Bulletin from Councillor Matt Harmer
Matt's comments on local issues
* New recycling procedures *
The old Ďgreen boxí system worked because it was simple. The items to be recycled all went in the box and it was sorted by the kerb. The scheme became a victim of its own success sometimes, with collections delayed because the collecting van had to return to base because it was full.
Another problem has emerged for some Hounslow Homes properties, where the number of collections has fallen from twice weekly to once a week under a new contractual arrangement. This has led to overflowing bins and is absolutely unacceptable.
Your experiences of the new system will be very interesting Ė please let me know if it is working for you.
*Hounslow Language Service and the council budget*
The budget cut to this service was announced with very little consultation and no assessment into its likely impact. Iím not sure that councillors have ever received the number of letters and petitions that we received in regard to this case. Cllr Ruth Cadbury and I received over 200 from Brentford ward alone.
We also suggested some new services. The councilís Money Advice Unit now can no longer guarantee personal interviews to people struggling with debt and so we proposed expanding the benefit/housing advice on offer. We know that our town centres are struggling and so we suggested that the council bring in a Town Centres manager to bring in more investment.
As many of you have emailed and called about increases in fly-tipping, we suggested a new team we called ĎGrotbustersí, a mobile team to clear dumped rubbish and large items from households. Finally, we proposed re-introducing Park Rangers to major parks.
We showed that all this could be done whilst still cutting council tax by 1%. However, the Conservatives werenít interested, the cuts are going ahead and the benefits wonít happen. If any readers have ideas for services that should be introduced please do let me know Ė contact details are below. I also want to know if any of the cutbacks are affecting you, your family, neighbours and friends.
* A4 update *
There are still some things that can be done in the near future. I am still speaking with council officers about increasing the parking spaces down Windmill Road. Parked cars slow traffic down (and help residents park their cars). I have also been asked to help with putting in yellow zig zag markings outside Our Lady and St John school to deal with some of the inconsiderate parking that happens there, and Hounslow traffic officers are progressing this.
* Boat moorings at Watermans Park *
Properly managed waterside moorings are not only good to look at but they reduce the opportunity for bad behaviour in the park. There are a number of hurdles to overcome but the outcome is worth it.
* One ward, two parks, lots of work *
Once again, your suggestions for Boston Manor and Gunnersbury Parks are very welcome.
*Anything to report?*
Councillor Matt Harmer
March 10, 2009