Planning, Refugees and Failing to Recognise Love Island Contestants

Syon & Brentford Lock councillor Dan Bowring reports back on his week

Cllr Dan Bowring


A Spate of Cancelled Meetings for Sad but Understandable Reasons

The Creative Mile, Footpaths, Children's Services and More Weeds

Having a Grand Time as Zombies Descend on Hounslow

Orchard Road, Church Walk, Bond House and Other Bollards

Fewer Than 1,000 Emails to Read on My Return

Failure To Evict Dead Pigeons But Success on Other Issues

Committed to Dressing Up as a Sausage Roll for His Constituents

Should the borough's parched parks be getting Brown Flag Awards?

Taking advice on tides from a possibly fake Captain Pugwash

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Tuesday night saw the annual general meeting of Refugees Welcome Hounslow. The group started five years ago in response to the influx of Syrian refugees escaping civil war, and has been instrumental in supporting, befriending, and integrating refugees arriving in Hounslow since then.

Hounslow has a proud record of welcoming refugees escaping dangerous situations across the world from Ukraine to Afghanistan, and RWH are a key part of that, it was great to be there and I will continue to support them 100 percent.

On Wednesday the planning committee met, our previous meeting having been cancelled due to the death of the Queen. One item of particular relevance to Brentford was the development of the old Heidelberg printing site into flats and commercial space. The planning committee is a quasi-legal body, with numerous restrictions and responsibilities placed on members so I won’t go into it in detail.

Having said that, a key concern was how the operations of the iconic boatyard MSO Marine would affect new residents, and if this was likely to cause friction in the future and potentially affect the viability of MSO Marine’s business. The planning committee imposed a condition that meant the open balconies facing MSO Marine would have to be winter gardens or equivalent, this should mitigate the noise created by a working boatyard, and the flats in question actually already had another balcony, not facing the boatyard. The planning committee meeting is available to watch on the Council’s YouTube channel.

On Thursday morning I headed into the city of London for a work event at Deutsche Bank, Kriss Akabusi and John Barnes were there, who were icons of my childhood, as well as two people from Love Island, they were very pleasant but I had absolutely no idea who they were.

That evening I attended a planning presentation at St Francis of Assisi Church in Osterley, hosted by the ever charming Father Vanozzi. Residents had a number of concerns that developers did a pretty good job of fielding. The application may well come before the planning committee, so it was useful to be ahead of the curve and get an understanding of the development. The local ward councillors were also pulling no punches and had a clear understanding of the issues in play.

We regularly knock doors to understand more about local issues and pick up casework, and on Saturday Labour activists were door knocking with fellow councillor Katherine Dunne, and the MP, Ruth Cadbury. Due to some complications I wasn’t able to attend, but residents were bringing up the cost of living, interest rates and local concerns. I was able to follow up on some pieces of casework.

On Sunday I joined fellow Labour councillor Amy Croft door knocking in Chiswick, she’s a lone red councillor in blue Chiswick so I was happy to lend my support, along with a local activist. Amy had an impressive knowledge of all local issues and was able to respond with a great depth
of knowledge. She has already been successful in negotiating changes that Chiswick need, something she is well placed to do with her relationship with the Leader of the Council, and Cabinet.

After that she held her surgery which is actually in the ward, whilst that may seem not particularly noteworthy, the sitting Conservative councillors never held a surgery within the ward, preferring the comfort of a central Chiswick location. Ward surgeries should be held where people can easily access their councillors, not at a location convenient to councillors.

On Monday I attended the Hounslow Town centre engagement consultation. Major development means the high street is changing, and the Council is keen to hear resident’s views. I gave my views as a member of the public not a councillor, and was keen to see the character and diversity of the multitude of independent retailers selling and serving food, such as Istanbul Grand Bazaar, and Crispy Dosa, be protected, and not crowded out by too many chains.

Councillor Dan Bowring

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September 9, 2022

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