A4 crossings, Carville Hall Park, Help Wanted

Cllr Matt Harmer's September Newsletter

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Welcome to the September newsletter from Brentford ward councillor Matt Harmer.

* A4 again *

Readers with long memories will recall me writing about the desire to make it safer to cross the A4. That campaign may move a little closer to fruition this week, and you may be able to help.

It was in October last year that I received an email from the mother of pupils at a local primary school regarding the difficulties caused by traffic not driving carefully at the junction of the A4 and Windmill Road. After a mention in an earlier email, other emails arrived with similar stories, all with a general theme: the pedestrian crossings on the A4 don’t give very long to cross, and the layout of the junctions means that some drivers don’t take any notice of traffic lights.

Following this, I spent a morning with Council and Transport for London engineers. At the same time, we gathered together all the planning gain funds from nearby developments to see what money was available – and it came to quite a lot. So, Transport for London were asked to investigate what could be done and they will be present at a locally-held council meeting this Thursday evening 2nd September at 7.30 to let us know what they can do and what it will cost.

You can see the report by going to http://tinyurl.com/A4report and the agenda for the whole meeting at http://tinyurl.com/A4Meeting . My feeling is that there’s a little too much about traffic and too little on crossing times. Now, Transport for London manage the road and they are under the control of the Mayor of London, so there’s little we can actually *make* them do.

Which is maybe where you come in. It’s a meeting that’s open to the public and there’s scope for participation. So if you are able to come along and add some weight to this campaign it might be helpful. I’m chairing the meeting so it will be first on the Agenda. You’ll see that it’s a packed agenda so it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to spend more than 45 minutes on this issue and I can’t speak for what other councillors might want to happen, but hopefully we can make a step in the right direction.

* Park improvement *

Are you familiar with Carville Hall Park South? It doesn’t have the snappiest name in the world and it’s kind of hidden between the A4/M4 and the railway line, but it’s worth a visit as the upgrading work that’s been taking place for a while is now complete. The grass areas are much improved and there are a couple of new playgrounds, one complete with large sandpit and climbing material that shows that it’s alright to get a bit dirty and maybe even take a risk or two when playing.

The improvements are a result of our old friend planning gain, in this case the redevelopment of the old Beechams site into housing – the North Brentford Quarter, as we must learn to call it, I suppose.

It’s not always entirely clear where some of the funds go and I think we have a good result for the area here. The park is a short walk from the Haverfield Estate, which is short of play areas and it’s our job, I think, to try and promote this new play space and improved park as it’s not directly on a well-used public route. There’ve been fun days in Carville Park South in the past and perhaps there should be again. Try and take a look if you have young children (or even if you don’t) and let me know what you think. And if you have no idea where I am talking about, go to http://tinyurl.com/CarvillePark

Staying with parks, I hope that you’ll be able to visit the Brentford Festival this Sunday September 5th, midday to 5.30pm. It’s become a fixture in our calendars following the hard work of the Friends group and definitely worth a visit. One part of the Festival that I hope you can call at is the area introducing the consultation into ordering the priorities for the Park and the historic House. It’s a similar situation in some ways to Gunnersbury in that there is a hugely important building that needs severe amounts of maintenance and a large park that has a number of potential different uses. The survey is there to find out what parts of the Park and House are most popular and what areas of work we should prioritise.

There’s another stall that it would be nice if you could call at – the Labour Party stall. I’ll be on it with colleagues, please do come by and say hallo. More on the whole festival at http://www.brentfordfestival.org.uk/BF2010.htm

*  Help wanted *

Thanks to all of you who responded to the request for help for the Community Volunteer project last month. This month, I bring a request from the organisers of Brentford FC’s Community Sports Trust’s Extrerme Football Trust which is, I quote, “aiming to reduce crime and anti social behavior, create routes into education, training and employment, and to break down barriers between the police and young people. The programme delivers 13.5 hours of youth provision a week for 48 weeks of the year. These sessions will include sports based activities such as basketball, boxing, street dance, cricket, youth clubs, and educational workshops, however still keeping football as the main hook”.

There are three sites across the borough, in particular Brentford Towers and the Haverfield Estate. If you would like to get involved in helping this service get delivered, let me know and I will pass on your details. You’ll need to be prepared to put in time between 5pm and 9pm and have an interest in, though not necessarily experience in, coaching these kinds of sports. The Trust will organise any necessary criminal record checks.

I’m happy to pass on any similar requests for help, probably one per newsletter, so if you have a voluntary organisation that needs some assistance then please let me know.

* Can I help? *

As a councillor, my first task is to try and assist residents with problems. Please get in touch if you think I can help, either by replying to this mail or calling 020 8560 7033.

In the meantime, thanks for reading and I hope that you are having a peaceful August.

Matt Harmer
153 Ealing Rd
Brentford, Middlesex TW8 0LF
020 8560 7033

September 2, 2010

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