Category Archives: Neighbourhoods

The 55th Mayor of the London Borough of Hounslow 2019 -2021: Tony’s Tale

The 55th and 56th Mayors of the London Borough of Hounslow

It is exactly a month since passing on the office of Mayor of the London Borough of Hounslow to my colleague, Councillor Bishnu Bahadur Gurung, a member for Hanworth Park Ward.  It is also a couple of weeks since I fulfilled an earlier request to speak at the annual general meeting of the Osterley and Wyke Green Residents Association, on the subject of, Your Councillor as Mayor.  What follows, is pretty much what I said.

“Good evening.

It’s a great pleasure to be here albeit online at the Osterley and Wyke Green Residents Association, an organisation with which I have spent a fair amount of time with when first a councillor in the 1990s and also these past seven years.

Glad you’re thriving and happy to support this continuing.

I have had an interesting and fulfilling two years as the 55th Mayor of the London Borough of Hounslow.  The capital city’s widest borough where I had the honour of wearing the current as well as historic chains one of the three different predecessor councils at each of the 340 rendezvous I was privileged to attend, almost totally within our boundary.

Although, being Mayor of this lovely borough, whatever anyone may say about its politics or sometimes less than shiny and occasional pockets of disdain, I have seen great examples of community, enthusiasm and ambition when visiting from west to east and stopping there and in between at those many engagements.

A few times, I have been asked how I became Mayor and, very recently, there have been some assumptions that I would be standing again for that office during the London Mayor and Assembly elections that took place on 6 May 2021. It doesn’t work like that, all up elections for the London Borough of Hounslow are scheduled for 5 May 2022.

Common with other councils who have a mayor, it is mostly the prerogative of the Majority Group, running the council, to choose from among their selves who the first citizen should be.

I did fancy the role, and made it known that I should like to give it a go and received the support of most (although not all) of my Labour administration colleagues.

My first appearance in mayoral finery, May 2019

Formally nominated and seconded by my friends Councillor Guy Lambert and Councillor Unsa Chaudri, I became the 55th Mayor on 21 May 2019, the first to be inaugurated in the new Hounslow House at a ceremony attended by family, friends, councillors, bigwigs and representatives of the two charities I picked to support and raise awareness and funds for.

I chose a couple of worthy and local charities: Hounslow Seniors Trust and Our Barn Community.

I have supported the development of Our Barn Community since 2014 when I first encountered organisers and participants tending the allotments at Osterley Park and later supported their acquisition of a building there.  At this and other locations, Our Barn deliver activities for people aged 16 and over particularly with autism type diagnoses mainly but not exclusively in sports and other team work which lead to skills for work and life.

As Mayor, I adopted Our Barn Community to help acquire additional equipment for their Buddy Bike project also located in Osterley Park.  The aim was to raise money to at least purchase a Velo Plus bike that is built to carry a wheel chair and also a hand trike.

The Our Barn HQ, Jubilee Lodge in Osterley Park

I was also due to reach the tragic age of sixty that year so decided to support another active local charity, the Hounslow Seniors Trust, to help enhance practical and intergenerational arts, sports, dance and cultural events from West to East.  This charity, run by its borough resident participants, have been delivering the Older People’s Festival since the summer of 1993 and I wanted the Mayor’s Fund to support additional activities at other times of the year.

Having been around enough, familiar with local government and how it operates, I felt pretty comfortable with what I could and could not do.

Unsurprisingly, there were a handful of detractors.  Having taken on the role, I had the odd colleague comrade attempting to compound that they always know better by trying to call the shots.  The Mayor is meant to be separate from the leadership.

One or two other councillors who ought to have known or should have learned to be better would often childishly try it on at one or another of the thirteen the full Borough Council meetings chaired by the Mayor.

