Friday, 27 April 2018

Building A Truly Digital Council Using Data And Digital Technology To Enhance Local Services

Part Of Our Local Conservatives’ Commitment to Harnessing New Technologies For Our Residents

A truly digital Council has the potential to transform local services which is why Richmond Borough Conservative will prioritise these exciting technologies as part of its ambitious plans for Richmond. This does not mean leaving people behind as we will ensure that all residents are able to access and communicate with the Council but it means utilising new technology where it enhances services.

Digital technology offers the ability for more mobile working allowing, for example, social workers to spend more time with patients, voice technology where the elderly or disabled can call out for help rather than having to get to a physical cord, council buildings being repurposed where data centres can be converted to cloud technology, or mobile applications to provide help and assistance. In addition, better understanding and use of data can drive down the cost of public services and allow better analysis of how and where to spend money efficiently.

Gareth Elliott, Whitton Ward Councillor and Cabinet Member for Digital and Technology, said:

"Digital technology offers exciting opportunities to transform council services, better understand and prioritise spending and investment, and the opportunity to make collaborating and engaging with the council easier and more entwined with residents expectations in a modern world.

“Only the Conservatives have prioritised this key area. It is our belief that to ensure a council that is fit for the future and understands and engages with its residents we need to be at the forefront of the digital revolution building a truly digital Richmond."

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Local Conservatives Will Continue to Support Our Borough’s High Streets, Including With 30 Minutes Free Parking


High Streets are the heart of our communities and supporting small independent retailers is a priority for the Council.   Eighteen Village centres benefit from the Town Centre Opportunities and Christmas Lights funds, but by far the most important initiative for retailers was the introduction of the Richmond Card with 30 minutes free parking for residents. The Richmond Card also provides an opportunity for independent businesses to promote offers on the Council website and a special Richmond Card is available for employees and visitors to access these discounts. 

Cllr Pamela Fleming Cabinet Member for Environment, Business & Community said, "Small shops and high streets were penalised by the Lib Dems costly and complicated emission based parking charges.

“One of our first priorities when we took over the administration in 2010 was to look at how we could help small shops compete with free supermarket parking, and the 30 minutes free parking and discounted parking for residents has helped them to get back some of that business.

“Growing on-line shopping, decisions by major retailers to reduce their presence on the high street along with high rents and business rates present a major challenge to the retail sector.  We are already working with a number of small businesses to help them meet the digital challenge, and if re-elected we plan to extend this programme.

“We have already carried out major improvements to a number of high streets. We will be looking at what more we can do to make all our shopping areas more welcoming for everyone, including older people and those with disabilities."

Friday, 13 April 2018

Next Conservative Council will continue the successful Tenants Champion

Housing Association tenants will continue to be able to turn to the Tenants Champion to assist them in dealing with unresolved problems arising from their tenancy.

The Tenants Champion ensures that the tenant is represented when dealing with the Housing association that owns and manages their home.

Cllr Jane Boulton, the Borough’s Tenants Champion, states:

 “This service is much valued by tenants and Housing Associations as numerous issues have been resolved and tenants can be assured that their cases have been fairly considered and, hopefully, resolved. I am pleased that local Conservatives have pledged to continue this unique and much-valued service that we introduced only a few years ago.”

Thursday, 12 April 2018

It’s A Two-Horse Race As Only Local Conservatives and Labour Are Fully Contesting This Council Election

Only the local Conservative and the Labour Party have put up full sets of three candidates in each ward for the Council elections on 3rd May.

In 2014 the Liberal Democrats fielded a full slate of candidates. The Greens fielded at least one candidate in every ward, with a total of 22 candidates. This time around the Greens only have six candidates in total across the borough and in those wards, the Liberal Democrats have only put forward two.

Cllr Grant Healy, Councillor for Whitton, said:

“If there really is a Green – Lib Dem ‘alliance’, then why not in every ward. Either they have both been unable to field candidates, or they are selectively restricting voter choice.

