I want a new Skills Centre and NOT more flats

Just been alerted to this article.  Someone could take the impression that the site has actually been formally discussed since the Government decided that this application was not as high a priority for them as others.

The irony of the article stating that I have raised the prospect of flats on this site could not be under-estimated.  The thought of flats on this site is something I find very hard to stomach.

Whilst I maintain that this site was brilliant in terms of raising the profile of skills training, one of the other reasons I liked the use of a Skills Centre here is that it avoided the risk of more flats.

Maybe some who were critical of me previously now realise why the decision to forego a capital receipt on this site was a brave and good decision?  A big commitment to the people of Feltham.

I have serious doubts that the site is worth £5 million as claimed in the article.

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2 Responses to “I want a new Skills Centre and NOT more flats”

  1. Mark Savage Says:

    But why are you so reluctant, Mark, to recognise the value of a “People’s Centre” to Feltham- a role that the old Feltham Hotel/Feast building had served perfectly well for so many years? Can you not see, nor understand, quite the strength of local feeling about this building, and affection for it. Is it perhaps because of a mistaken impression conveyed by the words “People’s Suggestion”. of Socialist overtones?

    Some of us are floating voters, and will judge you next May or June, in whatever capacity you are standing, by your respect for local feeling and imaginative ideas.

    We cannot go back in time- unless we can do so as imaginitively as your fellow Welshman Russell T Davies does- but we can use the resources of the past for the betterment of the future. The Feltham Hotel can’t be what it once was, but it could be something just as fit for present uses.

    Nobody ever seems to have suggested Hounslow Council committing to re-furbishing this important site, even if through a Private-Public Partnership, so that the best of the old could be mixed with the most innovative of the new. Feltham badly needs youth facilities, certainly, but not at the expense of the history and heritage of the town that your current administration seems to favour.

    Perhaps the reason so much resentment has arisen, particularly to your own views, is that (forgive me if I’m wrong), you were not brought up in the area and therefore have no understanding of or respect for the feelings of “older” residents of this site about it. I speak as a young fifty year old, by the way- not much older than yourself.

    The De Brome site, by contrast, has been an educational area for over fifty years. It has plenty of open space surrounding it (on the playing fields), and a service road which could potentially be widened and adapted to provide access to a new skills centre, whether or not in the old De Brome School building. I suspect most local people have less affection for that building than for the Feltham Feast.

    Most people don’t want housing, nor do we want a skills centre at this entrance to Feltham High Street. We want to see the unique location, within a conservation area and on the banks of Feltham’s undervalued Longford River, respected. If we can’t have it returned to its former use as a hotel and restaurant, at the very least can’t your colleagues see how strongly people feel about its use – as it stands- as a community facility? Respecting that would show true respect of local democracy.

  2. Mark Bowen Says:

    Welcome to the blog! I hope you are keeping well, especially as we have not exchanged any emails for ages.

    I do recognise the attachment that some people in Feltham have to the current building on the site. Lots of local people must have some wonderful memories attached to it, including those who held their wedding reception there. The building looked stunning when first built. I can confirm that the name many people use had nothing to do with my support for the site being used for a new Skills Centre. In fact, I used to call it the FCA building.

    I am always keen to hear imaginative ideas. If you, or any other resident in Feltham, has any suggestions for this site, please let me know and I will make sure that the relevant Officers and Lead Members are aware of them. My personal view is that I very much hope that the door is not closed on a Skills Centre going onto this site.

    It is true that I was not raised in Feltham and I have never therefore had that elder relative to tell me stories and facts about the local Feltham heritage. I accept this but have always taken an interest in what older residents have told me about the past. However, it would sadden me if those who disagree with my views were to focus excessively on the fact that my childhood was not spent in Feltham.

    In the longer-term, I hope that education use of the De Brome site will continue from a service that would not benefit so much from a High Street location.

    Whilst I do not believe it will change the views of those who oppose the plans for a Skills Centre on the site, it is worth noting that community usage was very much going to be wedded into the way forward.

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