Thursday, 9 July 2015

Full Council Report - Turing House Questions to Cabinet

Cllr Gareth Elliott
During Tuesday’s Council meeting Whitton’s Conservative Councillors, Gareth Elliott and Grant Healy, asked important questions regarding Turing House School.
Cllr Elliott asked that if the school was sited in Whitton would the Council oppose its 80/20 admission policy – as this would unfairly discriminate against students from Whitton?
The Cabinet member for education, Cllr Paul Hodgins, said that the answer to the question was yes, and that the Council already had. And that if the site was to be in Whitton the Council would put the resident’s views to the school and work with them to find a balance to make sure there would be a strong student representation from the local area. Turing House had agreed to review the policy and the Council would be advocating a revision.
Cllr Elliott then asked if the school came to Whitton would the Council fully engage with the local community to identify the travel and traffic issues that the building of Turing House School on the proposed site in Whitton would create? And that plans to mitigate these issues would become publicly available as soon as possible?
Cllr Hodgins replied, that, although, there had been no announcement as to the siting of the school he knew that local Councillors were engaged with residents, and the Council would work together with them to make sure options were made available, openly discussed, and consulted on.
Cllr Grant Healy
Cllr Healy asked that if the school opened in Whitton would the Cabinet member open discussions with the school, with a view to allowing local residents the use of its amenities and grounds?
Cllr Hodgins answered by saying that Turing House would be willing to do that.
[The Head Master of Turing House School later contacted Cllr Elliott and promised that community use of the school would form part of its proposal.]
In a riposte to Heathfield Lib Dem Cllr John Combs’ facetious reference to “far flung Whitton” (in a question that showed more concern for parents in Teddington than those in Whitton) Cllr Elliott queried whether

the Lib Dems “seem to be falling back into their natural state of talking down areas,” particularly, “Whitton, our wonderful town, with a village feel, which the Liberal Democrats have previously termed as ‘deprived.’”
Cllr Hodgins reaffirmed the Council’s commitment to the town, “Whitton is an incredibly important part of our borough… and will continue to be.”
At one point during the meeting reference was made to the Lib Dems’ closure of Heathfield Library. Cllr Liz Jaeger was seen shaking her head in denial – which was surprising as she was Cabinet member responsible for libraries when planning permission was given to build on the site!

Monday, 6 July 2015

Whitton Library Toilet Refurbishment

The toilets in the Whitton library block will be getting a much needed refurbishment. Improvements will include: new replacement doors, installation of vandal resistant toilets and sinks, redecoration and floor coverings, energy efficient lighting and high–powered hand dryers.

Cllr Pamela Fleming, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said:
“I was shocked about the damage individuals have caused to the public toilets in Whitton. Whilst we deep clean the toilets regularly, over the past few years the Council has to carry out a large number of intermediary repairs – including replacing the sinks and toilets on a number of occasions.
“We are now taking steps to improve the toilets and hopefully ‘vandal proof’ them for the future.”

Cllr Grant Healy, who has raised questions during a number of Council meeting regarding the state of the toilets, said, “This desperately needed refurbishment will result in an improved amenity for the area around the High Street. It goes to show what local Councilors can achieve for residents, working in conjunction with Council Cabinet colleagues, such as Cllr Fleming.

The works are expected to last for at least four weeks. During the closure, residents and visitors will be asked to use the nearest facilities under the Community Toilet Scheme.
Press release:

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Still time to attend briefing on Rugby World Cup 2015

Residents and businesses who want to get ready for Rugby World Cup 2015 are reminded that there are still two community briefings in July.


Over the past two weeks, Richmond Council, in partnership with the England Rugby 2015 and the Rugby Football Union (RFU), have held two briefing events for Businesses and two for residents in St Margarets and those who live directly around the Stadium. The briefings provide attendees with details on the delivery plans to stage this major sporting event safely and successfully, with minimal disruption.


Those who have been unable to attend the briefings so far are reminded that there are still two more opportunities on 7 July in Twickenham and 14 July in Richmond.


Attendees will be given updates on the Tournament, transport plan and property access implications, Fanzone, community safety, licencing and street cleansing. Representatives from the Council, England Rugby 2015, the RFU and local Police will also be in attendance.


The presentation and exhibition boards are available online  


Cllr Pamela Fleming, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Environment, Business and Communities, said:


“We are working hard, with the Tournament organisers, Transport for London and neighbouring boroughs to try and minimise this disruption and help people understand the benefits that hosting such a prestigious event will bring. 


“I hope as many people as possible will attend a briefing, or sign up to receive our e-newsletter providing regular information on local activities and news relating to Rugby World Cup 2015.”


To find out more, go to:


Resident briefings

All briefings will be open with a small exhibition from 5pm followed by a short presentation at 6pm. Representatives will be available to answer questions from 5 to 8pm.

·         Tuesday 7 July at Clarendon Hall in Twickenham

·         Tuesday 14 July at Richmond Adult Community College