Category Archives: Education

A letter to my constituents: 4 years in and still so much to do

Good morning

I hope you don’t mind my writing to you, just a few hours before the polls open but it has been a hectic few days and I am a little behind, a bit of casework outstanding too.

I think that we have been in touch before either via Councillor casework, a meeting I have held to discuss one of the planning applications, the London Road, our train stations or a traffic matter; along with others, you may have petitioned me. I might have knocked on your door whilst out campaigning or checking on local issues with Ruth Cadbury MP.  You may have seen what I do or found out what interests me from my Tweets or read the odd item here on my sometimes neglected website.

Moving to Isleworth the day after the storm of October 1987. Linkfield, Parkwood and now living on London Road. I did a couple of stints as councillor for Isleworth North in the 1990s, battling Tesco and the Earl over their development ambitions even doing the same with my then council comrades and our Chief Executive, the then plain Bob Kerslake, over the rebuilding of Marlborough School.  As a councillor since, I have met many of you and worked in all neighbourhoods to address residents’ issues and concerns; have even caught up with some old faces from back in the day.

It has be a great pleasure to have been your, the only, Labour Councillor for Osterley and Spring Grove Ward, these past four years. Not only have I tried to represent the largest and still greenest ward in Hounslow but I have succeeded, I think, in bringing people together to work on interests common in their neighbourhoods.

March 2017: Crawford Sidmouth Clean Up III

One of my proudest is, after having been invited to join a local environmental clean up in October 2014, was to support and encourage the residents of Crawford Close and Sidmouth Avenue in an ambition to pave and light a muddy but well used route to Isleworth Station. Three years and two clean ups later, works have started and a proper residents association has taken off. Funds for this came from the section 106 developer money I jad bid for.

Thornbury Park, Isleworth

Another success is, after many years of disinterest by the previous, Conservative, councillors, we have begun to improve Thornbury Park with the support of an enthusiastic Friends Group not to mention £80,000 of funds secured from the council. In 2015, the same amount was accessed for long overdue improvements to Jersey Gardens and the end result was the award of its Green Flag last year.

Another early achievement was to set up the Osterley Sports Network where I brought together Osterley and Spring Grove’s numerous sports clubs and grounds, schools, council and external funders to work together to promote their facilities, healthy pursuits and memberships.

January 2016: Former Borough Road College lighting not serviced for 10+ years until I was approached by residents for support and a long search to find out who should fix (was not LBH)

I could also go into detail about the number of flytips I have seen and reported, potholes I’ve requested to be fixed, graffiti removed, abandoned vehicles taken away and the rest of the environmental atrocities but this is bread and butter stuff. I would prefer, and I have encouraged, residents to do so their selves.

The reason I highlight these few accomplishments is that after over 25 years of Conservative councillors here in Osterley and Spring Grove, I have started to reverse their possibly preferred neglect of our neighbourhoods. I say that because it is easy to ignore and, not report and let any mess prevail in order to blame the rival political party in power.  That way, when it’s election time, all you have to do is accuse carelessness in order to get the votes.

May 2014: Neglected Jersey Gardens space left after gate stolen at St Mary’s Crescent now fixed following my bid for resources

That modus operandi does not and should not work anymore. You get elected, you embrace the role, you see something broken so do your best to fix it or refer it to someone who can.  No denying, Osterley and Spring Grove Ward, is  improved and  better cohesive because the people here have had a working and commited Labour councillor with no hidden agenda.

Former Telephone Repeater building on footpath to Osterley Station: owner pursued and fined under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Recently cleared of “squatters” following continued Hounslow Council enforcement.

From day one, I picked up and resolved long term issues that previous Conservative councillors either ignored or didn’t (and still don’t) follow through on, such as,

  • prosecution of the owner of the troublesome illegal dwelling on Spencer Road footpath
  • clearing and fencing of the Earl of Jersey’s notorious dump on Braybourne Drive
  • removal of trade waste bins from Clifton Road and a clean up behind the London Road shops, making this almost flytip free
  • securing cash to create safe routes and access to Isleworth and Syon Lane Stations
  • chasing Hounslow Highways and successfully reducing its backlog of repairs across the ward.

January 2015: Bins at Clifton Road

In short, I have worked hard with residents, the council, police and other local partners to reverse Conservative neglect and disinterest to make sure we have a ward we can all be proud of. I want to continue this, and I hope to do so with two more Labour councillors who can support us with this goal.

This is what I have been doing since May 2014 and should like to do it again but with a full team of doers, alongside Labour Party candidates Unsa Chaudri and Richard Eason. These two are energetic, enthusiastic, bright and waiting to get started. I would even go as far to say that they are twice as good as me.

