Thursday 14 May 2009

Worth A Watch

The White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner is a Washington institution. It’s nearly always fun and this year President Obama gives a very funny address. You can click here to view.

Friday 8 May 2009

Thames Water Set Out Their Side Of The Story On Super Sewer

Thames Water has written into H&F Council in a bid to correct some of the blatantly dishonest scaremongering the Council has published about the Thames Tideway Tunnel in its PRAVDA style paper. In a bid to get some free speech into the paper I have decided to publish Thames Water’s letter here to force H&F Council’s hand. Click on the attachments to increase the size of the letters so you can read them in full.

Regular readers will recall that H&F Council has frequently misinformed residents saying that Thames Water were going to put giant bore holes taking up all of Furnival Gardens and Ravenscourt Park and lasting eight years. This has since all been proved to be complete nonsense - which the Council itself now admits was based upon nothing other than “speculation”.

The Conservative Administration had initially tried to conceal the scale of their dishonesty by unsuccessfully trying to ban Thames Water from meeting with Opposition Councillors. The reason for this became clear when my fellow ward Councillors and I met with Thames Water last November. It seems that the Conservative Administration believe that whipping up false fear is worth thousands of local votes. It worked for them in the 2005 General Election when they dishonestly claimed Charing Cross Hospital was going to close. They obviously think that they can repeat that electoral success again by falsely telling residents that our local parks will be swallowed up by a giant boring machine for the next eight years.

I hope that residents will get to consider all of the genuine facts about the Thames Tideway Tunnel. People have a right to review for themselves whether they support or oppose it. So far, H&F Council has been keener to satisfy their Conservative masters’ political aims than to objectively report the options before the residents of Hammersmith and Fulham. I hope that will change.

Thursday 7 May 2009

H&F Conservatives' Cack-Handed Approach Undermines Borough’s Small Shops

Adam Heanen of HG Walters, the butcher in Barons Court, contacted me after H&F Council painted new double yellow lines outside their premises in December.

Adam told me that “The first we and the other shops on this strip knew about this was when a council worker turned up unannounced and started painting the extra yellow lines. It’s been five months now and this has had a detrimental effect for many of the local shops as many rely on people being able to pull up and pop in. We’re all very upset about it". He said that H&F Council “clearly don’t care about how this would affect our business, if they did they would have at least spoken to us about what was going on before putting down a measure that is literally driving people away”.

I have written to the senior official responsible for implementing this decision along with the Conservative Cabinet Member who is responsible for it. I have asked them to urgently “consult with the affected small retailers and reconsider this measure as well as developing other ways to support this key local shopping centre”. I will let you know when I get a response.