It’s spelt Osterley and Homebase is in Isleworth

I was, following the July 2020 planning presentation meeting on the Tesco Homebase proposal, the subject of a formal complaint to the council’s Chief Executive by a Hanworth resident and their out of borough sidekick.  A couple of white men were upset that I said that the Berkeley Homes brochure for the proposed developed appeared racist.  I felt that the publication was aimed more at overseas investors and said so; its illustrations did not reflect the real diversity of the area (nor, it subsequently worked out, the developer’s true ambitions).  Following a time wasting inquiry by an external investigator, I was exonerated.

With Councillor Collins and LBH staff leaving the Mayor of the City of London’s Civic Service at St Pauls Cathedral

Having kept to my word of avoiding a chauffer driven limo, I used the cab account on two or three occasions with the furthest journey to a civic service at St Pauls Cathedral with Councillor Mel Collins who tends to get rowdy when using the Central Line.

With the hybrid Zipcar and the Mayor of London at St Marys School Chiswick

Other out of borough visits only extended as far as Ealing, Brent, Hammersmith and Fulham and Richmond Upon Thames as the guest of their Mayors.  At each, and every other function, I availed myself of the Zipcars located at the council offices, my own 1980 Ford, public transport or on foot.

With Sergiy Diduk Vicar of All Saints Church Hanworth and members of the National Association of Blood Bikes at the Ace Cafe Stonebridge

Due to circumstances, I and some of my counterparts had the unique honour of maintaining the Mayoralty for an additional year, offering the rare experience of insight, knowledge of process and the confidence to deliver this favoured position.

Unfortunately, however, the opportunity to extend was borne of the health disaster affecting so many of our compatriots as victims but also as saviours and supporters of our fellow citizens.

The pomp of office has been nothing compared to the sacrifices made by the borough’s key workers in health, emergency services, refuse collection, road maintenance, public transport, education, carers at home, carers in other settings, parks maintenance, public protection, child and family protection.

The innovation, effort and effectiveness of ordinary citizens, some already retired, others cruelly discarded, many just wanting to do something to help relieve the non health impacts on families, lonely neighbours, those homeless.

Not even a third of the foodbank stock at St Pauls Church Hounslow West

Already addressing hunger, poverty and other impacts of austerity, the humbling by food banks, impromptu open kitchens and the establishment of new charitable enterprises by (extra)ordinary people turned what could have otherwise been a disaster into an example of unrealised humanity.  I was privileged to meet the good people of the Chiswick 7th Day Adventist Church Foodbank, Feltham Foodbank, St Pauls Hounslow West Foodbank and the Brooks of Life Foodbank as well as those stalwarts running and volunteering for the Open Kitchen on Jersey Parade.

Fed well by the Millan Women’s Group at Isleworth Public Hall

I won’t be there to see it in the same way but I look forward to learning that the good and generous ladies of the Millan Women’s Group, the 55th Mayor’s first event, who meet at Isleworth Public Hall, will reconvene.  Theirs was my first community event and unexpected but impromptu cash collection, the almost literal widow’s mite.  The Singing for the Brain folk of St Mary’s Osterley will be back in fine voice.  The volunteers and supporters of Chiswick Age Concern will be putting on another Christmas dinner for the 80 or so older members there in Oxford Road North.  The borough’s firefighters may even deliver another one of their non stop runs to raise money for emergency service charities as they did last summer at Feltham Fire Station, organised by Isleworth’s then station officer, Lucy McLeod-Cook.  All events that I had the honour to be invited to and attend.

Birthday cake at the Osterley Lions Carers Event, Indian Gymkhana June 2019

During the Mayoralty I was honoured to celebrated my birthday on event days, with cake on each occasion.  The day of my 60th in 2019, a Saturday and prior to a family celebration, coincided with an official engagement with the Osterley Lions who arranged the carers’ thank you at the Indian Gymkhana.  Downhill from there for the 61st with residents and staff at Atfield House, St Johns Road.

Gifting geraniums at Atfield House, St Johns Road June 2020

I went there to Gift a Geranium, a way to help recognise the importance of care settings not just during Covid but throughout the year.