Tony Louki, Richard Eason and Unsa Chaudri at Spencer Road recently

You have a choice to make. You will decide who will be your Osterley and Spring Grove ward councillors for the next four years. You can vote for three Labour councillors who will be hardworking and committed to ensuring that your voice is heard in the council.

  • Unsa works in developing community services in local government, as a previous candidate in Osterley and Spring Grove, she brings a wealth of experience working within the local community. Unsa serves as a governor for two local schools.
  • Richard is an experienced finance and projects professional who has spent the past decade championing community and voluntary sector activity and involvement.

Nationally, the headlines each day show just how big a mess the Conservatives are making in Government and their only ambition is to save their own positions.

Locally, Labour are getting on with running the Council, making steady improvements despite huge cuts in funding from the Government. The contrast between us could not be more stark.

The developer of new homes on London Road agreed to my request that the location be called Samuelson Place after the founder of Worton Studios and the blocks after directors who filmed there

With your support, Labour will continue to invest in improving services for residents. I’ve been working hard to do just that for the past four years. Unlike the two Conservatives I have just shared my term with, I bid for, and won, an additional £470,000 cash for the ward, for its parks, for improving amenity areas, for heritage, including the area’s film legacy, and for the Borough Road War Memorial. With a full team of three Labour councillors in Osterley and Spring Grove we would do so much more.

Osterley Library opened by past Labour strongman Alf King 52 years ago. Still operating despite the almost ritual quadrennial scaring and government austerity funding cuts

We will be able to,

  • continue the work begun to improve our parks and playgrounds
  • maintain Osterley Library, it will stay open, the Conservatives’ closure scares is a 30 year old broken record they have played at the last 8 council elections
  • work with and promote our local sports facilities
  • maintain pressure on Transport for London to improve the condition of the Great West Road, its pavements, cycle lanes and make safe the junctions at Gillette Corner, Wood Lane and Thornbury Road
  • keep pressing South Western Railway to improve the trains service and stations at Isleworth and Syon Lane.

Jan 2018: With OSG Dedicated Ward Officer PC Carl Scully noting another find of spent nitrous oxide charges

We will always support and campaign for more police; there were six looking after us here in 2014, now we’re down to just three officers; sadly, the Met has suffered swingeing austerity cuts too.

This election is important, in 2014 residents took a chance on me and I do not think I have let you down.

Tomorrow, I hope you will, even if you have never supported Labour before, lend your three votes to support my team, so we can fully maximise the service our neighbourhoods get from Hounslow’s Labour Council. If by 2022, we have let you and the Ward down, you can have them back but as many have been saying about me, so far so good.

Thank you

Tony Louki

Labour Party Councillor for Osterley and Spring Grove Ward

 Vote from 7.00 am to 10.00 pm and if you have not yet completed your postal vote, please do so and deliver it to any of the polling stations in the London Borough of Hounslow.

 Hounslow’s votes will be counted at Hounslow Civic Centre from 10.00 am on Friday

TL 3.5.2018

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Filed under Council Business, Education, Events, Great West Road, Hounslow Highways, Housing, Leisure, Licensing, London Road, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Northumberland Estate, Reports, Roads, Spring Grove, Thornbury Park

Wood Lane Yellow Lines: the council would not do it like that

Not remotely close to the Camden Town earthquake described by Charles Dickens in Dombey and Son but one way or another, the rumblings caused by the coming of the schools to Osterley continue to be felt.

Midway on Wood Lane, Isleworth looking south

The latest wee spat is the yellow lining debacle of Wood Lane, more on that in a bit but first some reminding context.

The Mary McCleod Memorial Academy on Wood Lane is now up and being clad, due to open in a year’s time.

Digging on another part of the site for the £9 million minority sports complex has, these past days, literally caused a stink and rumours of more gruesome finds to add to the earlier commotion caused by the removal of ancient hedgerow and trees on Syon Lane.

A couple of weeks ago, approval was given to what someone described as a “delightful” looking building but what many would confirm as another bland box to become the Bolder (might as well call it the Bona) Academy. Why not pay homage to its location? Doesn’t Osterley deserve a name check with all that has been foisted?

Very few people have difficulty in accepting the new Osterley Comprehensive locating on the former United Biscuits sports ground on Macfarlane Lane; hardly touching the green stuff. Uniquely, in these parts, it will not select pupils based on religions, will accept from both gender and likely not to live as far away as those attending St Mary’s.

With some major planning applications, plenty expertise is often developed by ordinary people who at some point are likely to be affected by the ultimate decision. One common thread in all these (costly) free school applications is how the pupils will be delivered and despatched either side of the school day. The key theme in scrutiny of recent and upcoming (Green School for Boys) planning were and will be traffic impacts and should another school receive approval, there will be five schools, each with over 1,000 students within a mile and a half radius of each other.

