Posts Tagged ‘Councillor Rebecca Stewart’

Flooding on A312 Uxbridge Road

October 31, 2011

I know that the following is not in Feltham North but it will be of interest to some.  I know that Hanworth Park Councillors have lobbied hard to get something done about this ongoing problem.  West Area Committee Members received the following today:

“Following our attendance at the recent West Area Committee meeting, I am writing to advise on the outcome of our site meeting with TfL on the A312 Uxbridge Road.

This meeting (with Phil Hurst from TfL) took place on Friday 30 September and after some primary investigations, Thames Water has agreed to undertake the following.

   Complete a descale from No 56 through to No 154 (500 metres). Followingthe descale a CCTV will be carried out to look for any structuraldefects in the sewer. Although a CCTV was carried out by TfL the resultsof this further examination would be more accurate following the removal of any debris as it may be at present hiding any faults.
   Should any faults be shown up following this closer investigation Thames Water will move to rectify them.

During Friday’s investigations it was identified that certain sections of the highway will require resurfacing due to depressions which are causing ponding. The volume of water has been overloading the gullies and more gullies are required to allow the water to pass through.

With this in mind, following the works by Thames Water, TfL will resurface areas of the highway where depressions are compounding the drainage problem and drainage improvement work will be carried out to include additional gullies. Work by TfL will also be carried out to clear existing debris which are blocking the gullies.

What I have been unable to ascertain is exactly when Thames Water will be undertaking this work. I realise this is important as TfL will be unable to start any resurfacing work until our sewer is checked and any necessary repairs undertaken. However, I am confident this will be carried out in good time.”

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Hanworth Park this morning

March 7, 2010

I took a look around the open space in Hanworth Park on Thursday and returned this morning (this time without leaflets).  I am thrilled to bits by what I see as it is yet another demonstration of turnaround.  The West Area, especially open spaces in the Hanworth Park ward, suffered the greatest from maintenance cuts imposed by the previous administration.  It was always going to take a while to turn things around.  Item 10 (question) of this was tabled towards the end of 2007.  All of the Conservative Councillors in Feltham have been pushing for improvements and I really believe that these have been delivered – with more improvements on the way.

Here are some pictures from this morning:

The biggest complaint in the past was regarding the lack of grass cutting.  I have not seen such complaints or problems for quite some time – well done Cllrs Lee, Stewart, Jabbal & Williams on the political front and to the team who have delivered the improvements on the ground.  The extra £2 million in increased maintenance would not have been possible had the administration not introduced a more commercial approach towards managing finance & resources.

I got talking to one lady who was walking her dogs and we agreed how great things were.  She was from Sunbury and I was glad that she has made such a great choice to visit Hanworth Park so regularly.  It is a stunning open space.

Council Executive Meeting earlier this week

July 18, 2009

Some terribly important reports were taken to Executive last Tuesday.  I was especially excited about items 11 & 14.  The report considered under item 11 is an example of Green IT at its best.  There are both environmental and cashable benefits.  With regards to item 14, the foundations laid by my friend and colleague, Adrian Lee, continue to be built on by the recent addition, Becky Stewart.

Item 3 was in my name.  I am concerned about the impression that it has given to some people and also the content of an article in the Chronicle last week.  Every organisation needs to have a policy like this in place and I would be surprised if the amount of people categorised as vexatious complainants was ever more than half a dozen.  The prospect of anyone believing that the Council would label someone as vexatious because they are making legitimate enquiries or complaints horrifies me.  Not long after being first elected, there was a case that I took on and I was horrified at the way a constituent and I were treated.  She was let down in a big way and the tactic of not answering questions and causing more frustration was deployed.  I could see that the Council had a major problem with its Complaints Procedure (despite having pockets of brilliance) and I quickly identified this as the element of the Customer Service Umbrella that needed the most attention when I became Lead Member in 2006.

I quickly took a report on becoming Lead Member that reversed the decision of the previous Labour administration to increase the timescales for dealing with complaints.  I also instigated other changes that reconfigured the Procedure to establish a Panel of Councillors to determine complaints at Stage 3.  I believe that the changes have been revolutionary.

These changes were not welcomed at first.  I first suggested them when in opposition but they were strongly opposed by the previous administration who made claims from predicting that it would be legally challenged to it would lead to a conflict of interest.  Despite the success since, only one person has acknowledged that they were wrong to oppose the establishment of the Members Panel.

My friend and colleague, Phil Andrews, posted about this most recent report recently.  I think I have been guilty in not giving enough thought to how the provisions in this report would be perceived by others.  I did try and reassure people when presenting the report that it would genuinely only be used where fully justified.  Asking legitimate questions will not be a reason for limiting the type of contact that a resident can have with the Council.

I am as passionate about the importance of complaints now, as I was when first elected.  The Council, and how it deals with the thousands of complaints,  is not perfect every time but I know that residents who will have the need to use the Council’s Complaints Procedure in the future now have a much better prospect of a better experience than they did a few years ago.  I am confident that there is a pool of Members who deal with Complaints at Stage 3 that will accept departments having a different point of view to residents but they will not accept any example of questions not being answered or legitimate issues, where the Council has a role, addressed.  I can honestly say that there has not yet been that case in all the panels I have been on that has angered me because of attempts to grind people down with no answers or answers to questions not asked.  There has been a step changed in earlier resolution of complaints and that is what I wanted to achieve.

Here is some information about how complaints work at Hounslow.  If you ever feel let down by the Council, I strongly urge you to complain.

Last night’s Executive

June 10, 2009

A good agenda.

Agenda item 5 was presented by me.  Before that, my ward colleague, Allan Wilson, presented a report (item 4) and his passion for the subject and personal imprint on the work came through.  Most residents would not see or hear about work like this, but it is terribly important to me!

Also, there were three new Executive Members – Councillors Jon Hardy (Housing), Rebecca Stewart (Leisure) & Robert Oulds (Education).  Each of them presented a report and did a great job and they are great additions.  Notwithstanding that, I will miss the contributions at Executive of three really good friends – Councillors Adrian Lee, Paul Lynch & Phil Andrews.  Each of them are different and offered heck of a lot!