Councillor Matt Harmer's June update
I thought we could start this month with a little competition. When new housing developments are built, they need naming. Ward councillors are asked to give their opinions on names put forward by the developer and our Library Service, who are asked to make suggestions.
Earlier this month I received some suggestions for a small development of (I think) ten flats in a converted religious building on North Road, next to our beautiful Travelodge. The suggestions were Riverside (it’s not by the River), Trimmer (potentially confusing as Sarah Trimmer Hall is nearby) St George (no good or the same reason), Barge (OK but not very nice-sounding in my opinion), Marquis (there used to be a Marquis of Granby pub nearby so that’s good) and my favourite Chapel (because the building used to be, yes, a Chapel).
But if you can think of a better one, let me know. And there’s a terrific prize, a two bedroom flat in the new development. Actually, that’s not true, but have a think anyway. And if you are wondering why it’s not called Harmer Towers, that’s because that name is going to the new tall building in the Barratt development by the A4 and Ealing Road. And that’s not true either.
I thought the following story might be helpful in terms of the advice and decisions we sometimes have to give and take. Readers of www.brentfordtw8.com (if you’re not, you should be) may have read on the Forum page about anger caused by a proposal to introduce yellow lines in a part of Albany Road. This is the road that goes from Ealing Road, with the excellent Royal Horseguardsman pub on the corner.
The proposals that were being consulted on involved putting double yellow lines in front of the garages there. And the yellow lines were proposed following letters to me and colleagues Ruth and Mel from people who had been denied access to or exit from their garages by people parking and going about their business. One in particular had been shouted at and had the possibility of physical violence only prevented by the intervention of the staff in the kebab shop.
Now, the kebab shop and the chip shop were both cited by one local resident as the reason why these lines were a mistake. Now, I can personally testify as to the excellence of both establishments and have I ever parked in front of the garages to collect my beef and onion pie, small chips and mushy peas? Yes I have. Always, I should say, with great guilt and staring at the car to see if anyone comes out of the garages.
So, what to do. I’m speaking with the resident who was on the receiving end of the threats and hopefully we can resolve this thing without having to put in even more restrictions. But I tell this story as I think there’s a perception that, as councillors, we spend our time wondering to what extent we can control things and generally interfere more with people’s lives. It’s easy to say that councillors should do what residents want – if there was always only one desired outcome then that would be easy, but there never is. And if it wasn’t for the tiny minority of people who lack the ability to treat others with decency then our job would be very much easier.
Anyway, when I finish this I need to reply to an unhappy resident of Braemar Road who is unhappy that we didn’t introduce a CPZ years ago when we had the chance. Anyone want to reply to him on my behalf?
Just heard about a very interesting-sounding event this Sunday 2 June – a Chelsea Fringe Flower Show at Gunnersbury Park. The website http://www.chelseafringe.com/event/gunnersbury-park-garden-of-surprises/ tells us that the event includes:
> Garden installation trail exploring the park’s historic core
> Live performances from the Hounslow Symphony Orchestra and local folk groups
> Heritage tree walks
> Talks on the history of nursery gardening in the area, the Rothschild gardens and unusual plants of the 18th and 19th centuries
> Family art and craft activities
> Meet “the Rothschild’s Head Gardener”
> Picnics on the lawn as part of The Big Lunch
It runs from 10am to 5pm this Sunday. I wish I’d heard about it earlier, and my colleague Ruth Cadbury has asked that residents around the Park are kept informed. I’m sure that whatever disturbance there will be will be made up for by being on top of a great-sounding event.
That’s not to say that it’s always easy living around events, as people around Griffin Park are feeling (I’ll declare an interest – I’m one of them, though I wasn’t around when the events I’m about to describe took place). The Club hosted two charity events this weekend, both worthy events in themselves, but the organisation wasn’t what it could have been and Monday’s event has attracted complaints regarding noise levels from a number of neighbours – including some who are Brentford season ticket holders.
I’m speaking to the Club and they have admitted that things could have been done better. I still regard them as a good neighbour but, as so often with these things, it’s letting people know in advance that something is happening. Certainly, some afternoons out in the sun weren’t as peaceful as was hoped and if you live near the ground I’ll try to work with the Club to prevent things like this happening again.
And I’m also aware that the Club has had other things on its mind over the past couple of weeks…
*Blocks to be tackled*
Talking of a lack of notice, I think an apology is due to residents of roads north of the A4 who suddenly found themselves under some kind of siege last month. The cause was emergency roadworks to South Ealing Road which prevented traffic from getting across the A4. Whilst a diversion was signposted that took people along Windmill Road, others used local roads to short cut. This caused lots of disturbance to people on roads like Enfield Rd and Whitestile Road.
Councillors received very little advance notice of the works and when emergencies happen, that’s the way it is. But it’s hard to work out what we could have done. Obviously we can’t prevent access to the roads (how happy would you be if you were told that you couldn’t go home) and so i felt that we were a little stuck. But, again, if you have a good idea on this should it happen again then we’d love to hear it.
*Marketing the market*
It’s three weeks now since the new Brentford Market opened. I went down there on Sunday. It’s excellent. You should go. It’s in, wait for it, Market Square, next to what used to be the Magistrates Court.
* Can I help? *
Finally, 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.
My mailing address is:
153 Ealing Rd
Brentford, Middlesex TW8 0LF
020 8560 7033
May 30, 2013