Category Archives: Roads

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

Special IBAF on Monday 9 October 2017 for Local Democracy Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

TL  30.9.2017

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

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

Thornbury Road no left turn: no liked

A lively meeting kindly hosted by Indian Gymkhana, Thornbury Avenue on 7 February 2017 and attended by around 50 of Osterley & Spring Grove’s finest, helped define and add to the result of a recent consultation.

Hounslow Council traffic team's David Wilson and Liam Judge presenting the consultation results

Hounslow Council traffic team’s David Wilson and Liam Judge presenting the consultation results

Hounslow Council had put forward a proposal to ban left turns in to Thornbury Road from the westbound A4 Great West Road and offering a green human pedestrian crossing facility. Traffic officers shared the results of the consultation supported by this presentation.

Whilst rejecting the no left turn idea, many of those attending did, quite rightly, comment more on speed and safety issues on Osterley Road and Church Road, particularly at their junction by St Mary’s Church.

Notes of the meeting can be found here and councillors have asked that alternative proposals be worked on, based on the discussion that took place.

On the subject of roads, traffic and transport, a reminder that Osterley & Wyke Green Residents Association’s next public meeting on 28 February 2017 at Isleworth & Syon School will be dedicated to these issues and details are included in OWGRA’s latest newsletter

Any other comments would as always, be welcomed.

TL 11.2.2017

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Filed under Council Business, Events, Great West Road, H28 bus, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Roads, Spring Grove, TfL, Thornbury Road, Traffic

Syon Gate Garage Site Meeting: Report

It became a standing room only event at St Francis of Assisi Church Hall on Isleworth’s Great West Road, the last Monday night in January.

St Francis of Assisi Church Hall, Isleworth, filling up nicely with Osterley's finest

St Francis of Assisi Church Hall, Isleworth, filling up nicely with Osterley’s finest

Hounslow Council planning experts, Robert Coomber and Melek Egren were present to help clarify the application and suggest more confidence in the process that may, perhaps, have been brought in hall prior to the start of the meeting.

The 120 people present have received a summary of the evening but for those not there, the notes can be found here.

TL  6.2.2017

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Filed under Events, Great West Road, H28 bus, Housing, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Northumberland Estate, Osterley, Parking, Planning, Reports, Roads, Schools, TfL, Traffic