One year on

It has been one year since I was elected to serve Isleworth alongside Cllr. Daanish Saeed and Cllr. Sue Sampson. For a first time councillor like myself, it has been a steep learning curve, but I am proud to report that your Isleworth councillors are among the busiest and hardest working in the borough. Between us, we have taken on hundreds of pieces of case work, from urgent rehousing cases to fly-tipping, potholes, business concerns and school placements.

I was honoured to be elected chair of the Isleworth & Brentford Area Forum at last month’s Borough Council AGM, stepping into the enormous shoes left by Cllr. Tony Louki upon his elevation to Mayor of Hounslow. In this role, I look forward to continuing to work hard to serve the people of Isleworth and also those of Syon, Brentford and Osterley & Spring Grove.

If you have any issues you wish us to take up on your behalf, do come along to our surgeries. Sue and Daanish share their surgeries, which are held on the first Saturday of each month at 10:00am – ROWE Community Centre, McElwain Hall, Unwin Road, Isleworth, TW7 6HY, and on the second Saturday of each month at 10:00am – The Bridgelink Centre, Summerwood Road, Isleworth TW7 7QU. My surgery is held at 7pm on the third Wednesday of every month in the café at Isleworth Leisure Centre and Library, Twickenham Rd, Isleworth TW7 7EU.

For the many, not the few

Your three Labour councillors for Isleworth have been working to support allotment holders and the Isleworth Society in their efforts to resist the Duke of Northumberland’s plans to bulldoze over the Park Road allotments.

We were pleased when the planning inspector threw out the Duke’s appeal and supported Hounslow Council’s decision to deny planning permission to the Duke.

But the future of the allotments remains uncertain and we remain committed to offering allotment holders any assistance we can in their efforts to secure a future for their plots.

Shrewsbury Walk

We have all been working hard to support the businesses of Shrewsbury Walk to make it the thriving focal point for Old Isleworth it deserves to be.

With the opening of a new restaurant and greengrocers, the vacant shops have now been filled and we are beginning to see the area improve.

The next step we intend to take is to extend free parking on South Street to one hour – as demanded by many businesses and customers in the area – to allow people more time to enjoy the cafes, restaurants and shops in the heart of Old Isleworth.

Brexit

Last month’s European Parliament elections proved that Hounslow, just like the rest of the country, continues to remain divided by Brexit. I firmly believe that a Labour government, with Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister, is our best hope of healing those divisions and building a fairer, more equal society.

However, Jeremy Corbyn will not be our next prime minister. With Theresa May stepping down after three wasted years of failed Brexit negotiations, the privilege of selecting the new premier is not ours, but that of Conservative MPs and members. In all likelihood, the next prime minister will be Boris Johnson – a man who bears more responsibility for the current mess than perhaps anyone save David Cameron, and one who has already said he is prepared to pursue a no deal Brexit as he seeks to court the hard right in his party. 

Whether you voted leave or remain, there can be few who would sign up to support the hardest of hard-right Tory Brexits under Boris Johnson. I believe the time has come to put Brexit back to the people in a confirmatory referendum on whatever final deal, or no deal, emerges.

I am proud that Hounslow Council became one of the first councils in the country to take this position. And I am proud that it is now the position of the national Labour leadership. Only Labour can get us out of this mess.

Breaking point

Another motion your Labour councillors recently supported was to back the Breaking Point campaign. Despite assurances from the Conservative members of Hounslow Council that austerity is over, we recognised that austerity has caused huge damage to communities up and down the UK, with devastating effects on key public services that protect the most defenceless in society.

Hounslow Council has therefore called upon the Prime Minister and Chancellor to truly end austerity in local government by:

·         Using the Budget to reverse next years planned £1.3bn cut to council budgets;

·         Immediately investing £2bn in children’s services and £2bn in adult social care to stop these vital emergency services from collapsing;

·         Pledging to use the Spending Review to restore council funding to 2010 levels over the next four years.

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