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1% disgrace.

This is what a dear friend of mine thinks about the government's pay offer to NHS staff.Yesterday, the final blow was dealt. A proposed 1% pay rise for NHS staff, whilst others, outside the NHS, are proposing to vote themselves increases above 1%. This is an absolute disgrace. For the past ten years, pay and conditions in the NHS have been ransacked. Pay frozen, public pensions attacked. Remember the coalition government, who managed to convince the public that NHS staff all had gold plated pensions?  Who stood up to oppose those changes and support the NHS ? Who has stood up and challenged the huge management costs in the NHS ? Layers and layers of management posts, directors, non executive directors, trust chairmen, plus all the others in every NHS hospital. Some junior managers, with few or no qualifications, no direct contact with patients but many paid the same or more than a Ward or ITU Sister with  professional degrees. What has happened over the past year? The doctors, nurses, health care assistants, frontline admin staff, porters and cleaners, left to basically run the hospitals, whilst most of the management have worked from home. Imagine the nursing staff, having to deal with several deaths per shift, being the last person to hold someone's relatives hand as they die? The sheer stress each hour of each 12 or 13 hour shift, worked with no breaks. Exhausted, emotionally and physically. Who stood up and challenged the 44.000 nursing vacancies? Well I can hold my hand up and say that I have, especially in the last ten years of my 47 year career as a nurse. I retired 2 years ago, fed up with no one listening to us, targets above patient care, plus many many other issues. The time has come to stand up and demand a complete overhaul of the structures in our NHS. Bring back the outsourced staff, porters and cleaners in house, so that their pay and conditions can be improved. Yes the NHS requires managers but not in the numbers, we currently have. Savings made can be redirected to frontline staff. Who is actually going to stand up and challenge all of the above? A golden opportunity for the Labour Party and others to step up to the plate.

Vanessa Smith ● 45d3 Comments ● 27d

Gunnersbury Park Bowls Club - Petition

The Gunnersbury Park Community Interest Company has refused to grant access by the Bowls Club to the bowls green to carry out urgent maintenance work.Some readers may wish to sign this petition: request is that all councillors, whether members of the Planning Committee or not, should seek to use their good offices to persuade the CIC to allow the Bowls Club access to the bowls green.Gunnersbury Estate (2026) Community Interest Company (the CIC) is responsible for the management of Gunnersbury Park on behalf of the joint owners, the London Boroughs of Hounslow and Ealing.In April 2020 a planning application was refused for the conversion of the bowls clubhouse to a cafe/restaurant. In January 2021, a decision on a further, almost identical, planning application was deferred by Hounslow Planning Committee. This proposal would lead to the re-purposing of the bowls green as a mini-golf facility which would mean the end of bowls in Gunnersbury Park after 90 years.In deferring their decision, the Planning Committee wished to have more time to consider all of the relevant facts, including the consideration of alternative sites for the mini-golf facility.The Bowls Club and volunteers from the wider community have been refused access by the CIC to carry out urgent maintenance work. Without this work the bowls green will rapidly deteriorate to a condition beyond repair and this will mean that the Planning Committee will be faced with a situation where bowls is no longer a viable use for the site of the bowls green.The Bowls Club is not opposed to the establishment of a mini-golf facility in the Park. Indeed, it supports the principle of this important source of revenue for the CIC but not at the expense of

Jim Storrar ● 45d13 Comments ● 28d


Misleading information provided by energy switching company Look After My Bills to the public has been addressed by the Advertising Standards Authority. Below is a post shared by Nick Blagg, a member of:                                                                                                                                                                        "Look After My Bills Problem Reporting Page."                                                                                                                                                     Nick Blagg shared a link.The complaint made to the advertising standards agency against LAMB has been upheld !! It feels like a partial victory to me based on what the ruling is (see below) but it’s still a win and the more of us that continue to complain the more pressure is applied.  Keep it up guys. 👍🏻Dear Mr Blagg,Thank you for your continued patience.  Further to the below, we received another complaint which raised issues similar to those highlighted in your complaint.  Based on the information you and the other complainant provided, we considered that advertising content from Look After My Bills was likely to break the advertising rules we apply.  Therefore, we contacted the advertiser to ask for their assurance that future ads do not misleadingly imply that users of the service will have access to every single energy company and every single energy deal on the market.  They have provided this assurance.This now resolves your complaint, and the case will be closed.  Basic information including the advertiser’s name and where the ad appeared will be published on you for bringing this matter to our attention.Kind regards,JamesJames JonesComplaints ExecutiveDirect Line 020 7492 2214Please note, I do not work on FridaysAdvertising Standards AuthorityCastle House, 37-45 Paul StreetLondon EC2A 4LSTelephone 020 7492 2222

Neil Milkins ● 35d0 Comments ● 35d

It's another world!

SENSITIVE AS THOUSANDS LOSE JOBS AND BUSINESSES GO BUST. A working group of Borough councillors is due to report shortly on remuneration for councillors. Should it increase and, if so, by how much? Currently, Council leader Steve Curran receives £42,332 per year. This compares with neighbouring leaders' pay – £41,808 in Ealing (Labour), and £65,947 in Hillingdon (Conservative). In 2018 a report, The Remuneration of Councillors in London, recommended £68,130. It said: "This is a full-time job, involving a high level of responsibility and includes the exercise of executive responsibilities. It is right that it should be remunerated on a basis which compares with similar positions in the public sector, while still retaining a reflection of the voluntary character of public service."The Working Group's recommendations are expected to be presented at the Council's next meeting, 30 March.The last increase in Hounslow councillors' allowances was in 2018. They all receive a basic £11,045 pa. There are then Special Responsibility Allowances for committee and other work. Deputy leader Cllr Lily Bath currently receives £29,586. Other Cabinet members receive £25,508. The 2018 report recommended these figures should be between £47,962 and £54,505.The 2018 report said: "It is important that, as far as reasonably possible, financial loss does not prevent people from becoming councillors. Allowances are not shown by polls to be something which influences councillors to take on the role, though they are instrumental in making it possible for some people to do so. Allowances should be set at a level that enables people to undertake the role of councillor, while not acting as an incentive to do so. If it is important that there are no financial incentives to being a councillor, it is equally important that there should not be a financial disincentive. It is clearly desirable that service as a councillor is not confined to those with independent means."

Vanessa Smith ● 60d21 Comments ● 40d

With friends like these......

How sad and disheartening to read of the situation that the Friends of Boston Manor find themselves in, unfortunately it is not an uncommon experience among groups like them. This group of people work their socks off, and have done for years only for the council to sweep in and undo all the hard work and committment. The whole idea is that the council and the Friends groups work together, unfortunately Hounslow seem to be control freaks and think they know best with their grandiose schemes and so-called 'consultations'.If we have learned anything over the last dreadful year, it is that volunteering and working together has been of great benefit to communities all over the country. Our parks and open spaces have come into their own as valuable and valued assets. To see a group of volunteers who have raised a lot of money and thrown themselves into making Boston Manor what it was feeling so let down they feel they have no option other than to walk away is appalling, heads in Hounslow should truly be hanging in shame. And before anyone starts shouting 'Covid' this was the situation for many of us prior to the pandemic. There are many Friends groups around this borough who possibly feel the same at times, dealing with Hounslow is not an easy task. E-mails go unanswered, communication is dire and you are left in limbo.But then looking at our elected members and their performance this week is it really any surprise?

Vanessa Smith ● 45d0 Comments ● 45d