Fly-tipping – Petition for CCTV

Dear All
 
The Harlington Residents Association (THREAd) with the support of your Heathrow Villages Labour Councillors started a petition in September 2014. The petition was to The London Borough of Hillingdon to install CCTV on the corner of Pinglestone Close and Harlington Hospice (282 Manor Parade, High Street Harlinton). There has been in recent months a substanial increase of fly tipping in Heathrow Villages and these locations have now become the worst ‘hot-spots’ for fly-tipping. These locations are now constantly blighted by rubbish and something more has to be done.
 
We, the residents demand that Hillingdon Council fully fund and install CCTV in these locations immediatly. CCTV will deter future fly-tipping and also provide evidence for prosecution.
 
We hope that all the residents will sign the petition, please contact your local Councillors or Mr John Bircham, Chairman of THREAd to find out where you can find a place to sign. 
 
This petiton has now been submitted to the Council and we will keep you updated on the progress.
 
Regards
 
Cllr Peter Money, Cllr June Nelson and Cllr Manjit Khatra
Your Local Coucnillors

Mr John Bircham
Chairman (THREAd)
 
 
 
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Success on Harlington High St – More street cleansing!

Dear Villagers 

The Bins near The White Heart Pub, Opp Harlington Hospice, The Village green and Harlington Corner are constantly overflowing with rubbish as we have brought to your attention on numerous occasions. Many resident have also contacted us with these issues. 

Currently the bins are only emptied once a week and this frequency needs to be increased along with street sweeping. Our understanding from previous emails from the Council have stated that litter collection on communal bins are done once a week and are implemented into the plan on a need-by-need basis. As you know, the corner of High Street Harlington up to the White heart pub sees a large population of Airport Workers, Taxi drivers, free bus services and Tourists which are not being taken into account this makes Harlington High St as busy as a shopping high street.

Can we request that Bins on the high street be cleared more than once a week and the high street is also swept more frequently. This is a very reasonable request for a busy high street – we also mentioned that the tourists first impression of London just so happens to be The London Borough of Hillingdon. 

After a meeting with the street cleansing manager, they assured us that the litter bin will be emptied by the solo operator twice a day and hopefully this will solve the problem. We have a very hardworking solo operator who is more than willing to help keep our street clean – it is worth mentioning that our solo operator does not work weekends, like other areas, nevertheless this is a win for Heathrow Villages. Your local Labour Councillors are leading the fight to clean up Heathrow Villages.

Hopefully we wont see the bins like the pictures below. If you have any other queries regarding this issue or anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

Kind regards

Cllr Peter Money, Cllr Manjit Khatra and Cllr June Nelson

Last Chance to Reinstate the Cranford Cross Polling Station

Dear All

We have previously reported on the closure of the polling station in Sipson. We are also fighting to reinstate the temporary Polling station that was present in Cranford Cross on the green area of Oxford Avenue. At present, your polling station is the Scouts Hut in Harlington, again this is some distance away from where the residents actually live – we feel that the Council are deliberately targeting persons who are elderly or those with disabilities. 

The residents living in Cranford Cross used to walk a very short distance to Vote and now they have to travel by Car or public transport – which again is not every user-friendly to get to the HD5 polling station in Harlington. The number of polling place electorates in the HD5 stations is 3618, this is a very large number of residents visiting the polling station. Although HD5, Scouts Hut is a suitable polling station for Harlington and its local residents who can vote it is not suitable for this high number as it is a small station with very limited parking. Many residents on the day were complaining on the lack of car parking space and the fact that it was so busy, creating problems for walkers and the local residents residing in the flats and houses next to the Harlington Scouts Hut Polling station. Residents in Cranford Cross were also complaining that there right to vote was taken away when the temporary Polling station was taken away. 

During the 2014 Council elections many residents stated to us that if the polling station were walking distance than they would have voted – we even gave lifts to 3 elderly voters who did not have any tranportation on the day. 

Heathrow Villages also has a large population of persons who work shifts in the airport doing either early, late or night shifts as such walking to the polling stations in the Heathrow Villages will is an absolute necessity.

As mentioned before, Heathrow Villages had a 32.2% voter turnout for 2014 which is a relatively average number when compared with other wards throughout Hillingdon Borough and even the country. There has overall been a low turnout in the local elections and moving the polling stations further away can only contribute to this. Having a polling station walking distance from your house can only encourage more residents to vote – simple!

The council is accepting comments on the proposals from residents and we would urge you to have your say.

