Charville Lane Estate petition update

Regular visitors to the site may remember the residents of Hoppner Road, Romney Road and Raeburn Road approaching me about issues of flytipping in the garages at the back of their estates a couple of years ago.

Along with members of the local UKIP branch, I knocked on doors and raised petitions firstly to clear up the flytipping and then to secure the area around the garages and green areas to ensure a safe and pleasant environment for the residents.

After meeting with a council officer and contractor on site, things had gone quiet for a while but an email was received today to inform me that a survey is going out to residents about proposed changes to the area including bollards and fencing to sort the problem once and for all.

I have reproduced the information below and would encourage all residents to engage to make sure that the best solution is found to sort this issue once and for all.

Credit must also be given to new Charville Councillor Nicola Brightman who has discussed this at length with me and has been working behind the scenes to ensure that action is taken – a welcome change from previous Labour Councillor John Oswell who sent me a dismissive email telling me to keep my nose out.

 

Continue reading

Advertisements

London crime rate – Khan has the answer?

The wave of violent crime in London has been making plenty of headlines recently, with murders in the Capital outstripping New York earlier this year.

Policing in London is the responsibility of the Mayor and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) who have issued plenty of soundbites so far but no real plan on how to tackle it.

With this in mind, Sadiq Khan’s latest statement on the causes shows just how out of touch with the situation on the ground he has become. Replying to a question on an LBC phone in show, the Mayor stated that ‘Cocaine use at middle class parties’ is driving the gang related violence on the streets, a position previously endorsed by both Simon Kempton of The Police Federation and Justice Secretary David Gauke when he mentioned it back in May.

In one way, I can see where the comment has come from – much of the violence is drug related and for the drug gangs to thrive, they need customers. However, cocaine use has not suddenly appeared out of thin air over the last couple of years under Khan’s Mayoralty and has been prevalent in London since at least the 1980’s. Indeed, when The City of London started to forge ahead after deregulation in the 80’s, the ‘yuppy’ culture embraced recreational drug use as part of their ‘work hard, play harder’ culture, not to mention the rise of the illegal raves at the turn of the decade where another drug of choice, Ecstasy, was a central part of the party experience.

Continue reading

The more things change, the more they stay the same

May’s local elections saw the Conservative Council in Hillingdon returned to office with an increased majority, making a mockery of the Labour campaign centred around the hashtag #MarginalHillingdon.

In 2014, UKIP had stood in all 22 wards in the Borough, falling agonisingly close to picking up seats in Harefield and Yiewsley whilst affecting the outcome in many other marginals and establishing themselves as the third force in the locality. With no candidates standing this time, it reverted to a straight fight between the ‘big two’, with the Greens and LibDems not even making a dent despite aggressive campaigns in some target areas.

In my ‘home’ ward of Charville where I have stood before, the Conservatives took two seats from Labour in an unexpected clean sweep and their new team here have already made an impact in terms of getting things done on a local level – a welcome change from the invisible Labour Councillors during the last term of office. (It helps that all three are Charville residents)

However, whilst individual councillors on both sides of the floor are making an effort it would appear that there is no change at the top in terms of the running of both the ruling and opposition groups with Hillingdon residents the poorer for it.

The start of the year saw a familiar occurrence when an election is in the offing, notably the ‘special ward edition’ print runs of the Hillingdon People council magazine (Or ‘Pravda’ as many of us refer to it). This was also bolstered by banners appearing on lampposts proclaiming what a great job the Council is doing for residents with slogans such as ‘Council Tax frozen for 10 years’, neglecting to mention that in January 2016 the Council tax benefit for the low paid and disabled was cut.

With such propaganda being paid for out of your pockets, I once again submitted a Freedom of Information Request to find out how much had been splurged as my former colleague Jack Duffin had done previously in 2014.

The results are below and quite damning –

Continue reading

Local elections in Hillingdon – my view

The people of Hillingdon go to the ballot box in less than two weeks time to vote for their local councillors who will make up the Hillingdon council chamber for the next four years.