There is plenty more to follow up with that initiative so that we, as a community, can better appreciate carers wherever they deliver a service.

About to sling the Ivybridge School Council out of Hounslow House, too clever by half

I was most chuffed to have spent time with schoolchildren in the borough.  Highlights included, an in tune performance of Aladdin by the Drama Club at Oak Hill Academy Feltham was particularly impressive.  There were great discussions on separate occasions with the School Councils of Grove Park Chiswick and Orchard Road Hounslow at theirs and Ivybridge Primary in the Mayor’s Parlour.

The 55th Mayor with members of the Victoria Road School Gardening Club, Mr Rob Antill and other Feltham in Bloomers

I helped honour the Feltham winners of the London In Bloom Competition as the guest of the Victoria Road School Gardening Club.

2019 Christmas card – Waterclour pencils and gouache by Stefania Pantaza of Kingsley Academy

Thanking, again, the young artists and staff from both Kingsley Academy and Bolder Academy Schools for offering me choices for the Mayoral Christmas cards for both 2019 and 2020.

With the borough’s RBL branches representatives and Deputy Lieutenant, Mr Paul Kennerley at Hounslow House

I helped support, along with the borough’s Royal British Legion branches and the Greater London Deputy Lieutenant, plan two years of commemorations at the ten local war memorials.

The accomplished Mrs Vera Ward and me at her 103rd birthday celebration in 2019

Time, tonight, prevents me from elaborating on the many Centenarian plus birthdays I attended, such as the celebration for 103 years old Vera Ward.  Mrs Ward, who in the early 1980s, came out of nursing retirement first to work with refugee Vietnamese Boat people at Campion House and to later care for sufferers of AIDS at West Middlesex Hospital.

At the Hounslow borough Kids in Care Awards with my minder for the night

Or the Mayor’s numerous community events, connections with the borough attractions such as Kempton and Brentford steam museums, Chiswick House and Gardens (where I remain a trustee)the Musical Museum, Watermans Christmas Light Parade, Jack and the Beanstalk at the Paul Robeson, the classic car show at Hanworth where I chose the worthy 1960 Mini as winner, being very well looked after at the properly choreographed Kids in Care Awards, apple tree planting (a Feltham Beauty) at Gunnersbury, Rotary London Music Concert at the Royal Festival Hall, various Jack Petchey events for young People.  Plenty, plenty, plenty more, I’ll produce a list another time.

With Deputy Mayor Councillor Raghwinder Siddhu

I had a great comrade and colleague, Councillor for Bedfont Ward, Raghwinder Siddhu who as Deputy Mayor gave unstinting support, filling the voids and standing in when I could not attend events and a lovely Mayoress, Talia Louki.

I feel that I can also say that my residents of Osterley and Spring Grove Ward were not neglected.  I maintained my casework and ward walks reporting the various environmental nonsense and trying to keep it at a low level.  I still responded to residents’ requests for advice and assistance, attended the Ward Police Safer Neighbourhood Panel, Friends of Jersey Gardens, Friends of Thornbury Park, the OWGRA, Spring Grove and St Johns Residents associations meetings among others.

That’s about it.  Happy to take questions and also catch up with more of you in person before too long.

I am still around and will continue to try to represent.

Thank you.”

TL 4.6.2021

© Tony Louki 2021 – No reproduction without permission

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Filed under Council Business, Events, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Parks, Planning, RAs, Schools, Spring Grove, Thornbury Park, West Middlesex Hospital

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

Local stations news

At Monday’s (24.8.2020) Labour Listens event, a resident asked of progress to complete level access to the three stations in Osterley and Spring Grove Ward. This item includes updates sought from Hounslow Council’s Traffic and Transport Team

Syon Lane Station lift commissioning

Platform 2 at Syon Lane Station October 2016

The 2012 planning consent for extensive development of Sky Campus at Grant Way yielded £1m for improvements at Syon Lane Station, implicitly to improve the flow of peak use commuters and achieve step free access.

