Local Plan Unacceptable Say Labour Councillors
Tell hustings that it fails to represent needs of residents
Tuesday's hustings was an opportunity to question candidates up for election to London Borough of Hounslow on the 22nd May. The candidates don't have to be finalised until next week and some candidates were clearly last minute additions who hadn't done much homework.
Ian Speed (ICG) and Cllr Theo Dennison (Labour) exchanged a few harsh words about the current and previous administration but were the clear winners, speaking clearly, confidently and with knowledge.
Cllr Mel Collins (Labour) was genuinely upset after 4 years of service by the questioner who asked "Why should I vote for any of you when you've done nothing to impress me?" especially when he realised that he had personally successfully helped the gentleman in question.
The Conservative Party turned up in force with all six candidates for Brentford and Syon ward being present. Unfortunately Gabriella Giles (Brentford) didn't seem to know very much about Brentford or local issues. Ron Mushio (Syon) came across more positively and was very complimentary about Peter Thompson's leadership.
Both Mel and Theo said that the local plan, currently out for consultation for another week, was inadequate as it stood, failing to represent the needs of current residents. Developments have to be within character and scale of the local area.
There was much discussion as to whether councillors' role was to sell council plans to the public or to represent the public's views to the council [It'd be nice to see a job description].
There was a general failure from all candidates to know anything much about air pollution, which considering the low air quality in Hounslow, is staggeringly bad.
John Bradley spoke well for the Green party despite little expectation of getting elected, at least demonstrating good local knowledge.
Joe Bourke (Brentford, Liberal Democrats), well know to Brentford FC supporters, came across as solid and reliable if unimaginative. He raised the apolitical issue of whether candidates were professionally qualified and able to fulfill the role of councillors.
Dave Cox, ex chair of HFTRA, (Brentford, ICG) came across as a perfectly nice man who said little other than talk to the people, find out what they want and need, represent those views.
Thanks go to all the candidates and the public for attending, to NeighbourNet for sponsoring the hall hire, Brentford Chamber of Commerce for organising the event and Brentford Community Council for producing leaflets.
April 18, 2014