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Hi and welcome to Vote Bob for Brentford. I have been asked what am I standing for. Well quite simply, to try and make things better for the local residents. When I look at the developments that this council has allowed to happen within Brentford it's heart breaking. You only have to look at the monstrosity opposite Morrisons, a huge concrete pile with a few birdies painted on it and add to that their headlong rush to approve planning for more flats. It is beyond belief. It shows a total lack of understanding and indeed contempt for the views of local residents who are left feeling powerless by the inaction of their councillors who simply don’t reflect the residents views.I, if elected, would try to achieve the following:1: The removal of all LTNs2: Parking permits to be made borough wide and not just apply to the street for which they are issued.3: The reintroduction of litter bins.4: That the views of local residents should hold sway in planning decisions, as they are the ones who have to live with the outcome.5: The council to re-introduce a borough surveyors office to oversee and monitor the quality and costs of repairs to footpaths and roads. not just leave it to Hounslow Highways who are contractors.6: The council to open its own training centre for young and older people who need to train or re-train in new skills (ie: The energy market is changing. We need engineers who can work in wind, solar, geothermal power generation). It’s no good Labour talking about a thriving Hounslow when companies like Glaxo are leaving.We need to replace those jobs in that building, not more flats.7: We need to engender a strong local community spirit amongst residents through events like street parties and festivals , walking groups, chess clubs and even dog agility training in designated areas of our parks.So how do we pay for this ? First we stop paying councillors who are just in it for the money. Second we stop paying the senior executive and the senior management team their  ridiculous salaries with gold plated pensions and golden handshakes.

Robert Ayres ● 107d

It's very indicative of the ilk who stand as mainstream party candidates.They are either those who use it to create or further careers either politically or in the myriad of allied consultancies and publicly funded institutions. Those who have higher political ambitions.There are those who wish to leave their mark and get off on the power and self importance.Then there are those who are usually older, and wish to do something for the good of the community.But there is no prerequisite for anyone standing to be a 'professional' or experienced politician.Will the  same questions be asked by those questioning to Ms Parizotto? or any other first timer or new to the ward candidate??It should either be the same or not at all for all.Then there is this weird thing of musical chairs.I firmly believe that any councillor ought to live in the ward they represent or, at the very most in a neighbouring ward in the same district.It's noticeable that where that occurs there's good engagement with most councillors and their electorate.But when parties decide who shall be nominated and to an agenda, it reveals the contempt for the actual council tax payingresidents in any ward.Shifting Cllr Khan, clearly in it for a career opportunity, simply to save his neck is indicative of this.  Deselecting a long standing and still very community involved veteran like Cllr Collins is again not really good news but in that case more to do with ward changes.But here, at the last election, Brentford ward had an ousted councillor parachuted in who has been completely invisible and non engaging with her new electorate.I hope the new one is not a careerist and matches the other two remaining current incumbents at the very least.But what is needed are independent councillors who, free of party shackles and policies can ask pertinent questions and bring about better transparency and openness.That better represents democracy.That alone would be a rock solid vote winning promise to try, try and try again to force this.  Be a thorn. It might just make some of the well intended but party shackled members also be a bit braver and more representative. And there is a precedent. The person who stood as an independent on the future of Brentford FC in Brentford.He managed to force and issue and get a result.

Raymond Havelock ● 123d

Hi FredYes, I voted to leave, but do tell me what has national politics to do with a local council?.You say you think I won't be able to cope with the emotional, physical, and financial pressures that I would face as a local councillor and that running a small business does not give me the qualilfications required.Well Fred in the 2008 financial crash I mortgaged my home to keep my staff in work and paid. In the forty years I have been in business I have employed and trained 42 Apprentices, nearly all from Brentford and west london. In fact at this moment we have one from the tree estate. Please don't talk to me about stress and pressure because until you have laid the roof over your head and everything you own on the line you're not quailified.You ask about a manifesto. I don't have one but Fred if you like fairy tales I suggest you try any one of the mainstream parties. They have plenty, all full of promises they won't keep.You ask about how I would achieve my objectives. First, as I have done,I called on the other candidates to reject the allowances and do the job for expenses only. To his credit Cllr Lambert said no and the others have thus far not responded.If I was elected I would seek to join with other like minded councillors to reject allowances so the electorate can see who and who is not in it for the money. I would ask for all elected councillors to declare any interest or family interest in council contracts. I would demand that all councillors declare any gifts or hospitality they receive from commercial interests ie: DevelopersSo that's it in a nutshell.

