Posts Tagged ‘Councillor Jagdish Sharma’

Final bit of the Diamond Jubilee

June 11, 2012

I took my children to the last hour of the Carnival at Blenheim Park on Saturday.  I was glad that the weather was better than it is today.

Yesterday, I went to the Hounslow Barracks and it was the first time I had done so since the Welsh Guards arrived.  I went to attend the Diamond Jubilee Event at the Cavalry barracks.

Before the celebrations, I joined some other Councillors at the the official opening of the Reflective garden space at the Service Family Accommodation Area in Beavers Crescent.  Councillor Sharma said some very nice words.

A couple of pictures taken:

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Always pleased to see Welsh and UK flags together!

It was a brilliant event, especially for the children.

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Special Borough Meeting Requested

September 7, 2010

I am pretty clear that one of the most serious things that has happened locally since the elections has been the attack on local democracy.  Here is my most recent column in the Chronicle.  Probably a good idea to let people know more about the nature of our request.  Here is what we sent to the Mayor:

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 3.2, we the five undersigned Members formally request a Special Meeting of the Borough Council, to be held at least 7 working day’s after today’s date, with the following agenda:

1. Apologies for Absence, Other Announcements and Declarations of Interest from Members

2. In Year Savings 2010/11 (report that went to Executive on 27 July – we understand that the recommendation will be to note the report)

3. Question from Members
Question from Councillor Pam Fisher to Councillor Jagdish Sharma
On 16 July, Councillors were informed of the calendar of meetings for the forthcoming year.  I have noticed a major decrease in the amount of Borough Council Meetings and with that a major decrease in the amount of opportunities for non-executive Councillors to table questions to Lead Members.  Would the Leader make a statement outlining why this decision has been taken?

Question from Councillor Mark Bowen to Councillor Jagdish Sharma
On 24 November 2009, Members were asked at Borough Council to note a report and approve consultation with scrutiny and other key stakeholders on the service spending plans for 2010/11 designed to deliver zero % rise in council tax and continued efficiency gains.
By when will the current administration produce a similar report pertaining to 2011/12?

Question from Councillor Gillian Hutchison to Councillor Ruth Cadbury
The Hounslow Chronicle has referred to you having conceded that the administration may have to re-evaluate another of its five key election pledges, namely providing 2,500 new affordable homes by 2014.  How many, and of why type, are now deemed a realistic target?

4. Motions

Proposed by: Councillor Mark Bowen
Seconded by: Councillor Bradley Fisher

This Council notes:

Councillor Cadbury has publicly stated:

“We have instructed Council officers to fully market the Lampton Park Conference Centre (attached to the Civic Centre) for outside functions in order to maximise its full potential for generating income.”

In a report presented by Officers to the Executive on 27 July, amongst the comments made were:

“There is currently no budget provision to meet this [preparation of a business plan and the initial promotion of the Conference Centre as a venue] cost in 2010-11.”

“In order to put this proposal of a proper long term footing, it will be essential to prepare an up to date business case,”

“The report indicates that these costs may exceed the extra income generated. It will therefore be essential for the Council to identify savings in other 2010-12 budgets to offset this initial cost.”

“…members will need to consider very carefully the costs and benefits of alternative options before reaching a final conclusion on this issue. At this stage, the report does not provide detailed information about this.”

“The costs of the new post are unfunded.”

Despite the above, amongst the Executive decisions were:

“Immediately agree to promote the use of Lampton Park Conference Centre as a venue available for community and private lettings, for social events, conferences and exhibitions, at weekends and evenings, in addition to its present use for Council business.

“Agrees that a proper venue management regime will be put in place and agrees the appointment of a venue/events manager to promote/manage this business opportunity, reporting to the Assistant Director (Corporate Property & Project Coordination) in the Environment Department.”

This Council believes the Executive should review this decision and only proceed with it when:

I. An up to date Business Case is complete;
II. There is a clear forecast of when the break-even point will occur;
III. It is clear that this makes financial sense.

Update on Flying the Flag for the England team during World Cup

June 15, 2010

I was at the Civic Centre during lunchtime and noticed that my suggestion had not been taken up so mentioned it in conversation with some interested parties.  I have just received the following:

“Cllr Sharma has asked me to let you know that he has given instructions to fly the flag of St George on match days – ie days when England are playing in the world cup.”

I acknowledge that he has compromised and have just written to him.

Email to Councillor Sharma 10/06/2010

June 11, 2010

Yesterday, I sent the following email to Councillor Jagdish Sharma, Leader of the Council:

“Dear Councillor Sharma,

I am pleased to see that the UK flag continues to fly at the Civic Centre following on from the recent Local Elections and trust that this will be a continuing feature, only broken when it is St Georges Day.  However, with the biggest tournament of the Sporting Calendar upon us, would you agree that it would be a good idea to fly the flag of St George for as long as England remain in the tournament?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards
Councillor Bowen”

No response yet but will hopefully receive one today.

First column for the Chronicle

June 10, 2010

A column for the Chronicle will alternative between Mary Macleod, Alan Keen, Jagdish Sharma and I.  Here is my first.

Back to the blog

May 30, 2010

Sorry that I have not been updating this blog for a while.  No election has ever taken as much out of me as the most recent ones so I am slowly working up some more energy.

