Hello Everybody,

 

By the letters in the R&T Times, I see 'the children' are still playing the game 'Our ideas are better than yours'. I for one am so pleased that the Lib Dem proposal to build flats on the Riverside has been scrapped. I don't care if it is derelict for another 20 years, in my view, anything is better than flats and concrete. Once the Council has the money to develop the site, it might be in years to come, at least our children will get to enjoy the riverside, rather than a few wealthy flat owners. Recently I mentioned the Richmond Ice Rink. Do the Lib Dems really want to cover all the Riverside land with concrete? They put it to the vote and we all know the result.  I would draw the attention of our new Councillers to something I think has escaped them. Your bosses in the Palace of Westminister  have all become 'Chums' with the Conservatives. Instead of arguing about the past, why not get your heads together and put Twickenham back on the map with a fantastic riverside square. This could be used for the Farmers Market (instead of taking up the car park at it's busiest time), Regattas, a childrens play area and any number of other functions. I see only one small problem,the big trees. I love trees but these are the wrong trees, they cast the whole site in shadow and shade the sunlight. Now Councillors 'Get your finger out', let us see if you can stop scoring party points, stop being so negative and give the people, who put you there something  you and they can be proud of. Regards. Bryan.

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Hello Bryan

Surely the very essence of politics is 'our ideas are better than your ideas'. It sums the party system up pretty neatly. One party has a vision for this, that or t'other; in some cases the other party says "Yes, Lovely" but in most cases there are differences.

The Lib Dems are no longer pursuing the plans we had for the riverside. We accept that we didn't sell our case to the electorate well enough even though canvassers in those wards reported plenty of people who were happy with the proposed development - mainly because they'd taken the trouble to read the full proposals rather than rather biased material sent out by the opponents to the scheme.

The reason there is now the ongoing debate is that it is incumbent upon the current administration to do something with the site. You may be happy to wait another 20 years Bryan, you are by far in the very small minority. Borough residents want something doing with this site and soon.

The big question is how will it be afforded. This isn't a simple job, it will cost millions to reclaim the swimming pool site, do the necessary landscaping, do the building, design the buildings, etc, etc. The beauty of the original scheme is that it wouldn't have cost the taxpayer a penny. All the costs would have been met by the developers and there would have been a river centre, a cafe, a fantastic children's playground to benefit residents. Our job, as a party, in opposition is to ensure that this administration delivers on the promises they made in the run up to the election and that they are carried through in a prudent fashion.

Regarding the broader point of should we be offering opposition given that we are in coalition nationally - well who else is going to do it? Certainly not RUG who came out on behalf of a party rather than the residents. Also we are the largest opposition party for 30 years - surely this, if nothing else, shows that there is a mandate to hold the adminstration to account.

As for the being proud angle, well we're doing that in small ways around the ward but the papers don't want to deal with such minutiae as 'councillor brings pressure to bear to get lamppost changed, recycling bins replaced, response from police on speeding, etc, etc'. We're working hard on residents' behalf even though most of the time you just don't hear about it.

Best Wishes

Gareth
Oh dear, Oh dear, why don't I keep my big mouth shut. I was foolishly hoping for a positive response from our new Councillors. Something like, 'Yes, we are all now working together and hope to give the people of Twickenham a fantastic riverside square'. Instead I get a Party Polititical Broadcast on behalf of the Liberal Democrat Party. It is good to hear from you Gareth, you never let us down!!! I used to row with Twickenham Rowing Club, our boat house is on Eel Pie Island. I therefore, had a lot of contact with a fair number of people who use the area. I never met one person who was in favour of the Lib Dem development or the 'red herring' The River Centre. Yes, Gareth, this would not have cost the tax payer one penny and in return we and our children would have lost this riverside open space for ever. A bit like Richmond Ice Rink really, speaking of which, you ask where is the money coming from? Well, if you could track down the twenty million pounds from the Ice Rink deal (Which the Lib Dems negotiated) we would have plenty of money. I was a member of the Hampton Society Committee who played a big part in negotiating Hampton's Gander Goose Green project. I also attended meetings to remove the Guantanamo Fence from Buckingham Fields and create Hampton Common. Perhaps we were wasting our time.Would flats have been a better option than public land? Now folks, I am hoping this discussion isn't limited to Gareth and I. When I 'Fly a Kite' I do it to get 'our' group involved, so far, other than Gareth, who never misses an opportunity to promote his Lib Dem Party, I have failed miserably. I ask the Jury is it to be Luxury Flats or Public Open Space on Twickenham Riverside. I rest my case M' Lud!!! Yours aye . Bryan
Hi,

It's very disappointing that the Lib Dem councillors seem to be putting their own politics and personal agendas above the best interests of the residents who elected them. The long winded responses often twist the facts or conceal any inconvenient truths.

Twickenham Riverside was left to decay under successive Lib Dem councils, but now they expect a miracle cure over night, something they've been unable to do for nearly 30 years. Give the Conservative Council a chance, it's only been 2 months since the election! Work with them, not against them.

Gareth insists on saying that "their [Lib Dem] canvassers found plenty of people who were happy with the proposed development", I didn't in the two years I was canvassing up to the election! I helped with the petitions which has tens of thousands of names of people opposed to it. The referendum that was held had an overwhelming response against the proposals and it was the arrogant attitude of the Lib Dems who ignored the wishes of the residents that lost them the Council.

How about a little humility, admit the plans were not what the residents wanted and co-operate with the Conservative Council, rather than snipe at them all the time?

I'm concerned that with the negative attitude of the Lib Dem cllrs, Hampton will be the loser! The pie is considerably smaller now than it's ever been and it's only natural that the biggest slices will go to areas where there is sensible, sound and cogent arguments for its share.

John Soones
Ormond Crescent

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