Category Archives: Events

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

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Filed under Brentford, Events, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods

Exhibition this Tuesday 18.6.2019: Revision of Osterley Station flats proposal

Transport for London’s preferred developer, Apartments for London, received a fair amount of stick when first suggesting that a development of 118 flats within up to nine storeys, in December 2018.

Residents learning more about Apartments for London latest proposals at Osterley Station

The latest idea is for 68 units within a development of three to six storeys on part of the Osterley Station Car Park. A copy of the proposal may be found here.

There will be an exhibition of the new proposal this Tuesday 18 June 2019 between 2.00 pm and 8.00 pm at the Indian Gymkhana, Thornbury Avenue, Isleworth, Middlesex, TW7 4NQ where the architects and developer will be present to explain, justify and respond to questions.

If interested, please attend to see the new scheme and make comment. As always, Osterley and Spring Grove Ward Councillors would also be interested to learn from residents what they think, too.

 

TL  17.6.2019

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Filed under Council Business, Events, Great West Road, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Planning, TfL

Maxing out the Metro

Residents will have noticed the shroud over Coombe House at 7 St Johns Road, Isleworth where a Holiday Inn was once mooted but now in the throes of a government permitted scheme to convert this former office block to flats.

St Johns Road, Isleworth at Rennels Way

Little reminder is required of the Moore Brothers and neighbouring properties sell off and approval of flats and a couple of shops on planning application P2017/3612 approved in December 2017 but still showing in progress on the Hounslow Council planning pages.

Rennels Way, Isleworth from the east should all the development ambitions be realised

Developer the Citrus Group Limited, have recently been in discussion with Hounslow Council on the two hitherto unlet warehouse units behind Coombe House and Moore Brothers to build flats and some commercial on their footprints. The developer’s agent is referring to Units 1 and 2 Station Works at Rennels Way as derelict but on inspection anyone can see that they are being used as safe and secure site storage and facilities for the Coombe House job.  Perhaps the rent previously sought was too much otherwise they could have been let to small businesses offering start ups opportunities to thrive.

Unit 1 Station Works, Rennels Way

So these sites are being looked at for development and despite what appeared reluctance to engage before a planning application was submitted.

Unit 2 Station Works, Rennels Way

A developer’s representative have been asked at short notice to attend to explain and pitch at the St Johns Residents Association monthly meeting on

Monday 8 April 2019 at 8.00 pm

St Johns Centre

80 St Johns Road

Isleworth, Middlesex, TW7 6RU

Because of meetings elsewhere, no councillors will be present so a request has been made to the council’s head of planning for further engagement before a planning application is submitted and expected.

Further updates in due course.

TL 6.4.2019

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Filed under Events, London Road, Neighbourhoods, Planning, Thornbury Park

Osterley Station flats proposals exhibition

Really, please, as always, don’t shoot the messenger.

The developer’s latest idea for building above the car park at the Grade II Listed Osterley Station

After a number of months waiting for someone to get in touch with even the slightest idea of what was being proposed for the car park area of the Grade II listed Osterley Station, we have news.

Ward Councillors have not been involved in any discussions but were advised that there would be an exhibition of proposals prior to the submission of any planning application by the Transport for London development partner, Apartments for London.

This will take place over two days, at Indian Gymkhana, Thornbury Avenue, Isleworth, Middlesex, TW7 4NQ between 2.00 pm and 8.00 pm on Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 December 2018, more details are on this flyer.

Many people should be aware by now of the reduction of government support for a large number of public services including transport and there is a demand for real affordable housing London.

The Heaps and Holden Osterley Station tower

The idea of building on TfL sites is not unreasonable but in sensitive locations, all efforts should be made to properly consult and take serious comments and residents’ observations into account before assuming that anything will do.  This is one of the first forays into building over station car parks and will be the subject of intense scrutiny.

Osterley and Spring Grove residents are encouraged to attend the exhibition and Ward councillors would welcome your early views as Unsa Chaudri, Richard Eason and I intend to informally meet the developer’s representatives in the New Year.

 

TL 7.12.2018

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Filed under Events, Great West Road, Housing, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Planning, Public transport, TfL

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