The return of Kew Bridge Lake and electoral campaigning
Not feeling very bloggy this week, must be the weather. Well it sort of is. Those of you who are daft enough to read this tripe regularly will remember my crowing about the draining of Lake Kew Bridge. Well, my trusty Kew Bridge Correspondent writes to tell me today that ‘twas all an illusion. The lake is back and those who look forward to a ritual drenching whilst running for the 65 will no longer be disappointed. So after about 9 months as a councillor the one thing that I thought I had actually achieved has been cruelly taken away from me.
Anyway, we had Easter, so not much going on in the normal run of councilloring. Spent some of the weekend trekking round various bits of Brentford that only Heineken and I can reach, delivering leaflets, or in fact pre-filled-out postal vote forms. Last time there was a London Mayor election we actually won it on the day but blooming Boris was so far ahead in postal votes that it turned it around (or so the gurus tell me). If anyone out there is a Labour voter DO GO OUT AND VOTE ON MAY 5TH – we need every vote. This is especially important as the creative way the electoral register has been updated by the government in defiance of the Electoral Commission means that there are less people of working age registered (where Labour always has a majority) and far less young people (where Labour has a large majority). So the grey vote, where Conservatives tend to be ahead, will be proportionately larger than ever (and they are the most likely to bother to vote, too!)
Monday afternoon found a team of us puzzling out the numbering system on the Walks in the Haverfield Estate. The system was designed when you were expected to walk through the inside of these long buildings but at some stage they were divided up (to deter people from riding motorbikes along them, I hear) so now you have to approach from the sides and the numbering is quite mad. Anyway, it was a very productive afternoon knocking on doors and talking to residents, who seemed a contented bunch on the whole.
As a confirmed evening person it’s always a particular pleasure to get up at 6am to go station leafletting at Boston Manor, as I did on Tuesday. Mood not improved by a semi-flat tyre on my bike which my pump wouldn’t fix so I wobbled and laboured up the hill: and for those who only drive it, it’s a lot steeper on a bike.
Station leafletting is weird because there’s a real herd mentality. People arrive in busloads and if the first one does or doesn’t take a leaflet that tends to set a pattern for a lot of the rest of them. Most people seemed pretty pleased with Sadiq’s plans for a fare freeze and one hour ‘hopper’ bus tickets to save people having to pay two fares. And the weather was kind to us, always a bonus.
I was particularly charmed by a gent of mature years who approached from a Northerly direction (a savage from the London Borough of Ealing, I suspect), immaculately dressed in a Captain Mainwaring sort of way, who took my leaflet and then threw it at me. It was quickly picked up by another commuter but I was thinking I bet Captain M is the kind who rails against people creating litter.
Later I spent some time planning for the EU referendum where I am co-ordinating Labour In for Britain for the constituency. I’m finding it quite hard to get going whilst the London elections are going on, but we’re getting there.
Late on Wednesday evening I had a snoop around the Haverfield Estate, where they have really bad parking problems with people getting blocked in, something which we’re finding hard to solve because we lack some enforcement powers.
This morning I wrote the Chair’s report for Thamesbank Credit Union, ready for our AGM on the 12th April. Thamesbank members - do come along, it’s your union and us directors really want you involved.
Apart from the usual casework which rumbles on, including a trip to the Civic today to discuss an arrears issue, that’s more or less it for this week. High in my tray (as ever) is the 235. I keep writing to TfL telling them what a disgrace I think it is and I keep getting misleading answers back: they generally say that service will resume next Saturday at 5pm which we all know is complete nonsense. I have suggested 4 different ideas for temporary solutions whilst Barratt’s ruddy barrier is being fixed but none of them have yet been taken up, and their Plan-a-journey site still claims there’s a bus running every few minutes (It has finally had a note added about GWQ after I pointed this out I think 4 times – but it’s still quite wrong)
I am also grumbling Hounslow Highways about their inspection regime (or not) for the lights in keep left signs. You see a lot of them flattened and think ‘reckless drivers’ but next time you’re out at night have a look at how many have no lights. Believe me it’s LOTS and I think it’s a safety issue so let them know if you see them out. In the background I am trying to turn the screw to get them to inspect for themselves and just fix them without relying on the public.
April 1, 2016