Four years ago I was heavily involved as the Chairman of UKIP Hillingdon and a council candidate in the Charville ward in Hayes End – we ended up as the third largest party in the Borough but with no councillors to show for it, in part due to a faulty strategy imposed on us from above to bolster the EU elections that were held on the same day and in part due to a complete mismatch of firepower on the doorstep in terms of activists and cash. Despite this, we came very close to winning in a couple of wards and affected results in others.

Fast forward to 2018 and there are no UKIP candidates standing, leaving around 18% of the total vote up for grabs. (I toyed with standing as an independent but current circumstances would have made that extremely difficult so decided against it.)  The Liberal Democrats are fielding fewer candidates (13) after their disastrous showing last time out, whilst the Greens have surprisingly managed to stand 38 candidates, up from the 22 they stood in 2014.

Labour and the Conservatives are, as usual, standing a full slate of 65 candidates across the 22 wards in the borough, with Labour claiming that they have a good chance of taking control of the council and promoting the idea through the hashtag #MarginalHillingdon.

So,as somebody who is politically homeless at present and with no UKIP candidates to vote for, I can cast my beady eye over the proceedings and with an independent outlook give my predictions for what may happen, cutting through the spin from the respective parties and candidates. Here is my take –

Continue reading

London Mayor nearly doubles marketing spend while complaining of cuts

The massive increase in violent crime in London under Mayor Sadiq Khan has finally been commented on by the mainstream media, with murder figures in the last few months outstripping New York.

After hiding away for days after the initial headlines (A point brutally exposed on LBC Radio by presenter Tom Swarbrick), Khan has ventured out to apportion much of the blame to ‘Government Cuts’.

Whilst I will not defend Home Secretary Amber Rudd on this (Or her predecessor, Theresa May) who have both defenestrated our Police Force, it is interesting to note where Mayor Khan deploys the budget that he has at his command.

It has been much commented about that he now has 900 officers looking over ‘hate crime’ on line, something far less dangerous to life and limb than the knives and guns that have resulted in over 50 deaths on London streets this year and many more cases that have required hospital treatment.

Tonight saw another revelation in the pages of the London Evening Standard about his use of public funds, namely the increase in taxpayers cash spent on the GLA ‘self promotion budget’.

Political editor Joe Murphy reported on a freedom of information request that showed a rise in spending on publicity from £1.3million to £2.5 million in the past year, including a £300,000 increase in staffing for the Mayor’s media relations and marketing, taking it to a whopping £1,392,000 spent of YOUR money.

Mayor Khan’s spokesperson pointed out that cash had been ‘switched between different budgets’ in an attempt to defend the increase but the basic truth remains this – when lives are being lost on a daily basis in the Capital, for the Mayor to complain about cuts when spending the money he does have on self promotion is a total disgrace and a betrayal of the Londoner’s he has pledged to serve.

It is time for Sadiq Khan to put the wellbeing of the people of London before his Political ambitions or do the decent thing and resign.

A community victory in Hayes End?

I have received the following email from Hillingdon Council democratic services following two petitions on the Charville Lane Estate to sort out the persistent flytipping around, Hoppner, Romney and Raeburn Roads

Dear Mr Dixon

Having liaised with colleagues in Residents Services, I understand that the proposal for a fencing and gating scheme for Hoppner Road has been agreed in principle and that financial approval is now being sought and consultation for the proposed works will be carried out with the residents.

As officers have addressed the issues that you have raised, unless I hear from you by 26 October 2017, no further action will be taken by Democratic Services in relation to your petition.

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Nikki O’Halloran
Democratic Services Manager

 

With local council elections next year, I feel sure that the councillors representing the Charville Ward will want to get on board and make sure that this initiative is followed through on with the funding it deserves – after all, the council spend over £100k each year on their ‘Hillingdon people’ self promotion magazine and over £80k last year on the pretty flower baskets that now adorn the visible routes through the area.

UKIP – Job done or only just started?

With the resignation of both Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless, many in the media are now saying that UKIP has achieved its goal and it is no longer relevant on the political landscape.

Indeed, the aforementioned Mr Carswell has been gloating on his Twitter feed about a council byelection in his area where the Tories have taken a seat from UKIP , claiming that many Kippers think ‘job done’.

So, what is the reality? With the triggering of Article 50 and the initial founding reason for UKIP (Leaving the EU) looking like a reality, what have UKIP got left to offer?

Continue reading