Much has happened over the past few weeks:

Conservative/Lib-Dem coalition
There are a wide range of opinions about the above.  Overall, I have been very impressed.  At the General Election, I was clear that my top two priorities were to deal with the deficit and to start controlling immigration.  Both of these are part of the Government’s agenda so I am pleased.  A recent front page article in the Indepdent highlighted just how massive a problem the budget deficit is.  I know that many people can be cynical about politicians but what I have seen are two different parties making compromises and trying to form a stable government.  I believe that this Government will last.

David Laws resignation
This represents a major loss to the Government.  I have always found him to be very talented and perfect for the role that he was given in Government.  His performance in Parliament a few days ago was brilliant.

New Council
The AGM was held last week.  Councillor Jagdish Sharma was confirmed as the Leader of the Council.  I recognised the decision taken by most in the Borough and the Conservative Group supported his nomination.

I have been impressed with the approach taken by the Labour Group, as compared to its approach between 2002 and 2006.  I have found them to be very reasonable in our discussions so far.  When this is the case, I will give them credit.

I am adjusting to new circumstances and have gone back to my job full-time.  Before the elections, I did not think I would end up where I am now but will give this my best shot.  As always, representing Feltham North will come first.

I will start to update my blog more regularly.

Another 4000 reasons to punish Labour

April 28, 2010

A Special Meeting of the Borough Council was called last night.  There is a provision within the Council Procedure Rules for a number of Councillors to do this.  The likes of Councillors Connelly and Sharma were signatures.

Here is the agenda.

Not one Councillor justified why it was necessary to call a Special Meeting for this, which is important as it costs approximately £4000 to have a Borough Council Meeting.  Whilst I do not put a price on democracy, residents have a right to know why certain Independents and Labour felt it necessary to call a Special Meeting for this.  Why did they not propose a motion at any of the scheduled meetings during the past four years and why was it so urgent that needed to be decided just over a week before Local Elections?  Or have I just answered my own question?

The performance of Councillors Sharma, Cadbury and Vaught was especially poor and unpleasant, indeed none of them were willing to take an intervention from me when they were speaking.  I wonder why that was?

Feel free to take a look at the agenda and decide whether you believe that last night was appropriate?  No justification was given for last night’s urgency.

Update: See here for an article about this.

Official Opening of Heart of Hounslow

February 25, 2010

I attended this earlier this afternoon.  I would say around 30 to 40 people were present, including Councillors Pam Fisher, John Todd, Brad Fisher, Paul Jabbal, Peta Vaught & Jagdish Sharma.

We received a number of presentations, a Q&A session and Ann Keen MP finished the event with a few words.  I enjoyed her speech.

Freedom of the Borough

November 29, 2009

This was granted not just once but three times on Thursday.  Possibly one of the most memorable Council occasions I have ever been part of.  I was amongst the bravest and most decent people in this Country.

Very few things are more moving than hearing read out the names  of those who have lost their lives.  It is also worth remembering (as many of us did on the day), that there are others who are not killed but are maimed and can bear very serious physical and/or mental scars.  In accepting the Freedom on behalf of the regiment, the Major referred to these people and he said that as a family those people would be looked after – those words meant a lot to us all.

I was also proud of the speeches that were made by various people, especially the Leader of the Council (Peter Thompson) and the Mayor (Paul Lynch).  Well done to Councillor Jagdish Sharma who seconded the various reports.

A bit like the Freddie Mercury event, we had an example of the boat being pushed out and I am really glad that it was.

I was obviously unable to take pictures in the Chamber but took a few later on.  How wonderful it was to see so many Union Flags being flown by those who came to cheer:

Here is the band setting up:

Fullers were big supporters and put on drinks for the boys (one of the pleasures they missed whilst in Afghanistan).  I have tried to keep away from alcohol this week because I have had some bad mouth ulcers but I was determined to toast the Regiment and the two VCs.  Well done to Fullers for this extremely kind gift:

An amazing week in a brilliant Borough!

Update: Here are some more pictures.

Councillor Jiwan Virk

May 13, 2009

Councillor Jiwan Virk, who has been mentioned on this blog previously, was in Brentford Magistrates Court this week.  The reason was for not complying with an enforcement notice (see item 29 for more info) against him.  Here is a link to the original report.

The outcome was that he was fined £1000 and ordered to pay costs of £2958 and a victim surcharge of £15.

He is a terrible example to others.  I think about the things that Labour Members have said about the Council’s tough stance on planning breaches over the past couple of years (again, posted about previously on the blog) and await their response to this with interest.  Suspending him previously for just 4 months was inadequate.  Far from me to interfere in the politics of the Labour Party but they need to decide (quickly) the extent to which they wish to disassociate themselves from such behaviour from someone who has the role of determining whether enforcement notices should be served against others.

How will Councillor Jagdish Sharma now respond?  Any of the following perhaps?

1. Jiwan Virk has brought shame on himself and the Labour Group.  We are going to expel him and call on him to resign as a Councillor.  In retrospect, we accept that the previous 4 month suspension was inadequate.

2. The Labour Group Officers will look into this.

3. Possibly he [Jiwan Virk] should have known better.

4. Mark Bowen and the Tories are responsible for interfering in this matter.

5. Jiwan is a good man and has already paid a high enough price.

Any other suggested responses from the Labour Group Leader?

Update:  The news has hit the papers.  It was tongue in cheek when I guessed number 4.  Councillor Virk has actually gone on record as stating that this is the case.