposed £2,000 fine to mark the offence, he was given credit for his guilty plea, otherwise, it would have been the maximum of £2,500; £1,855 towards costs and a £190 victim surcharge a total of £4,045.

UK Landmark Construction Limited, was also fined £2,000 to credit the early guilty plea, ordered to pay £1,855 prosecution costs and victim surcharge of £190 again totalling £4,045.

The Council will continue with the prosecution of the owner which, hopefully, will now be resolved on 3 February 2023 and also later reported here.

TL  12.11.2022

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Filed under College Road, Neighbourhoods, Planning

Local traffic surveys

As intrigued as numerous residents raising the matter with Osterley and Spring Grove councillors, inquiries were made of the council’s traffic team regarding the counting hardware appearing on roads in the southern part of the Ward.  Here’s what has been learnt so far.

Ridgeway Road: Traffic survey camera on a pole measuring bicycle and pedestrian directions.

Residents from different parts of our Ward often contact council officers and councillors about speeding and rat running, for example; Osterley Road is a regular as is Northumberland Avenue and, lately, The Grove.

All of the roads mentioned fall within the area of Spring Grove and North Isleworth that is currently under review for potential traffic reduction measures, broadly all roads to the south of A4, north of A315 London Road, west of Syon Lane and east of the Piccadilly Line.

Wood Lane: Pneumatic strip counter measuring vehicle numbers

Officers have advised that this is a multi-year project with the surveys, background and feasibility work being undertaken this financial year (to April 2023).  For the next financial year they will look to engage with councillors, residents and other stakeholders on potential intervention measures with a view to perhaps trialling any measures that looked promising.

College Road: Traffic count data box connected to traffic recording pneumatic strips.

Obviously, Ward councillors here will be maintaining a close watch on developments here and insist on clear and extensively analysed consultation on any proposals arising.

Anything new in the interim will be reported here.

TL  11.11.2022

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Filed under College Road, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Roads, Traffic

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

TW3.01 – Tales of the not unexpected

A couple of weeks ago when the Chair of Hounslow Council’s Labour Group released a statement on violence against residents in East Jerusalem, one correspondent on social media asked whether councillors didn’t have any local work to address.

A colleague, Councillor Salman Shaheen responded with a whole rake of items that he had been working on for his residents.  Salman’s retort prompted me to sincerely flatter the comrade from neighbouring Isleworth Ward.

I’m no David Frost, neither can I sing it like Millicent Martin let alone want to like Lance Percival, but here are some highlights from That Was The Week That Was from the currently longest serving councillor for Osterley and Spring Grove Ward.  Fresh out of the 55th Mayoralty, allow me to explain.

Sunday 16.5.2021

A more than an occasional issue at the wee Tesco on Spring Grove Road where delivery cages take up pavement space for often beyond the visit of the big trucks.  Particularly tiresome this time was the storing of these contraptions right up against one of the newly planted liquidambar styraciflua Worplesdon or Sweetgum trees.  This was reported to Hounslow Highways for enforcement via Fix My Street and am assured that this will not happen again … .

Illegally placed Tesco delivery cages endangering newly planted street trees

The Thornbury, London and Spring Grove Roads Triangle had been a badly regulated domestic and fly tipping hotspot for a long time before 2014.  Premises above shops were once accommodation for the family or staff running a business below but for many years the space has been sub divided and often short term tenanted.  This creates problems for household waste storage leading to outdoor mess.  The council’s recycling and waste team issue purple bags for waste from flats above shops and have placed a number of coffers at close proximity for their containment until twice weekly removal.  An improvement but mainly black bags still get dumped on pavements, added to by casual or opportunistic fly tippers; I always report this stuff to Hounslow Highways for removal via Fix My Street.  Occasional placement of cctv cameras does help identify perpetrators who are pursued and fined by the council.

One of many perps caught flytipping on Thornbury via Hounslow Council cctv and subsequently fined

Monday 17.5.2021

Visited Our Barn at Jubilee Lodge in Osterley Park to drop of some items commissioned for them to sell on behalf of the two charities (Our Barn and Hounslow Seniors Trust) chosen to profile and fundraise for when I was the 55th Mayor.  Their garden is looking lovely because members of the community have been busy maintaining it throughout and I got given rhubarb that day.

One of the many raised beds at Jubilee Lodge and source of my rhubarb gift

Following an earlier shout, was at Oaklands Avenue, within the Osterley Park Conservation Area.  Calling on neighbours either side who are concerned that improvement works next door had dragged for more than two years and not entirely as permitted.  The additional impacts of having an empty and unfinished house close by including rodent attraction, disconnected drainage and other fails in the property were getting them down.  A member of the council’s planning enforcement team is pursuing the owner to regularise and is already communicating with residents.

