Archive for May, 2009

Dukes Meadows

May 31, 2009

My wife and I wanted to do something different with the children today so we went to the Water Play Area at Dukes Meadows.  We all had a great time and I would recommend it to anyone who has young children.

On our way back, I was also impressed by how well maintained the grassed areas in Edensor Gardens were.

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Is Proportional Representation an answer?

May 31, 2009

This article prompted me to post on this subject.

It would depend what the question is but if it is answer to the recent controversy over expenses, I think that this is a red herring.  This is one of those issues where my views have remained constant from when I was a teenage member of the Labour Party to now as a Conservative Parliamentary Candidate.

I accept that the First Past the Post system is not perfect but I still maintain that it is the least worst of all the options.  Despite the recent disasterous behaviour and subsequent stories about MPs, I still fundamentally believe in someone being elected to represent a defined geographical area.  Those people can be removed at an election if the electorate are not happy with them.

I am not supportive of Multi-Member systems either.

Interesting to note of another issue where Alan Keen and I agree!

Am I earning £150k?

May 30, 2009

The answer is no.  The claim has amused friends of mine – it is 50% more than Sir Alan Sugar’s apprentice afterall.

The reason why I am answering this odd question is here.

I will write a response over the weekend and update this page.

Update: Letter has just been emailed to the Chronicle.  Will post text on here on Friday, whether Chronicle cover it or not.

Here is some text of one thing I posted on the brentfordtw8 forum on 8 August 2007:

The increase will not be ending up in my pocket.  I will be reducing my hours at work by around 25%.  During the debate at Borough Council, I said that I would make an application to do this if the SRA’s were increased.  I have since kept my word.”

I also said the following on the same thread on 30 July 2007:

Agenda item 7 of the following link should answer what options were considered:
http://213.210.33.3/ieListDocuments.asp?CId=254&MId=3721&J=1

9.3(b) – option 2 – of the following was agreed (this is the element of the report that has caused the most interest on this forum):
http://213.210.33.3/Published/C00000254/M00003721/AI00033572/$MembersAllowancesreportjuly07final.docA.ps.pdf

I voted for the option that was agreed.

I have responded to a couple of contributors on this thread already but I wanted to make some other general remarks.

I note that the article on the front page of this website, likewise on ChiswickW4, selectively quotes from a speech that I made in November 2003 when the previous large percentage increase in Special Responsibility Allowances was considered.  Here is a link to the speech that I made at the time:
http://www.fhtory.com/page.php?pid=6

I also quoted three paragraphs from that very speech when I spoke last Tuesday.  They were:

“Like most in this Chamber, I have no problem whatsoever in defending the existence of a Members allowance, indeed I would do so with conviction and enthusiasm.  When I first become involved in politics in my teens, my father always used to passionately stress that no Councillor should go short for dedicating themselves to public service.  No reasonable person could argue with that.”

and

“I accept that with an Executive Structure each Lead Member has additional responsibilities and if it were demonstrated that any of them, or for that matter Chairmen of Area Committees and Overview and Scrutiny, were going financially short as a consequence of their obligations, then I would give serious consideration to supporting Option 1.”

and

“If this report had demonstrated that Executive Members had to take unpaid leave from their jobs in order to fulfil their duties, then again I would be minded to support Option 1.”

‘Option 1’ refers to an option contained in a report that went to Borough Council in November 2003 and should not be confused with Option 1 in the report considered last week.

I tried to build on those quotes when I spoke on Tuesday by assuring the Chamber that the increase in my Special Responsibility Allowance would enable me to take more unpaid leave from my full-time job.

The discussion can be watched on the Council’s webcast:
http://www.hounslow.ukcouncil.net/site/

The fhtory link does not work and you will not see the debate on the webcast.  I think everything else works.

Update: Letter was not published in the 5 June edition – not best pleased as I am entitled to defend myself.

Tagging in Gladstone Avenue

May 29, 2009

I saw this on my home from work:

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I will report it and ask if the tagging can be removed.

New Housing in Lampton Avenue

May 28, 2009

I know Lampton Avenue quite well and was interested when I saw the new houses in the street.  I am not particularly excited about more flats in Lampton Road but personally I thought the few houses looked very nice.  I would be interested to hear what residents in that street think?

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Latest on bags out early in Rosslyn Avenue

May 28, 2009

As of last night (Wednesday):

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Bedfont decision from Planning Inspectorate

May 28, 2009

I am not certain if any decision from the planning inspectorate has surprised me as much as this one.  It relates to a property in New Road, Bedfont.

What a London MP should be saying on second homes

May 26, 2009

Here.

A stark constrast to the recent explanation from Mr Keen!

Out and about in Bedfont 2

May 24, 2009

Lovely morning yesterday in Bedfont.  As always, I picked up a few issues and will report them.  Here are a few pics – it was really nice standing on the bridge at the end of Richmond Avenue by the Duke of Northumberland River:

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I will report the tagging on this bin:

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And on this also – I suspect that this will be a matter for the Environmental Agency?

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Ongoing problem in Rosslyn Avenue

May 24, 2009

A number of residents have complained about bags being put out early in Rosslyn Avenue at the side of 119 Harlington Road West.  I share these concerns.  It was a real problem a few years ago and eventually went away.  Over the past couple of months or so, it has returned.  I have reported the matter a number of times.

I received the following on Friday:

“Bags are appearing against the wall, there is a bin upside down in the back yard which is a Hounslow bin, the pictures look as if the bin is broken.
If this bin is for the flats, which we believe it is, the bin needs replacing to stop residents putting the bags out on the footway.
 
The resident that raised this has been informed of the situation.
We arranged for the bags to be removed earlier in the week. Collection day is today. We have lettered the parade before many times.  We will letter again asking the flats to keep bags on their property until collection day. However the solution is probably to but a new bin back in the rear service road for the flats to use.
 
Waste and recycling have been informed regarding the broken bin collection and siting a new bin. That should help to stop this issue.”

I look forward to this new bin arriving because as of yesterday (one day after collection) this is what I saw:

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I very much hope that this issue of bags out early will rise up the agenda over the next few years.  I totally understand why it upsets residents.

In the meantime, I will report this matter on Tuesday.