The problem that is most likely to occur before very long is that with a local public transport accessibility level of almost zero, there will be more than a temptation to bring children to the schools by car via the already congested Syon Lane and Gillette Corner.

In planning terms there’s always mitigation, soft in most cases. School travel plans are often cited as a salve but as can be seen from the June 2017 Nishkam School West London Travel Plan, 75% of their scholars are taken by car. Travel plans often look good on paper, not able to foresee the future but appear to tick planning boxes. In reality, there is no substitute for spending money on infrastructure but this has been scant in Osterley despite the recent demands for its open space.

When the Bolder omies punted their building proposals at the Osterley and Wyke Green Residents Association’s open meeting in December 2016, attended by the leader of the council and the head of planning, a second route from Harlequin Avenue via Great West Road was included, understood and appreciated. Despite later citing Grant Way, by the time it hit planning, the only access to the school site would be from Macfarlane Lane via the already and soon to be more strained Syon Lane. The scheme’s architect gave a less than convincing and more than half assed reason as to why the much diminished route would be optimal.

So, what about the Wood Lane yellow lines that appeared with no warning on 4 August 2017? It. Was. Not. Hounslow. Council.

The pooch was actually screwed by the government quango, the Education and Skills Funding Agency contractor, BAM and installed without any local arrangement or discussion with the council. After the event, BAM’s Nishkam School project manager wrote, “I’m sorry for the trouble this has caused you and hopefully it can be fully resolved through the consultation” or in other words, “we messed up, you sort it out”.

The council’s traffic team were prepared to consult on yellow lines for Wood Lane largely due to recent haphazard parking on this narrow width and paved road, reported by residents but BAM stole their bluster.

Proper consultation will shortly take place on this proposal and until this is complete [to avoid damage to the road] the lines will not be touched but neither will they be enforceable. Residents are encouraged to respond and alternative suggestions will be considered.

TL 17.8.2017

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Filed under Education, Great West Road, H28 bus, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Parking, Planning, Road works, Roads, Schools, Traffic, Wyke Green

Macfarlane Lane Sports Ground: New school proposal presentation on 23.2.2017

A presentation from the architects and promoters of a new free school on the council owned and current Grasshoppers site off Syon Lane, Isleworth will be made at Hounslow Council’s Planning Development Presentation meeting on Thursday 23 February 2017 starting 7.30 pm in the Council Chamber at Hounslow Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow, Middlesex, TW3 4DN.

Hounslow Civic Centre from Lampton Park

Hounslow Civic Centre from Lampton Park

Planning presentation meetings are where promoters of developments show their ideas to members of the council planning committee prior to the submission of a formal planning application.

bolder-academy-header1

So far, there is just one item on the agenda, a proposal for the “demolition of existing club house and construction of a two to four storey, 1,150 pupil secondary school, including ancillary access, parking, sports pitches and multi use games area” for the as yet to be established, mixed and non religious Bolder Academy.  The proposed school was one of the items presented and discussed at the OWGRA meeting on 6 December 2016.

Residents are welcome to attend the meeting as observers but are not allowed to speak although I would welcome any appropriate questions to convey during the proceedings.

TL  11.2.2017

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Filed under Council Business, Education, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Planning, Schools, Wyke Green

11 November 2016: Borough Road, Isleworth

While guns were heard firing in the distance elsewhere, the usual Armistice Day gathering at Borough Road, Isleworth this morning.

Memorial to staff and students of Borough Road College lost to wars

Memorial to staff and students of Borough Road College lost to wars, with added Green School students

Residents, pupils from Isleworth & Syon, Green and Ashton House Schools together with the Vicar from St Mary’s and Priest from St Vincents gathered and took part in short and simple reflection and the two minutes silence at this annual event.

Birds were singing too this beautiful morning in Osterley & Spring Grove Ward.

 

TL  11.11.2016

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Filed under Education, Events, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Schools, Spring Grove

White Lodge Club Site: Planning Committee on Thursday 3.12.2015

To be held in the Lampton Park Conference Centre, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow, Middlesex, TW3 4DN at 7.30 pm – a meeting to be held in public but not a public meeting.

civiccentre

The ambition of the Nishkam Free School and its backers to locate on this sports ground may be settled by the 15 members of Hounslow’s Planning Committee later this week.

This follows what appears to have been a few years of assurances, interventions, submissions, challenges and generally civilized discussion in the neighbourhoods of Osterley and North Isleworth and beyond. Even Eric Pickles and the Earl of Jersey’s firm got in on the action.

Whatever the outcome, it has always been about making residents aware of what’s happening and improving the flow of dialogue and documents locally in Osterley & Spring Grove Ward. Continue reading

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Filed under Council Business, Education, Events, Great West Road, H28 bus, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Planning, Schools