Robert Ayres ● 123d

Why is it so many mainstream Party supporters get rattled over an local person who exercises the right to stand as an independent candidate?Many towns and in particular the City of London have many independents.Even time some one tries this in Hounslow I wonder why some have to bring up UKIP, NF, Facists Brexit et all? Sending activists round to candidates homes is one well documented episode.Just below the belt anything to try to discredit.Virtually every politician has these sorts of views and activity in their resume.Many have very dubious histories.  And others have moved from one extreme to another and others again from one view or persuasion to another.Tories moving to Labour. Labour moving to Tory.It's not as though any mainstream party is squeaky clean is it?Theres enough in Ealing and hounslow boroughs alone to fill a large book.But exactly the same applies to any candidate on how they will deliver 'promises'Actually promises is not the right word. Campaign or strive.What is absolutely apparent is there is a need for a circuit breaker in the party stranglehold of local government and for someone ( preferably several) who will not cave in to the whip or party policy and stand up and question things on behalf of their electorate and dig in on issues rather than be dominated by the party machine and it's bullies.So what are people so frightened of ? Are the same people making insinuations also prepared to mention the links , memberships, activities and former views of other candidates standing or incumbent?I doubt it.

Raymond Havelock ● 123d

Before there are outraged responses to this contribution, I'll add some context to what I'm saying. I was elected way back in 1986 and served four terms as a councillor, the only 'pay' we received was in the form of allowances. We had the committee system which meant a damned sight more work than the current autocratic shambles, and was more democratic and inclusive for ALL councillors from ALL parties. We got a set very basic allowance for meetings attended which lasted up to two hours, and that increased should they go on longer, plus we could claim a mileage allowance if we had to drive over six miles on council business. There was a system of fairly modest 'special responsibility allowances' for those colleagues who were either Chairs of main committees, or other various positions, at that time many councillors were also representatives of Hounslow on London wide local government bodies - such as The London Boroughs Grants Committee which meant travelling up to County Hall or to other venues, you could claim the travel expenses back made by public transport. That was without the surgeries and other activities in our ward and whatever else was required. Most of us were also very active in the politics of the local party too, reporting every month to our ward members. Bear in mind we didn't have computers, mobiles etc. although we did have excellent secretarial back-up. Even then many meetings could go on into the night. The vast majority of us also worked full time at the day job, which varied with people working on London Underground, at Heathrow Airport, which involved juggling shift work, this was also done in tandem with normal family responsibilities, some of us having quite young children too, so had to arrange childcare - no allowance for that was available. The point is no-one is asking for anyone to be out of pocket or to be excluded from being a councillor because they would find the financial angle difficult, that was why, in part the 'new' system of an actual salary based system was brought in. However, what has been lost since then is the underlying principle of 'civic duty', basically being a volunteer to try and improve the area in which we live and work for everyone. Like sport and so many other things - when money comes in a lot of things get lost. Similarly over many years it has been difficult to recruit school governors, purely a voluntary role. Payment for this has been mooted many times, then the question is, what is motivating people who come forward then but didn't previously? I know whenever I have suggested a return to the previous committee system of local governance I have had comments that it that would make being on the council 'hard work' and people wouldn't do it. If you are politically active you should be aware of what the role entails and either you are prepared to accept it and understand the role you are trying to get elected for or not. At the moment it is difficult to see exactly what it is we're getting for all that money in so many cases.

Vanessa Smith ● 124d

Well done to you Robert and good luck in May’s election. We also have Theo Dennison standing now as an independent in Syon Ward, who I am sure will do very well in the up and coming election.Cc Lambert has tried to justify his expenses and how much work he puts in, but it does not wash with me. In his weekly newsletter as you say its about how good he is and the difference he is making. The local roads in the Borough are an absolute disgrace with many ridges,ruts and potholes. The LTNs that they brought in have added massively to the traffic congestion and pollution across the Borough. The Hounslow Borough is probably one of the most untidiest Boroughs I have ever lived in. LBH have a dismal record of prosecuting fly tipping and littering.  The Planning committee of which he is part is an absolute shambles and they should hang their necks in shame at the total disregard of local businesses and people they have let down over the years all across the Borough. This complete and utter over development in Brentford is a huge part of the problem with the “Carte Blanche” they have given the developers and its getting worse with the future planning applications. The majority of the people living in the new developments wont be local people either.We have seen massive increases in the last couple of years to our Council Tax bills and that will not reduce at all. That new development does not meet any of the climate targets they have set and it has a huge carbon footprint.The way the Council treated Brentford Dock residents over some small gating and fencing was an outrageous abuse of planning power.

David Cook ● 125d