Friday, 24 August 2012

Whitton's Newest Addition - Toy Shop

Once again highlighting the dynamism of Whitton's business community and the continuing attractiveness of our Village we are set to welcome a new toy shop to the high street this weekend. The new shop is expected to open this Saturday 25th August.

A new toy shop is particular exciting as it follows on from the disappointing closure in 2010 of Papillon, a previous stalwart on the High Street and a shop i used to shop in as a nipper. I welcome the new toy shop to Whitton and hope children present and future will enjoy this new store for many years to come. I for one will be very excited to pop in.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Don’t lose your right to vote

Richmond Council is reminding residents to respond to their Annual Household Registration promptly, as this process is required by law every year and enables people to retain the right to vote by being included on the updated electoral roll.

Gillian Norton, Richmond’s Registration Officer said:
“We are grateful that many residents responded quickly, but the Council has to send reminders to all 26,500 properties yet to respond. If these reminders are ignored, officers are required to visit households in person to collect up to date information about all current occupants. It would be shame to incur these extra costs when just one person can quickly complete the registration on behalf of their entire household.“

“Where there have been no changes to the details listed on the form, it is easy to remain registered by using our internet, freephone, or text renewal services. For households who have changes to make, such as names to add or remove, or spellings to correct, it’s simple to complete and return the form”

If households do not respond then all residents would be deleted from the electoral roll so could not vote in any upcoming Elections or Referenda.

All homes receive a compulsory form each autumn with details of the residents currently registered to vote on the Register of Electors, also known as the Electoral Roll. By UK law they must respond to remain registered, and advise of any change of residents’ details.
For more information call the Council on 020 8891 7775 or visit

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Whitton Village Plan Drop-in Session – 10th and 21st August

I am happy to announce that the Whitton Village Plan drop-in sessions have been announced.

10th August (2pm – 4pm) Heathfield Access Point
Key Issues: Getting involved in your local community

21st August (10am – 1pm) Whitton Library
Key Issues: Whitton Uplift Project / Parks and getting involved in your local community

Please do try to get yourselves down to these two events as they will offer a chance to view and comment on the village plans. I know many of you have emailed me over the last two years about several issues in the local area and this is a great opportunity to ensure that these concerns become part of the on-going uplift and regeneration of the town. I hope that I have managed to capture most so far with the continuing renewal of our town centre but it is your voices coming together that will ensure that Whitton continues to be heard at the top table in Richmond.

Cllr Gareth Elliott

Cllr Elliott visits Twickenham Academy building works

Today I had the honour of visiting the building works at what will be the new impressive Twickenham Academy. The building is a fine example of what can be achieved with good partnership and from seeing the plans and the on-going work I am sure that this will be a fantastic school offering the children of today and tomorrow a wonderful space to learn in. From break out areas and university style lecture halls the children will have the chance to experience an education that will prepare them for their later lives.

The building will also bring a new landscape to Whitton and the new greenery in front of the building will add some much needed open space.

I am also happy to have learned that the Learning School’s Trust has received Ministerial approval for the development of a sixth form at the Academy. This will be the first sixth form in the Borough. I strongly believe in the development of sixth forms and am happy to hear that Twickenham Academy will be embracing this popular initiative. It will mean children from the Borough’s school’s will have a greater array of education choice when they reach 16 and above.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Whitton's Cycling Cinema - pedal for charity 31st August

Our local Action Bikes bike store is putting on a cycling cineman in aid of bikes for Africa. I would urge everyone to get down to this event and join in the fun.

Friday 31st August - St Philip and St James' Church, Whitton - buy tickets here

For more information click here

Richmond Council opens its books

Richmond Council’s annual accounts are available once again for residents to see how it spends public money.

In addition to publishing details of all expenditure over £500 and answering numerous questions from members of the public on financial issues, the Council has opened its accounts dated up to 31 March 2012 for all to see for a month from 20th July to Friday 17th August between 09.00am and 4.30pm. Appointments can be made to see them at the Civic Centre in Twickenham.

Cllr Geoffrey Samuel, Richmond Council’s Deputy Leader, said:

“We continue with our pledge to spend Council taxpayers’ money as carefully as if it were our own. This is an ideal opportunity for people to take an in-depth look into our accounts and see exactly what we do with their money.

“Transparency is the foundation for a strong local democracy as it allows residents and other interested parties to delve into the ins and outs of the Council’s coffers. We are very clear about where the money goes and that residents are informed on how it is spent.”

Among other documents, residents will be able to request details of Council members’ expense claims and salary levels for senior members of staff. They will also be able view documents showing that Richmond upon Thames receives the lowest level of Revenue Support Grant from Government of any Council in London and breakdowns of the budgets which individual departments are given.

People who wish to view the accounts or ask questions of the auditor can do so by e-mailing or by calling the finance department on 020 8891 7172. In addition to the month-long opening of the accounts, the Council is happy to answer questions on spending from residents at any time of the year.  Please note that, under the regulations, whilst any member of the public is entitled to view the accounts only local residents are allowed to meet with the auditor. 

Richmond's Parks to get extra funds

Richmond is to direct over an extra quarter of a million pounds into its borough parks and open spaces as part of its improvements programme.

The Council has announced the allocation of £258,000 funding for further schemes, on top of the £3.7m for a 3 year improvement programme already announced earlier this year. This will bring the total capital investment in Parks and Open Spaces to just under £4m over the next 3 years.

The programme hopes to maintain and increase the already high standards of the borough’s parks and facilities, create a sustainable legacy for the future with particular emphasis on ensuring that open spaces enrich the life, health and wellbeing of all residents and visitors.

The borough has the largest area of public open space per head of population of any London borough and residents who participated in the All in One survey rated the quality of their environment as a priority and highlighted the importance in protecting and improving the area’s parks and other green spaces. As a result, facilities will be improved for all residents, making parks even more accessible to residents of all ages.

Cllr Gareth Elliott, Whitton Ward Councillor, said: "Richmond is world renown for its parks and green spaces. This is fantastic news and I hope to see Whitton, an area lacking open space, benefit from this great news."

Cllr Virginia Morris, Strategic Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “We know that parks are very important to our residents, so this extra boost to funding will ensure high standards are maintained. There has already been considerable investments in all our parks which have been successful but we feel there is more that can be done to make them the very best.”

Improvements which may be carried out include improvements to pathways and towpaths, creating new signage, installing new play facilities and providing wi-fi access for park users.

The Council will work with local communities throughout the programme to establish the best ways to improve the parks and how to encourage more people to go and experience their local park every day.