“There is every sign that the Lib Dems are struggling in Twickenham and Richmond, and Labour is emerging. The Lib Dems are not confident enough to win on their own, they still have not released a manifesto with less than three weeks to go until voting day, their campaign is almost entirely negative and shies away from the facts on many issues.  They are mainly asking for votes on national issues which they can do nothing about.

“The Green Party leader Caroline Lucas very recently wrote an article in the Guardian saying they would not join forces with Labour nationally because small parties must keep their identities. Greens have also said in the past about their new best friends, ‘Shameless opportunism is the Lib Dems stock in trade.’ Not exactly a marriage made in heaven.

“It seems this time, for the first time in a while, it’s a clear competition between the two strong main parties, the Conservatives and Labour. This could, in fact, be healthy for our borough. We have our differences, but at least we will have meaningful debates over the issues. That’s what politics should be about, laying the facts before people, explaining the different positions, and letting voters decide.”

Total Number of Candidates:
  • Conservative – 54
  • Labour – 54
  • Liberal Democrat -  48
  • Green – 6
  • Others - 8

Continuing To Invest In The Best Parks in London

With significant investment under the local Conservatives, our borough's parks and open spaces are the best in London and they are greatly valued by our residents. People of all ages enjoy them for many reasons including relaxation, play, sport, exercise, and biodiversity. Activities like the Green Gym, Health Walks and nature buddies provide opportunities to meet new people and get more involved with environmental projects. 

Seventeen parks have Green Flags, and our Parks Team has won numerous awards including Britain in Bloom, London in Bloom, and International Communities in Bloom. Although only created in 2012 under the local Conservatives, the Diamond Jubilee Gardens was won two prestigious landscaping awards. Strawberry Woods, the borough's newest park, has transformed an area of overgrown wasteland into a woodland play area.

Cllr Pamela Fleming, Cabinet Member for Environment, says:

 "Other councils are struggling to keep their parks open but in Richmond Borough our local Conservative administration has invested £3 million over the last 5 years in parks and playgrounds. Getting out in the park is good for us all mentally as well as physically and we want all our open spaces to be welcoming and accessible. We have a dedicated team of officers but what makes our parks so successful is the partnership with our Friends Groups and many volunteers.  A new Conservative Council will continue to invest in parks and playgrounds, and working with our Friends Groups we will be able to access additional funding for improvements to make our parks even better."

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

UPDATE: Cllr Elliott Meets with SWR Managing Director

Cllr Gareth Elliott with SWR MD,
Andy Mellors and local
representative David Wilby
and Cllr Peter Buckwell
On Monday 10th April Cllr Gareth Elliott met with the Managing Director of South Western Railway, Andy Mellors, following a request after the publication of the proposed changes to the timetable for Whitton Station services. The meeting was also attended by the Leader of the Council, Cllr Paul Hodgins, and the Cabinet Member for Transport, Cllr Peter Buckwell.

The meeting follows on from the publication of the results of the consultation and the news that Whitton would not only retain its fast connectivity into London but would also gain a faster service in the morning and evening peak taking the number of services to five (from the current four).

Cllr Elliott sought to gain clarification from South Western Railway on the results of the consultation and to ensure that the Train Operating Company is kept up to speed with the ongoing progress and improvements in and around Whitton that would necessitate the continued demand for the fast services into and out of London.

Cllr Gareth Elliott said of the meeting:

"I am very happy that following the strong lobby from the Whitton community, local Councillors and the Council itself South Western Railway has agreed to reinstitute the fast services into and out of London. I was encouraged that the Managing Director, Andy Mellors, was in agreement with myself and the Council and look forward to ensuring the Whitton continues to maintain the connectivity that is so crucial to this commuter town."

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

UPDATE: South Western Railway Timetable Consultation - RESULTS

South Western Railway has posted the results of its timetable consultation which had originally cut back stops at Whitton station - crucially in the peak commuting period.


The results appear to have rolled back on this proposal and now suggest that Whitton will now be included on the reading service ensuring three faster peak morning services and three peak evening services. This will be in addition to the half-hourly Windsor services that will also call at Whitton Station.