New lift and additional footbridge at Syon Lane Station August 2020

Nearly complete in March 2020, the final pieces of construction were disrupted by COVID.  Works are expected to recommence in September for up to six weeks.  An accurate handover and operation of the new lift and footbridge will be subject to Network Rail inspection; a firmer date should be available by October 2020.

Osterley Station lifts completion and commissioning

Soon after Boris Johnson became Mayor of London in 2008 he reduced the tube stations step free access programme begun by his Labour predecessor; plans for lifts at Osterley Station for the benefit of the disabled and less mobile were in the throes of approval but then abandoned.

Osterley Station, Great West Road

Johnson, however, began to reveal a proclivity to spaff Transport for London money on vanity projects such as the unrealised Garden Bridge, overheated and overpriced toy buses and that cable car from nowhere to nowhere.

Osterley Station lift on eastbound platform under construction March 2020

Following his election, new Mayor Sadiq Khan in 2017 resurrected the lifts programme. Approved and already under construction before the lockdown, the lifts, to each platform at this famous Grade II Listed building, were due to be delivered and commissioned by the end of 2020.  TfL have confirmed that all its step free programmes paused in April have not yet restarted and are expected to be opened six months after construction recommences.

Isleworth Station

Often with its own resources or by securing S106 planning gain, Hounslow Council has a track record back to the late 1980s (Hounslow West Station being the first) for improving level access to stations across the borough.

Where local funds are not identified, the council’s transport team promote the priorities of residents and councillors and bid for funds when opportunities arise.

Isleworth Station forecourt, London Road

A range of lift locations designs for Isleworth Station were developed by previous franchisee, South West Trains and have laid fallow since 2015.  Optimism, however, has been buoyed since the 2019 Department for Transport announcement that Isleworth is on the list of stations for an Access to All programme upgrade.

Isleworth Station, behind Platform 2

Although some disruption togetting this project going has occurred, Network Rail have continued to develop plans for the station and Hounslow’s transport officers maintain dialogue with them and South Western Railway to agree options for step free conversion down to London Road and nearby.

New information on our stations will be shared when available.

TL  27.8.2020

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Filed under Great West Road, London Road, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Northumberland Estate, Osterley, Public transport, Sky, Spring Grove

Planning application 00819/B/COM1: Telecommunication equipment at Northumberland Avenue

A planning application has been submitted on behalf of Hutchinson 3G UK Limited to erect a 20 metres (65 feet) tall telecommunications pole and associated infrastructure of four varied size cabinets otside the rear garden wall of 27 Roxborough Avenue, Isleworth.

Proposed location of telecoms pole and four cabinets at Northumberland Avenue to the rear of 27 Roxborough Avenue

Residents are invited to examine the proposal; all the application drawings can be found here.

Proposed telecoms kit at Northumberland Avenue includes a Huawei APM 5930 equipment cabinet

Directed by the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, local authority powers are limited on these specific matters apart, mainly, from the visual intrusions and their impacts on the character of an area.

Pole on Great West Road opposite Ridgeway Road

Government policy, passed down to planning authorities practically encourages collaboration to support the installation of new technologies.

Following that directive, Hounslow Council’s own policy, supported within the Hounslow Local Plan 2015 to 2030 (Policy EC4, page 225), also describes its approach on infrastructure for high speed broadband and telecommunications.  This does not, however, necessarily mean that all applications of this kind are approved.

Telecommunication utility cabinets on Great West Road are a magnet for graffiti, never addressed by their operator.

Residents opposing would be advised to respond at least for those reasons rather than on health grounds which, as things stand, would not be a planning consideration in this context. Neither would citing any impacts of radio waves nor perceived present or future skulduggery of foreign governments.

Pole on Great West Road from Jersey Gardens

Some folk on social media have recently been saying there is no point in making any comments because applications like these always receive permission; not so.