Messy and unfinished ‘improvement’ works at Oaklands Avenue

On Syon Lane with contractors, Hounslow Council and Hounslow Highways back in December 2020, I noted that a pedestrian crossing included as a traffic condition for the Bolder Academy planning permission was missing and suggesting that it was dropped.  No way Joseph! Happy that it was added in April for safe pedestrian access although it seems that the solar powered Belisha beacons require sunshine, reported but with the proviso that no trees are damaged in order to facilitate.

The nearly uninstalled zebra crossing on Syon Lane

Wednesday 19.5.2021

I was the guest speaker at the annual general meeting Osterley and Wyke Green Residents Association talking about my time as the rollover Mayor of the London Borough of Hounslow.  Tales of two years, some of the 340 events attended, 13 Borough Council meetings chaired, two Remembrance Sundays each at 10 war memorials, still making time to do casework and to try to represent my residents.  It was also a good reminder of the longevity of OWGRA with which I first developed a relationship during earlier planning events on the then United Biscuits site as well as working together on nonsense ambitions for other land in the Ward.

Thursday 20.5.2021

An alert of potential incursions in the Ward got me down to Wyke Green where I examined the integrity of the posts and padlocks surrounding the space, took pictures and reported to the council’s parks people and Ward Police team.  Osterley and Spring Grove Police Safer Neighbourhood Team were on duty, Saturday night, responding to my request to go look and discuss with the neighbour who raised it with me.

One of a few gaps potentially allowing vehicles on to Wyke Green

Friday 21.5.2021

A flurry of discourse on a social media site that will not be named resulted in a few visits and chats with residents the previous week with copious amounts of pictures taken, reports made to Hounslow Highways via Fix My Street and emails to the Director of Environmental Services.  The director, Mr Wayne Stephenson, already familiar with the issues rendezvoused for a whistle stop to locations from the Northumberland to Thornbury Road.

We met at Albury Avenue and on behalf of colleague Councillor Unsa Chaudri, who is currently engaged with residents on the state of pavements there.  The footways, a victim of pavement parking but moreso HGVs and skip lorries delivering on this narrow crescent these past 30+ years, will be focussed on as a result.

A drive in my motor via College Road to show Mr Stephenson the loss of integrity of half its 1992 vintage speed tables since a new road coating a couple of years ago; raised by a resident who scientifically measured and compared the differences.  On the ones affected by resurfacing, the current and previous speed limits were easily busted, the matter is, therefore, still live.

On to Borough Road where the previous week, more pictures of marked and unmarked road and pavement defects had been submitted after residents had been in touch.  I had visited in response to folk writing, some had been fixed but wanted to show the general state before a proper response from council officers managing the Hounslow Highways contract.

There are pictures of Borough Road surfaces but here’s an in situ and locally made gully grate there.

Quick visits over at Thornbury Avenue and The Grove to look at other surfaces reported and then to Weston Gardens, a cul de sac with a dozen properties and equal number of defects.  I had found with St Mary’s Crescent that the more a road’s potholes are reported and fixed, the further down the list a road goes for complete resurfacing; done now but it took five years since the first promise.  I introduced Wayne Stephenson to my resident contact there and agreed that while the space currently appears messy, Weston Gardens is very likely to get the full treatment soon, what little pavement and carriageway it actually has.

Messrs Atar and Stephenson at Weston Gardens, laughing at me

Our last stop was at Banksian Walk, part of the former carriageway to Spring Grove House, nicely planted with an avenue of yews but currently suffering ivy creep over neighbouring boundaries and the resident had been in touch.  Mr S agreed, more pictures taken and submitted with a service request to Hounslow Highways to manage the landscape plus one other to remove some graffiti on the wall there.

Ivy clad yew on Banksian Walk

Saturday 22.5.2021

Sidmouth Avenue and Crawford Close, near where Thornbury Park meets the railway and a neighbourhood that has sought council support for their projects and ambitions since 2014; residents, naturally, receive my assistance.  Excepting 2020, Saturday’s was the sixth annual neighbourhood tidy up and in seven years we’ve gone from a beyond brim skip to just 15 or so sacks of picked including from beyond these two roads, no longer any long term fly tips.

Skip being taken away from Crawford Close after the first community clear up back in 2014

On the way home via Kilberry Close to check, on Councillor Chaudri’s behalf, the occasionally abused estate based recycling facility there where the council’s Recycling and Enforcement Teams have been making efforts to “educate” and “encourage” residents and managing agents alike.  It’s Unsa’s case so I took pictures for her to share with the council teams.

This is a private site at Kilberry Close where LBH teams are encouraging owners to clear

Tuesday 25 May 2021

There.  Done for now.  Plenty more not to bore readers with but will be back with TW3.02 before too long.  I will, naturally, welcome comments from Osterley and Spring Grove residents.

