Posts Tagged ‘Councillor Peter Thompson’

Hounslow Council AGM

May 16, 2012

A lot longer than it should have been.  It felt strange not having to do lots of preparation in advance e.g. what to say and respond to requests for nominations to various committees.  The new Mayor, Councillor Pritam Grewal, said some very nice words about me, which I had not expected.  I did not vote for him as Mayor last night but he is a very nice man and has always been very courteous with me.  If he does half as well as his predecessor, Councillor Amrit Mann, I think that the Borough will do well.

There are new faces on the Cabinet.  Councillor Sharma, unlike last year, tried to explain some of the changes, albeit without mentioning any names.  He also gave the impression that the decisions were his.  My understanding of Labour rules is that the entire Labour Group decide.  If I am right, this is at odds with the principle of the Strong Leader Model (introduced by the previous Labour Government).  I will not pretend to be particularly excited about the changes.  I only hope that they remember that answering questions in the Chamber is important.

The new Leader of the Conservative Group is Peter Thompson.  I had the privilege of being his Deputy for six years and wish him all the best over the next couple of years.

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New Leader of the Hounslow Conservative Group

May 12, 2010

The Conservative Group has just issued the following release:

Following on from the decision of Councillor Peter Thompson to resign as Leader of the Conservative Group, Councillor Mark Bowen has been chosen by the Group as its new Leader.

Councillor Mark Bowen said:

“Many people have had a shock at the local election results last week and I am really sorry that Peter Thompson is not able to continue to build on the many improvements that have been seen over the past few years.  It was a privilege to serve him as his Deputy for the past six years.  My priority now is to ensure that Conservatives provide strong opposition on the Council and work to safeguard the improvements that have been made.  However, we will support anything sensible that comes forward from the new administration.  My Deputy will be Councillor Adrian Lee who is the most formidable of debaters in the Chamber.  I think he will do a great job.”

Councillor Peter Thompson said:

“I am, of course, profoundly sad that last week’s result means that we won’t be able to build upon all that we have achieved over the last four years.  We had exciting plans to guide our borough through the challenging times that lie ahead but now that privilege falls onto others.  Having spent over 10 years as either leader of the opposition or leader of the council I have decided to step back from frontline politics and I am delighted that the Conservative Group has chosen Mark to lead us forward.  We have had a wonderful journey over the last four years and I am delighted that we pass over the Council in a vastly superior state than we inherited it!”

ENDS

As always, I do not forget that I am a Councillor because the people of Feltham North have given me that privilege.  My obligations as a ward Councillor always remain amongst my top priorities.  The role of Leader of the Opposition is a crucial one and I will do all that I can to be constructive, objective and clear.

Council Tax frozen for a 4th time

March 3, 2010

I cannot begin to describe how proud I am that this administration has managed to achieve four zero increases -in its share of the Council Tax – in a row.  It was an unprecedented meeting for me and other Councillors in that there was a period when the Council could not agree a budget.  But one was eventually agreed and it included no increase for the Council Taxpayer in Hounslow.  A recorded vote took place the second time so all residents will be able to see how their Councillor voted.

All of the above has been managed at a time of massive reductions in graffiti, major new investments in leisure, parks & open space, the most major increase in the profile of planning enforcement of any Council, one of the biggest turnaround in complaints management of any Council and the list could go on.  There is lots more to do but if I had been offered this in 2006 when Labour were removed from being the administration, I would have taken it with both hands (and feet).

No longer is the London Borough of Hounslow London’s forgotten Borough.

Update: Here is the release from Cllrs Thompson & Andrews.

Budget Consultation

February 5, 2010

In advance of setting the Council Tax next month, we are currently consulting with local residents.  If you live in Bedfont, Feltham or Hanworth, you can come along to the West Area Committee on Thursday at 7pm.  Here is the agenda.