Three recent applications to install new equipment at locations on Great West Road, two in this Ward, were refused planning permission because of their potential visual impact on the character of the area and these are listed below.

Summaries of these applications are shown below but more detail can be found via this link using the location postcode or P reference numbers.

P/2019/2703  Great West Road opposite Ridgeway Road  – Installation of a 20-metre monopole mast, twelve aperture antennas and equipment cabinets, following removal of the existing 14.7-metre monopole, three aperture antennas, redundant equipment cabinets and ancillary development. Refused Planning Permission 17/09/2019

P/2019/1582  Great West Road opposite Penwerris Avenue and West Court –  Prior notification regarding Installation of 17.5m high monopole with 3 no. antenna within upper section of shroud. Proposed 2 no. radio cabinets and 1 no. electrical meter cabinet to be located at ground level along with ancillary development.  Refused 12/06/2019

P/2018/3235  Great West Road corner of Vicarage Farm Road –  Installation of a 15m monopole with three antenna which includes the replacement of one existing cabinet, installation of three equipment cabinets and development ancillary thereto with one equipment cabinet to be removed.  Refused 11/10/2018.

Happy to receive questions from residents of Osterley and Spring Grove Ward.

This is my own brief submission to the planners; to comment yourselves, please write to planning.comments@hounslow.gov.uk

TL 19.7.2020

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Filed under Great West Road, Health, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Northumberland Estate, Osterley, Planning, Spring Grove, TfL

Rus in urbe: Feather and fur

One of the Ward’s residents self management companies was recently in touch about how to control a localised Ring-necked Parakeet menace attempting to take over parts of their building.

Psittacula krameri

Mr Tony Bull, the London Borough of Hounslow’s Principal Animal Control Officer was approached for this expert control advice; he said that similar problems occur on certain buildings and estates across the borough.

All bird control in England is governed by The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and by General Licences issued under it by DEFRA that allow for the control of certain bird species in certain circumstances.  In this case we would be looking at General Licence GL35 allowing certain controls to protect public health and safety.

The Ring-necked Parakeet is not listed on that licence so any control of eggs, chicks or adults can only take place if a Special Licence has been applied for and granted.  Such licence will only be granted by DEFRA if it can be demonstrated that any other methods of non-lethal control have been tried and failed or if they are inappropriate for any reason.  Even then it is likely that a licence will only be granted in exceptional circumstances where it is not possible to await the end of the nesting season.

Property owners are therefore left with attempts at exclusion at times when the birds are not nesting.  Methods need to be resilient because the beak of the parakeet is exceptionally strong and as members of the parrot family, they are also very intelligent birds and good at problem solving.

Screens to protect cavities from intrusion need to be of decent grade steel and screwed into place; repair of tile roof or block and cement wall needs to be with high grade materials to help prevent further problems.

Without Licence proofing of vulnerable areas with high grade materials during times when the birds are not nesting is the only available solution.

Foxes are not specifically protected like birds but they do enjoy the general protections of other animals in the UK.  Tony Bull kindly gave advice on this matter too.

Vulpes vulpes with columba livia domestica

Foxes cannot be legally poisoned or gassed, they can, however, be trapped or shot.  Once trapped they will need to be humanely despatched rather than released elsewhere otherwise there may be contraventions of Animal Welfare legislation. There are problems with both methods of control in that trapping could see cats and or other wildlife trapped instead of foxes and the problems of shooting are obvious in an urban environment.

Foxes are highly territorial and their numbers are high and if foxes are removed from a territory then it will quickly become reoccupied due to population pressure from adjacent areas.  Attempts to reduce numbers is costly and must take place over a very wide area for a sustained period in order to be effective.

Hounslow Council’s position has been to advise on how to minimise nuisance and in the form of this leaflet.  If a particular fox is causing a problem that cannot be tolerated then there is scope for action to be taken. This would generally be through a specialist company with trained and licensed shootists.

TL 8.7.2020

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Filed under Council Business, Health, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Spring Grove