Cllr Gareth Elliott, Whitton Ward Councillor said:

"I am very happy that South Western Railway has taken on board the howls of protest in Whitton and reinstated the peak time semi-fast services. We are still awaiting further details and will feedback from our meeting with the Managing Director of the rail company."

The final timetable has yet to be published as it is being reviewed by Network Rail. The changes will commence in December 2018.

To read the consultation document please click here.



Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Whitton Library REVAMPED and Re-Opened

 Whitton Library re-opened its doors today after it received a new transformational refurbishment showcasing the Conservative-led council's continuing belief in the role of libraries in today's society.

The Library had been closed since January so that essential repair works and improvements could take place and bring about the stunning new look and installation of new facilities. Work includes:
  • Roof repairs
  • Replacement of the ceiling
  • New lighting
  • Fully accessible entrance door
  • New shelving
  • Display units
  • Study area
  • Space for activities and events

A new and improved makeover has been provided in the Children's section adding a much brighter and enticing ambience and includes a new Story Wall with a wonderful woodland theme.

The library reopened its doors (Tuesday) at 9.30am. 

Cllr Gareth Elliott said:

"The refurbishment of Whitton is a wonderful example of this conservative council's continuing investment in our libraries. It is a wonderful space for all to enjoy and mixes the modern with the traditional and provides areas to work. Whitton has a wonderful gem in its library and very happy with its upgrade."


Cllr Grant Healy said:

"'Awesome refurbishment, wonderful use of space, and all the facilities needed in a modern library. The best library got better!"

Following that the library will resume the following opening times:

Sunday - Closed
Monday - 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday - 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday - 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday - 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday - 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday - 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Our Local Plan - Whitton Conservatives


UPDATE: Illegal Traveller Encampments RFU Letter

Following a recent meeting with the RFU, the Police, Dene Estate residents, Council Officer, and Cllr Grant Healy, regarding illegal traveller encampments on the Rosebine field, the RFU have sent a letter to every household on the estate (see below).

Cllr Healy: “It's extremely encouraging that everyone involved can get together and not only understand the issues but also discuss what can be done practically to address them. Some gaps in intelligence gathering and procedures were discovered at the meeting I participated in, and ways of plugging them agreed. Let’s hope that there are no more such incursions and if there are they are for the briefest time possible.”

Dear Resident,

As you will be aware, there was recently a second unauthorised encampment on the Rosebine field. The RFU, Richmond Council and the Metropolitan Police have been working together to address this issue and to prevent it from happening again.

On the first occasion last year, bolt cutters were used to open the gates to force entry, on the second occasion; staff were threatened and assaulted as entry was forced. This clearly isn’t something which we want to happen again.

You will know from the behaviour which you have had to witness, that the situation is extremely unpredictable and can become volatile. As soon as the most recent encampment came to the attention of the RFU, we informed the police and Richmond Council, although we needed to wait until the Monday morning to obtain the eviction notice, which was served immediately. That notice was effective, and the field was vacated. The approach of the RFU, Council and Police is designed to prevent any escalation and to persuade the groups to leave as soon as possible. Should the entire legal process have to be followed, the encampment and anti-social behaviour can grow and last for some weeks or months. The timescale for action is:
  • RFU reports encampment to Richmond Council.
  • Richmond Council issues a 24-hour eviction notice (Mon – Fri)
  • If this is not obeyed, legal proceedings start, which can take up to three weeks.
  • If there is still no movement, options are considered as to site clearance.

