July Bulletin from Councillor Matt Harmer

Matt's comments on local issues

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* Permission to park *

I hope that nobody minds me starting with one of the subjects that always seems to get a big response – parking. Last week, it was agreed that all the roads in and around the Griffin Park area would be consulted on whether or not they wanted to be part of a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ).

It wasn’t because councillors want to force one to be imposed – far from it. The emails and calls that were asking for a consultation came from meetings with residents and follow up leaflets. We’ll now see if the interest is widespread enough. This follows on a similar exercise last year when roads around Boston Manor Road, north of the A4, were consulted. Residents in 13 roads were consulted, four will become part of a CPZ once the lines and machines are installed, hopefully by September.

Inevitably there will be households who are unhappy, and one road in particular demonstrated that it’s just about impossible to find a solution that fits everyone. However I’m reassured that there is money in the budget to go back to residents a few months after the schemes go live. If we got it wrong, then we must put our hands up and modify or remove the CPZ.

* Transport tales *

Putting cars to one side, a couple of transport issues have arisen lately.

Firstly, the trains. I’m a regular SWT commuter. Usually the 8:09, always at the back of the train (come over and say hallo if you’re a fellow user). I think the service is generally good, but I’ve had some calls lately about the information (or lack of it) when something goes wrong. I think a number of people were delayed on two days a couple of weeks ago where trains pretty much stayed at other stations en route for a long time with very little, if any, information being given on the likely length of delays, alternative routes etc.

A good example of this happened when it snowed quite severely earlier this year. Understandably, services were delayed and cancelled. But it was very unfortunate that the SWT website could not cope with the extra number of people attempting to use it and went out of action for a few days.

I don’t want to over-exaggerate this and so I’d be interested to hear from other SWT users to see how you feel about services. I’ll contact SWT with any issues that seem to reoccur.

Buses have also been discussed. Residents who use the E2 will know that the service has become a double decker. Unfortunately no-one thought to tell residents along the route, who now have bigger noisier buses coming rather close to their upstairs windows. Councillors weren’t informed in advance so we couldn’t indicate where there might be problems. (I had a similar personal experience when the 65, which goes past my house, went all-night a couple of years ago).

Transport for London make decisions on buses and whilst they do a lot of good work, their accountability is far from perfect. Additionally, I’m unclear why the E2 has gone double decker before the H91, which in my experience is far busier.

The 65s are still suffering with the diversion down Boston Manor Road. A couple of weeks ago I spied 5 at various stages of Ealing Rd. I’ve asked if TfL are satisfied with the route’s performance lately. Let’s see if anything happens. In the meantime, let me know any good or bad examples of local public transport provision.

* Football time again *

Might be hard to believe but the football season is nearly upon us. We delivered around 1000 leaflets with the season’s home fixtures to local properties but if you didn’t get one, let me know and I cam email or post the fixtures to you.

The first friendly is Weds 15th July and the first ‘proper’ fixture is on Tues 11th August. High profile games include Millwall at Griffin Park on Sat 14th November, Leeds visiting on Sat 12th December and my own team Charlton Athletic on Mon 28th Dec. Well, the Charlton game is high profile to me, anyway. Strange to have an away game one minute’s walk away from the front door.

* Tower block safety *

The fire in Camberwell earlier this month was terrible news. With six tall local-authority owned towers in the ward, I’m reassured to hear that studies are taking place to see if there are any implications for similar properties in Hounslow. Cllr Cadbury and I will pass on any relevant information in a future leaflet to local residents. Any concerned residents are, of course, welcome to contact me in the meantime on matt@mattharmer.com.

* Crime figures *

Some readers responded to June’s email with questions about crime statistics for the area. I’m glad to say that the Met Police have resumed the ward breakdown for these figures on their website. It’s at http://maps.met.police.uk/

* Squatters rights and wrongs *

I wanted to write something about the issues raised by the occupation of the MPs’ house in Brook Road South. However, given the reports in the press in the weekend and subsequently I think a period of silence might be best – though please do get in touch if there is anything that you would like to discuss privately.

*Anything to report?*
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 me at matt.harmer@hounslow.gov.uk or calling 020 8560 7033. You can also take a look at www.mattharmer.com.

Councillor Matt Harmer
Brentford ward Labour councillor
London Borough of Hounslow

contact: 153 Ealing Rd
Brentford, Middlesex TW8 0LF
telephone: 020 8560 7033

July 14, 2009