Councillor’s Update

A Summer of Antisocial Behaviour

Antisocial behaviour post lockdown has impacted on Twickenham Green and residents in the neighbouring roads. I appreciate that there are some complexities in arriving at a longer-term, quality solution on public toilets, but I am disappointed that we got through the Summer without a decision.

I made the point at the virtual Community Conversation that our level of police support in Twickenham is seriously inadequate. I believe that there is a consensus on this among residents, and not really contested by the police themselves. Our local police are profuse in their apologies for lack of resource. I don’t know if our Borough (actually 4 Boroughs) Commander who is ‘exiting’ has a replacement appointed.

My Current Concerns 

1. Decision on Zippos Circus. This year it is not simply a worry about the impact on the Green. The public health issue is paramount. Are the commitments made achievable and can they be sustained over several days? The suggested dates are September 24-29. So, a decision involvIng many participants is imminent.

2. Cross Deep traffic and speed limit. A review of this has been delayed. The urgency is apparent with traffic increasing and schools (and their parking problems) returning.

3. South Road and Lidl’s serious lack of consideration. Residents here are feeling “battered” by noise from a high frequency of late night deliveries and light pollution.

4. The outcome of the CPZ Review. We have the feedback and must come up with fair and satisfying answers. It is depressing to see all the old problems returning. It is evident that residents do want CPZs.

5. Plans for tree planting. There are residents pressing for replacements or for new trees in their area. Unsurprisingly, I am looking forward to progressing these requests.

6. Twickenham Green needs a respite from current deterioration. Generally, but especially towards the tip of the triangle and ‘Arthur’s’, the bare patches are extensive.  It is a struggle for our excellent Parks Department. About 20% of the Green does need urgent repairs and fenced protection for a period. I hope to get this agreed.

7. Ward Planning Applications. I leave the Planning Committee if I have become involved in an application. However, it often feels right to respond to residents’ anxieties. I can also speak at Committee for or against an application even if I cannot vote on it.

8. I am a member of the Working Group producing the new Local Plan. I need to understand the implications of the Government’s announced policy on restricting planning controls. The three zonal categories of ‘growth’, ‘renew’ and ‘protect’ need clarification in our context. My concern is that local democracy and our ability to protect the environment appear likely to suffer as a result.

Cllr Richard Bennett

South Twickenham Ward. Leader, Green Group    

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