TL 25.5.2021

© Tony Louki 2021 – No reproduction of any part without permission

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Filed under College Road, Hounslow Highways, Leisure, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Parks, RAs, Reports, Road works, Roads, Schools, Spring Grove, Thornbury Park, Thornbury Road, Traffic, Wyke Green

Notes on a Conservative leaflet

Am grateful that while Unsa, Richard, our supporters and I have been talking to Osterley and Spring Grove residents at their doorsteps, one of our people has sat down and attempted to analyse the latest Conservative Party leaflet that started doing the rounds last week.

It’s a folded A3 colour sheet with a combination of local pictures and a few from internet stock. You do not need to have it in front of you to match what you read but please drop me a line for a copy if you live in the Ward and I’ll email one.

The supporter has written this in sequence and uses the word Tory or Tories, I prefer Conservative because that better describes a more narrow view on matters.

Here goes:

1: A new deal for Osterley and Spring Grove

  1. It is claimed that the Tories would “vastly improve” local services. Easily said. The deep cut by the government to the Council budget (now over £70m per year on the 2014 grant, and another £20m on the way) is not mentioned. There is no costing anywhere in the leaflet. The claims are hollow.
  2. The leaflet speaks of a Tory “master plan” for the area. Where is it? We have never heard of such a plan and, frankly, doubt that it exists.
  3. The Tories promise better roads, parks, libraries, youth services and waste collection without a costing in sight. This is to take the public for fools, expecting us to respond to any promises without asking any questions about how they will be paid for.
  4. They promise to end “waste and overspending” but give no idea of the scale or nature of the alleged overspending.
  5. They promise to “massively improve air quality” without a hint as to how this would be achieved.
  6. They promise an accessible Council which will listen and respond. Councillor Louki has been fulfilling that role as many residents are aware. It is one thing to moan and another to get things done.
  7. Councillor Sheila O’Reilly claims that for 46 of the last 50 years Labour has allowed the borough to fall into disrepair. A look around Osterley and Spring Grove makes it difficult to understand her claim. (The picture of The Grove in the leaflet shows anything but decay. It looks very pleasant.)
  8. The leaflet mentions a Tory Plan to revive the borough. Where is it? Why do they not give a link to it so that people can judge for themselves?

2: Wipe out waste

It is claimed that Tory financial management would save “millions”. How many millions? How it would be done? How does it compare to the £70m of government cuts the borough has endured?

It is claimed that the £28 million on a new waste and recycling centre has been entirely wasted but no argument is made to justify this claim. As the new service develops we think that residents will see for themselves how vacuous this claim is.

3: Fix the potholes

Hounslow’s streets are maintained under a PFI initiative instigated by the last Tory Council. It was negotiated to run for 25 years and leaves little room for the Council to determine matters. What are the Tories proposing in terms of a renegotiation of the contract? We are not told. Maneesh Singh says that a Tory council would “free up the money” to fix the potholes but he doesn’t tell us where it would be freed up from. The contractor fills and repairs potholes because Councillor Tony Louki reports them regularly, the Tories made just 23 such requests to Hounslow Highways in 2014 to 2017, only three of these in this ward.

4: A new deal for council services

This section repeats the extravagant claims of Section 1 (above) without a hint of costing in sight. This is to assume that residents can be satisfied with political fairy tales rather than grappling with the real problems.

5: Keep Osterley and Spring Grove special

The Tory candidates say that they will look after the special character of Osterley and Spring Grove which has been “forgotten by Hounslow Council for decades”. You wouldn’t guess from this that the Osterley Park conservation area was designated by the Council in 1998, the Spring Grove conservation area in 2001. You wouldn’t guess either that the Council has set up a new and enthusiastic conservation team which is currently reviewing the conservation areas and is doing so in consultation with residents.

The Tory candidates also say that they would work with police and residents to deal with problems of anti-social behaviour but say nothing of the problems of the massive reduction in police personnel and resources due to Conservative government cuts since 2010.

5: News Snippets

Candidate Cynthia Torto repeats the empty promises about air quality and claims that air monitoring in the area has been reduced but doesn’t say where or when.

It is claimed that Hounslow has failed to meet the demand for good schools, but Hounslow’s schools are performing well. The government website shows that the great majority of schools in Hounslow have a good or outstanding rating. So what are the Tory candidates referring to? They also do not mention two large new schools in Osterley and Spring Grove and a significant expansion of Isleworth & Syon School, using local funds.

Chiswick Conservative Councillor Gerald Macregor caught delivering the said leaflet on London Road but walking straight past a flytip

OUR CONCLUSION

We are all for robust debate in politics and welcome a challenge. It is therefore sad to see that the Tory candidates for Osterley and Spring Grove are prepared to produce such poor quality material devoid of facts, full of unjustified claims and empty promises and lacking in any genuine argument. Residents have seen the difference in having a Labour councillor like Tony Louki working for them and taking care of matters long neglected by a Tory Party that has long taken our people for granted.

TL 29.4.2018

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Filed under College Road, Events, Great West Road, Hounslow Highways, London Road, Neighbourhoods, Northumberland Estate, OSG data, OSG documents, Osterley, Reports, Road works, Spring Grove