Category Archives: Spring Grove

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

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

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

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

Comments Off on Notes on a Conservative leaflet

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

Friends of Thornbury Park Meeting: Tuesday 12 December 2017

There will be a meeting of the Friends of Thornbury Park at 7.00 pm to 8.15 pm on Tuesday 12 December 2017

in The MusicRoom, Spring Grove House, West Thames College, London Road, Isleworth, TW7  4HS

Following the successful bid and award of £80,000 for improvements, we now have proposals for works for parks contractor Carillion to reduce some  shrub areas, clear dead trees and also proposals for volunteer days in early 2018.  plans for the works can be found here, here and here and description of the works here.

Another idea discussed previously, is for the planting of a new linear orchard supported by the Mayor for London, Trees for Cities, Hounslow Council and the Heathrow Community Fund.  Trees for Cities will attend this meeting to describe the proposal and how it would work.

We will also be examining the long awaited ideas for playground improvements.

It is also a pleasure to announce that after two years of banging on about it, works took place this week to clear the privately owned site of the former Harvard Hill Tennis Club, some pictures of this task can be seen here.

Looking forward to seeing as many of you on Tuesday evening.

TL  6.12.2017

Comments Off on Friends of Thornbury Park Meeting: Tuesday 12 December 2017

Filed under Events, Leisure, London Road, Neighbourhoods, Parks, Spring Grove, Thornbury Park, Thornbury Road

Do that to me one Moore time: New planning application for 31 flats and retail

An earlier planning application submitted by Network Homes to Hounslow Council in March 2016 was quietly withdrawn that November with nothing doing until another, intrinsically the same, appeared late August 2017.

This new application carries the reference P/2017/3612 and a look at the Hounslow Council planning pages shows pretty much the same accompanying documents with little updating which I have raised with the planning team.

What is not clear from the application is whether there is still a proposal to incorporate the site of 1A St Johns Road as the handwritten form just states “3-5 St Johns Road”.

Neighbours have been sent letters offering the opportunity to make their written comments.

TL 30.9.2017

Comments Off on Do that to me one Moore time: New planning application for 31 flats and retail

Filed under Council Business, Housing, London Road, Neighbourhoods, Planning, Spring Grove

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

Comments Off on Special IBAF on Monday 9 October 2017 for Local Democracy Week

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