In the meantime, the Council is taking advantage of YouTube – please listen to both:

Meadowbank Adult Community Education Centre

February 4, 2010

Over lunch yesterday, I went to Cranford to attend the official opening of the above.  This new facility is going to benefit a lot of people in Cranford and the areas around them.  I feel a lot of pride about this mainly about the outcomes but also because I have seen the likes of Cllrs Thompson, Andrews, Lynch, Paul Fisher & Lin Davies investing time int making this a success – it proves that this administration has worked for all parts of the Borough, irrespective of how those areas vote at elections.

Here are some pictures, beginning with the pleasant looking exterior:

A well equipped interior:

Very impressive training rooms:

Lovely landscaping at the side:

And, some pictures of the Mayor performing his duties, in typically brilliant fashion – another top notch speech with no notes:

I wish this Centre every success and it will be interesting to see how things are progressing in six months time.

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.

What a week!

April 26, 2009

An appalling budget.  Does the Labour Party have any humility?  Whilst this is a worldwide recession, we are in the mess we are in (in terms of debt) because of their Public Sector binge.  It is frightening just how much debt Britain is in.  Even further attacks on the motorist and pub goer will not resolve the problem of servicing that debt.  I do not recall one Labour representative saying, “maybe we should have done things differently when times were better?”.

On Thursday, St George’s flag was flown at the Civic Centre.

On Thursday night, I attended the Mayoral Event at the Music Museum in Brentford.  My first time there and I had a lovely evening.  I bid for two items in the Auction, one of which was two tickets to watch Brentford FC next season.  I am especially pleased about this with the excellent news that Brentford are on their way up next season.  Councillor Hibbs has done a great job as Mayor.  What has always struck me about her is just how genuine she is and what a big heart she has.  I am delighted that she has had the opportunity to offer so much to the Borough with what is such an important position.  Her Deputy, Shirley Fisher, has very similar qualities and has both done a great job as Deputy Mayor and made an impressive contribution as a Councillor.  We have served on some Complaint Panels together and she is the perfect member for such a panel – simply interested in coming to the right decision.

On Friday, Dominic Grieve MP, Peter Thompson and I visited Feltham Young Offenders.  It was my second time.  I was both encouraged and feeling down at the same time by what I saw from two young men I met at the computer lab.  Both were very bright and will clearly do well in life if their apply themselves and follow a good path.  How/Why do bright people like this end up in institutions like this.  There are possibly many reasons but frustrating nonetheless.

On Friday evening, the Feltham and Heston Conservative Association held what has become its Annual St George’s Dinner.  Dominic Grieve MP was again out Guest and he was brilliant.  Guests who are as friendly as they are intelligent always go down a treat.

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LtoR: Paul Bedi, Dominic Grieve MP, Mark Bowen, Patrick Ground

I had the pleasure of introducing our Guest and Patrick Ground gave the Vote of Thanks.  It never surprises me that Patrick was a very popular MP amongst all sides of the House of Commons and within Feltham and Heston.  A really really nice man!

A nice St David’s Day

March 1, 2009

Spent it with my family at the Westfield Shopping Centre – first time I have been there and it was very nice.  It reminded me about a discussion the Council’s Executive had last week about Hounslow High Street.  Whilst I made positive remarks about Hounslow, I agreed that it under performs.  I really hope that there will be improvements in the future and I know that the Leader, Peter Thompson, is very focused on this.

These things are not always easier and I do wander how saturated the High Street (or shopping hub) market is?  In our Borough, we have half a dozen or so High Streets.  We are also surrounded by Kingston, Richmond, Staines, Uxbridge, Westfield, Brent Cross, Ealing etc etc.

My gut instinct is that the future of High Streets in our Borough is to ensure that the local content is well embedded.  But what do I know?

Back to the title of this posting, I did not have anything Welsh to eat or drink and have no rugby victory to celebrate either!

Blogging is catching in Hounslow

April 23, 2008

The Leader has today made his maiden posting.  As a Welshman, I liked the spirit of what he said and whilst I have not yet come over to the idea of more Bank Holidays (everything has a cost), I do believe that if there is a prospect of something similar being rolled out in the Land of my Fathers then the same should happen here.