Cllr Matt Harmer's November Newsletter
Welcome to the November bulletin from Brentford ward councillor Matt Harmer.
* Catching up *
Firstly, many thanks to everybody who has contacted me regarding the funds that are available as a result of recent planning applications. Lots of good ideas, as I expected, really. Some we unfortunately cannot help with because they cannot be connected in any way with developments that have taken place in the area. In those cases, I have put them onto a list of potential cases that we may be able to help in the future. For some, I have forwarded information on the Council’s own fundraising expert, available to help community groups do just that.
What might we be able to do in the area? Well, in collaboration with a local club we want to bring the storage/changing facility in Carville Park North back into use, we want to work with the Friends of Boston Manor Park to (finally) complete the work on the car park that will enable users to park rather than having it filled by GSK employees and visitors and, following a suggestion from Brentford’s Football in the Community Scheme, we are looking to improve the outdoor play area at Brentford Towers. You'll see that we are looking to help initiatives already began by community groups wherever possible, which is as it should be.
We’re also getting there with the A4 improvements. Transport for London will be returning to our Area Committee on Thurs 2 December to present their proposals for improving the status of the road crossings at Windmill Road and Clayponds Lane. It’s not been easy but there are some things it looks like we can do. We can also, I hope, make the crossing experience a little nicer for pedestrians by improving the lighting at the central reservations. At present, the only lighting is over the roadway. There are constraints – TfL won’t do anything to slow the traffic down, which I have to say disappoints me – but we will do what we can.
TfL have also come up with some improvements to the cycle path along the A4 between Syon Lane and Boston Manor Road. There’s nothing definite yet, but I’ve asked for them to present these too on the 2nd. So if you are interested in this area, please do come along to the Free Church at 7.30 on the 2nd December.
Talking of cycling, you may remember that we are still trying to improve the cycling experience in the area. There’s an interactive map allowing you to describe problems and potential solutions (or even good points) at http://visuals.sdgworld.net/temp/hounslowta/new/hubstudy/
* Healthy Haverfield *
We're in the process of putting together a strategy to improve health outcomes on the Haverfield Estate. It's still a work in progress, but the aim will be to look at all the elements that make our homes and neighbourhoods healthy - better homes, useable play spaces, transport in and out, job availability in the area, crime and the fear of crime and all else besides.
We'd like you to be involved. An initial meeting is being finalised. Now, the date isn't definite so if you'd like to know more or, better still, get involved, then please hit 'Return' now and let me know. You don't have to live on the Haverfield, just have an interest on how we can improve an area that is home to many people. I look forward to hearing from you.
It looks like we can improve is the playground at St Pauls Recreation Ground. The playground here is very well used and it’s something we have wanted to do for a long time. Happily, the Government’s Playbuilder Grant for St Paul’s wasn’t a victim of the cuts and by the end of March we should have a new play area. A couple of the things there at the moment will stay, the Spider and a couple of swings, but lots of new things. I can’t send you to a link, unfortunately, but I have a pdf if you want to have a look – email me and I’ll send it over. It’s 4M so in case that’s not practical, here’s the blurb:
**St Paul’s Recreation Ground is a large existing play area, with some existing equipment and a lot of new equipment being adding so that it is suitable for all age groups. The Toddler Area is zoned off with a bold yellow outline. It has vibrantly coloured equipment and graphics, and also natural play features. The Junior Area is zoned off by a bold purple outline. Within this area there is a wide range of different equipment, from spinning, rocking, climbing, gliding, crawling and swinging! As well as this there is a fi tness area, a natural balancing trail and a Cyclo Gym area. Finally, the Teen Area is outlined with a bold red outline. This offers teenagers challenging, exciting, competitive equipment, like the Skate Grind Rails, the Altima and a Standard Goal end suitable for a broad range of ball sports. All areas have seating for both children and adults.**
If you could see the image , that would make a bit more sense, of course, but hopefully it will give you an idea.
There’s a couple of things from previous bulletins to follow up. School places is something that we have talked about. I’ve been asked to provide details about a council consultation taking place that you may be interested in as it asks a specific question on local school places. The link you’ll need: https://eforms.hounslow.gov.uk/ufs/ufsmain?esessionid=1
You may also remember the articles about that ever fascinating article, dog mess. Well, we are about to start formal consultation on a trial of Dog Control Orders in Brentford ward. The Order will allow fines to be given for :
* failing to remove dog faeces;
* not putting and keeping a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer;
* taking more than a specified number of dogs onto land and
* permitting a dog to enter land from which dogs are excluded.
To read the full information, go to http://democraticservices.hounslow.gov.uk/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=54109
If you have any opinions, let me know and I’ll see that they are added to the consultation. It’s planned that Police and Police Community Support Officers will be the people supervising this. No word yet on when it will start, but positive comments will help us progress it.
We’ve talked about the moorings previously, and there’s been at least a little progress on this. A decision has been taken to do the following option (warning – council legalese coming up):
**This [chosen] option assumes that members wish to see an end to unlicensed moorings and also wish to see a step change in the management and appearance of the current moorings. This option envisages, perhaps in addition to dealing with the issues of sewerage, dealing with issues such as power supply, putting pontoons into the area and relaying out the format of the boats to maximise both the number of boats and financial return. It would also aim to improve the overall aesthetic appearance of the area and the links to the park.
The costs of undertaking a feasibility study under this option are difficult to accurately
estimate, but something in the order of up to £20,000 should be budgeted for to enable the procurement of specialist advice. This would be money at risk because it would not be guaranteed that a viable scheme would necessarily be forthcoming as a result of that study.
Once this feasibility work is completed, a report will be bought back to the Executive outlining the options for future development and management and a decision could be made whether the council itself formulates and manages an improved scheme or whether it seeks to involve a third party. Such decision can then be based on consideration of the various risks and rewards that may be involved.
If it does appear feasible, the council will also need to consider at that time how any new moorings are to be licensed and managed. Certainly if the council are to let directly then it would need to agree a set of initial lettings criteria which any person wishing to have a licence would have to meet. At that time the council could also decide whether or not to allow current boat owners who are at the site to take up a licence subject to them meeting the agreed criteria. If they do not meet the criteria, they would leave the site and if they refused to do so, legal action will have to be taken.**
You can read the full paper at http://democraticservices.hounslow.gov.uk/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=54361
* Layton trust *
We’re still on the lookout for Thomas Layton Trust trustees. Thomas Layton was an extraordinary Brentonian – more at http://www.thomaslayton.org.uk/ - and if you have a small amount of time to dedicate to helping the work of the Trust, please do get in touch.
* What’s on *
Some seasonal local events well worth supporting. The excellent Christmas Fair at St Faiths on Windmill Road takes place next Tuesday 23rd November. Two days later on Thursday 25th, it’s the fundraiser for the Brentford High Street Christmas Lights, 7.30 at the Holiday Inn. Tickets are £45 but it’s a top night so if you are interested in coming along let me know. On the next night we switch the lights on, 6pm at the Watermans. And to finish the week, St Paul’s Christmas Fair, at St Paul’s, on Saturday at midday. More details, and many more events, at BrentfordTW8’s excellent diary page at http://www.brentfordtw8.com/default.asp?section=info&page=calendar.htm
* 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 emailing email@example.com or calling 020 8560 7033.
In the meantime, thanks for reading.
153 Ealing Rd
Brentford, Middlesex TW8 0LF
020 8560 7033
November 23, 2010