Representations can be made in writing (before 30th September) to:

London Borough of Hillingdon – Electoral Services
 Civic Centre 
High Street 
Uxbridge, UB8 1UW
or by email at electoralservices@hillingdon.gov.uk

We will also be spending this weekend door knocking in Cranford asking residents to sign a petition/ letters of support to reinstated the polling station on Oxford Avenue. 

Regards

Cllr Peter Money, Cllr June Nelson and Cllr Manjit Khatra

Your Heathrow Villagers Councillors

Last Chance to Save Sipson Polling Station

Dear Villagers

We have previously reported on the closure of the polling station in Sipson. At present, your polling station is at the Sipson Christian Fellowship, Sipson Lane. The Tory-led council are proposing changes that would make it much harder for some local residents to vote in elections. If their proposals are accepted, Sipson residents would need to travel all the way to Cherry Lane School in West Drayton to cast their vote.

We’ve written to the council to raise concerns about these plans. As well as inconveniencing hundreds of residents, these changes will cause great difficulty for residents with mobility issues and those who do not drive.

The Tory’s propose that Polling districts of HD2/HD3 which currently already share a polling station should be combined together with HD4, which would include the catchment area of Sipson. 

We strongly disagree with this statement by the returning officer and Council. On Paper the two stations are 1.4 miles apart when driving, however in practise, residents who are living on Blunts Ave will be 2.3 miles from the proposed Polling Station, this distance is absolutely absurd as it means that the polling station will now longer be walking distance.

Residents are concerned that there only option will be to drive to the new location. Public transport from Blunts Ave will include the following steps. First there will be a 1.2 mile walk to the Sipson Way bus stop, the resident will then have to wait for the 222 bus which can be anything up to 8 minutes, the journey will take 18 minutes to Maxwell Road in  West Drayton and then a further 10 minute walk to the polling station – this whole journey will then have to be repeated on the way to back to their home – We find this absolutely ridiculous and something that will put people of voting.

Currently 901 residents are registered to vote in the HD4 polling station. Not all persons will obviously be using public transport to travel to the new polling station, however the elderly who have a right for a democratic vote and all other residents are more likely to vote in the elections if the polling station is nearby. Whilst some persons are happy to go for a postal vote there are many residents who want to vote for them selves, this obviously includes the elderly and those with disabilities etc.

In Heathrow Villages there was a 32.2% voter turnout for 2014 which is a relatively average number when compared with other wards throughout the borough and even the country. There has overall been a low turnout in the local elections and moving the polling stations further away can only contribute to this. There is no positive reason for this polling station to be moved further way. Residents should be encouraged to vote and this can only deter them.

The council is accepting comments on the proposals from residents and we would urge you to have your say – don’t let the Tories take your polling station away.

Representations can be made in writing (before 30th September) to:

London Borough of Hillingdon – Electoral Services
 Civic Centre 
High Street 
Uxbridge, UB8 1UW
or by email at electoralservices@hillingdon.gov.uk

We will also be spending this weekend door knocking in Sipson asking residents to sign a petition/ letters of support to stop the closure of the Polling Station. We have also left a petition with Jackie at the Hair dressers so please take time to sign it.

 

Regards

Cllrs Manjit Khatra, Peter Money and June Nelson
Your Heathrow Villages Labour Councillors

Council Housing Maintenance – Who is Responsible?

Dear All

We had a very distressed resident contact us regarding the maintenance of their Council house. The person shall remain anonymous but for the purpose  of this post lets call her Mrs X. She is elderly and vulnerable and she told us that she has tried contacting the Council’s Housing maintenance team but has not had much luck with them.

Mrs X invited us to her house and we spent some time with her and she addressed her concerns, some of which are mentioned below:

  • The shower pressure is very low, can this be adjusted? 
  • The Bathroom Window is very difficult to reach, all adjacent neighbours who also live in similar council houses have a crank handle that they use, however Mrs X does not have one. There is a 3ft gap and it is impossible to reach and  open the window especially because she is elderly and has a problem reaching. Can this be addressed and a Crank added to his window.
  • At the rear of the property the conservatory seals are damaged and as such there is a lot of condensation and draught coming in.
  • Kitchen Window does not have a window lock in place when the window is open, as such Mrs X has observed people looking and reaching in through the window when she is cooking food. A lock needs to be put into place as soon as possible
  • The garden fence posts are all damaged and need maintenance works done to them. They were damaged after the police and a suspect ran through the garden. Can they be repaired as soon as possible. 
  • The rear access to Mrs X property and the neighbours properties is open to all of the public. People are trespassing and engaging in various anti social activities such as drug taking and drinking alcohol. Mrs X claims that a housing officer promised them a rear gate to be added to the property that will prevent this from occurring. Is there any update on this?

