Will Cllr Steve Curran be a leader for the whole of Hounslow borough, asks Cllr Ranjit Gill during motion of no confidence

Hounslow’s Chiswick councillors tabled a motion of no confidence in council leader Steve Curran for debate at the Hounslow borough council meeting on Tuesday, 10th November 2020. This is what Cllr Ranjit Gill would have said if the Labour group hadn’t ended the debate early, stifling discussion. 

The Leader of the Council is meant to be a leader for the whole borough.  You have a fundamental duty to all residents yet you have failed to listen to them and you have not consulted them.

Stating that there is life beyond Chiswick and telling us to try it sometime is just not good enough. What about life in Chiswick?  You ignore it.

Cllr Dunne claims that you have consulted residents. On 19th October I asked her for the evidence. I have not had a response. It’s been three weeks!  Doesn’t she have the information?

Clearly she reflects your mantra “There is life beyond Chiswick”. She ignores it.

You insult us by coming to Chiswick for photo opportunities – one gloating over your destructive acts with Will Norman – and to speak to the owners of a couple of cafes. They, so far, have been less affected by these schemes than shops. But you have not come to listen to residents or retailers.

You can’t be bothered to meet people who have made impassioned pleas to you to re-open roads and reinstate parking. You only listen to the tiny cabal of single-issue lobbyists. You have no regard for the vast majority.

Don’t hide behind your contention that it will all be all right after Thames Water has left Acton Lane and C9 installation is complete. We had chaos before C9 started during which you took no action. As for Thames Water – we intervened to solve that. Cabinet members responsible just talked to each other, ignoring Chiswick.

We tabled this motion because of the immense anger and frustration felt by residents and retailers. You just do not seem to get it. Nor do your cabinet members Cllrs Khan, Dunne and Lambert. You all ignore it.

What would you hear if you were listening? Let me read you some comments we’ve received in emails.

  • “I cycle and find the cycling conditions worse than previously because all the side roads are now completely blocked with cars from the gridlock meaning cycling is difficult, dangerous on previously calm residential streets. Junctions are also horrendous to navigate.” It doesn’t work for cyclists.

Here’s another:

  • “Turnham Green Terrace and Devonshire Road have been taken from cheerful, bustling shopping areas to barren, ugly wastelands with hardly a shopper to be seen (pre the current lockdown). The impact on local traders is unacceptable.  Was this actually the intent?” It doesn’t work for retailers and shoppers.

And:

  • “I rely at the moment on carers and nurses. All my carers and the district nurses have found it extremely difficult to get to me, and certainly impossible get to me on time, since the new scheme has been imposed on the local area.”  It doesn’t work for ill or older people.

To prove the level of incompetence there is in this council led by Cllr Curran, a residents’ group OneChiswick has today – this day – filed an application for a judicial review of C9.

Let me remind you of what Grant Shapps said to councils on 16th October:

“Schemes must balance the needs of cyclists and pedestrians with the needs of other road-users, including motorists and local businesses.  Only authorities which have passed these key tests will receive the funding they have asked for.”

And he underlines these words: “we are not prepared to tolerate hastily introduced schemes which will create sweeping changes to communities without consultations, and ones where the benefits of cycling and walking do not outweigh the dis-benefits for other road users.”

There are huge dis-benefits here in the part of the borough you ignore.

The US has just held its election. Joe Biden – a Democrat, so you ought to be in tune with him – has lessons for us all:  I quote:

“I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify.  Who doesn’t see red states and blue states, only sees the United States.  And work with all my heart with the confidence of the whole people, to win the confidence of all of you … I’ll work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me as those who did.”

So, will you work for the whole borough – not just for the RED parts but also the BLUE parts too?

It takes a big man to admit that he was wrong.  Cllr Curran, are you that BIG man tonight or are you a Donald Trump?

I recommend the motion to my fellow councillors.