We made all the following enquires/ requests on behalf of Mrs X and got immediate positive responses from the Council which are listed below:

  • Shower pressure: this has been previously investigated and the shower is running at the full mains pressure for the area. A new shower was fitted and the valve is now fully open.
  • Bathroom window: a works order has been raised to fit a crank handle and this has now been done.
  • The conservatory windows: the officer found two blown double-glazed units. An appointment has been made for  late September for them to be measured up, then a further appointment will be made to fit new units once they have been manufactured.
  • Kitchen window lock: this works order was logged and has now been installed and completed.
  • Garden fence posts: the rear garden only has low post and rail sets to separate each tenant’s section. It offers no security. Mrs X  advised the officer that if she had permission she would put up a higher fence. This request has been referred to his Housing Officer.
  • Rear access to the block: the Housing Office has no previous contact record from any resident about providing a gate to the block. As part of the Council’s works to stock programme, funds are available through the ‘Better Neighbourhood Team’ initiative for residents to submit ideas and proposals for small scale estate improvements, including additional security measures. The Housing Office has advised that Mrs X should first discuss this suggestion with her neighbours as it is important for any proposal to have broad support before further consideration is given. The Housing Officer would be pleased to meet with Mrs X and any other residents for further discussion.
We hope you find this useful. If you have any similar concerns with the maintenance of your Council house, please don’t hesitate to contact your local Labour Councillors. 
 
Regards,
 
Cllr Peter Money, Cllr June Nelson and Cllr Manjit Khatra

Gazette Leader’s Column – September 2014

Dear All

Please see this post which has been published by the Leader of the opposition in the local Gazette.

As readers of your local Gazette you will no doubt appreciate the vital contribution that a healthy local press makes to a thriving democracy. The impartiality that allows this paper to produce a monthly column for leaders of both political parties represented on the Council, is something that should not be taken for granted. Contrast this with your Council news-sheet Hillingdon People. This tax-payer funded publication makes no attempt at such even-handedness. Instead it provides an indulgent level of exposure for the Council Leader and Cabinet members and rarely invites contributions from elected members of the Opposition, even regarding matters affecting their wards.

It is this principle of supporting an independent local press that led Kris Hopkins MP, to write to Hillingdon (as well as six other councils) on 15th August 2014, pointing out that the publication of our news-sheet, Hillingdon People, is currently in breach of the Local Authority Publicity Code. The Publicity Code aims to prevent Local Authority news sheets, published by local authorities, funded by tax-payers, and providing biased commentary and publicity for the leading local party, from creating unfair competition for the local free press.

We do not know how the Leader chose to respond to this communication. However, we do know that Eric Pickles MP for Communities intends to take legal action against Council’s who do not comply with the Code. We also know that this issue was discussed at our latest Council Meeting last Thursday, 11th September, and the Conservatives rejected the motion, put forward by Labour, that Hillingdon should comply fully with the Publicity Code.

In contrast to your local free press Hillingdon People makes no attempt at even-handedness. For example, as Leader of the Opposition, I was at no time offered the opportunity to contribute to articles on such issues as Heathrow Airport, HS2 or the closure of South Ruislip Civic Amenity Centre. There is rarely any reference to elected members outside the Leader, the Cabinet and the Mayor.

And it doesn’t stop there. In addition to Hillingdon People the publicity machine steps up a gear every 4 years just before local elections with distribution of a further, ward-level, publication. Even the individual elected Ward Councillors were not consulted on the content of this publication, which included an address from the Leader of the Council and content prepared by Cabinet members.

As readers of your local free newspaper you will appreciate the balanced view, and superior scrutiny that an independent press can provide. It is easy to take it for granted. Our neighbours in Hammersmith and Fulham have been without a local news-sheet holding the council to account since April 2014 when the Fulham and Hammersmith Gazette was closed. The F&H Gazette had been involved in a long running legal battle with London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham over their frequent publication of a rival news-sheet. Ultimately this legal battle was successful, forcing LBHF to reduce the frequency of their publication. Unfortunately, despite this, the paper went out of business with the loss of 15 jobs in their Uxbridge Offices (now moved to Watford). These offices also serve several other West London newspapers. If the administration at Hillingdon does not comply with the Publicity Code I can envisage a negative impact on our local free press across West London.

Cllr Mo Khursheed – Leader of the Labour Group