The experience of the Council is that illegal encampments will usually leave before the clearance work starts.
A meeting was recently held to discuss this and address residents’ concerns at Twickenham Stadium between resident representatives, the RFU, Police, Richmond Council and the Police. The various agencies were able to answer some resident questions which we have had sent to us:
  • There is no link established between the two groups who have camped at Rosebine recently and no evidence that the field has been identified as a site of interest to them.
  • The RFU is not proposing to allow this field or any other part of our property to be used as camping sites.
  • Richmond Borough is not frequently affected by illegal encampments.
  • CCTV would not deter or prevent these incursions, as at other sites it has been disabled or ignored.
  • Rising bollards would not be practical to install at the entrances due to the lack of electrical supply and the resultant queues on the A316 when the field is required for use.
  • These groups are experts in both the law and on forcing entry – very little infrastructure will stop them and the police would require significant extra resources to force eviction.
  • The following measures were discussed and agreed in an attempt to minimise the risk of this happening again, and to help residents in the event that it does:
  • A dedicated 24-hour helpline to RFU security to report any suspicious activity. This will be given to residents’ chosen representatives.
  • A dedicated 24-hour helpline to Richmond Council, which will also be given to residents’ chosen representatives.
  • An information sharing system between Richmond Council, Police and RFU to let organisations know if there are groups in the borough who present a risk to the security of open sites.
  • An investigation as to whether eviction notices can be served at weekends with the necessary resources.
  • Such groups who have been illegally camped to be escorted out the borough by the police.
  • If at any point you are witnessing a crime or are threatened, phone 999. To report a crime which has already been committed, phone 101.

The very nature of breaking onto the land means that none of these measures can 100% guarantee that this will not happen again, but we believe that it reduces the risk considerably, and if it does happen it can be dealt with efficiently and promptly. In addition, you will now be aware of the processes which have to take place and the steps which are taken.

The RFU, Metropolitan Police and Richmond Council are all aware of the impact which these events have on you, and we will continue to monitor the situation and consider new tactics to prevent further reoccurrences.
Yours faithfully

Chris Donnelly,

RFU Community Engagement Officer

Friday, 23 March 2018

UPDATE: Turing House – ESFA has finalised land sale for the permanent site, but questions remain over admissions policy

Richmond Council has reported that the Education Skills Funding Agency has finalised the land acquisition from the London Borough of Hounslow for a permanent site for Turing School, in Whitton.


THS has been looking for a permanent site since 2012 and negotiations between the Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and Hounslow Council have taken 18 months. The school’s current site in Queen’s Road, Teddington, is not large enough to be a long-term option.

Following negotiations between the ESFA and Hounslow Council, who own the open space behind Hospital Bridge Road in Whitton, the acquisition is now complete.

Building the school on that site will be subject to planning permission and full community consultation as part of that process. It is expected that the planning application process, including an assessment of traffic implications, will commence in summer 2018.

Subject to planning consent, the new school facilities are likely to be ready for occupation in 2020. However, as the current facilities at Queen’s Road are unable to facilitate a further intake before then, the Council has agreed to offer the use of a nearby school site, Clarendon School, in Hanworth Road, Hampton.

Cllrs Gareth Elliott and Grant Healy and Whitton conservative Candidate Sophie Lister cautiously acknowledge the news that Turing House has made a firm commitment that the school will review their admission policy when their planning application is considered. The school has currently proposed an 80/20 split of intake with the larger number of pupils from its Teddington catchment area. Cllrs Gareth Elliott and Grant Healy have consistently opposed this policy and have raised on many occasions the impact this will have on local traffic and its unfairness to residents.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Local Conservatives Urge South Western Railway Timetable Rethink

Cllrs Gareth Elliott and Grant Healy
and local candidate Sophie Lister
South Western Railway (SWR) has been urged to rethink their proposals following a December 2018 timetable consultation.

The consultation put forward a proposed new timetable. The Council has acknowledged SWR’s aim for a more uniform approach to the timetable, stopping patterns and journey times but has raised concerns about the inconvenience the changes will cause to some of the borough’s residents.  

Councillors will outline their concerns at a meeting with SWR in April including:
  • Why many of the additional fast trains are not proposed to stop at Richmond, Twickenham and Whitton
  • The adverse impact on Whitton Station of losing three semi-fast trains when the station has recently undergone significant investment to make it more accessible.
  • Why there is no mention of the impact on level crossings in the borough of having more trains. Additional barrier downtime on the Windsor line is a concern, specifically in Mortlake.
  • Ensuring services do not adversely impact the stations in the borough which serve as important interchanges between semi-fast and local services. SWR should take into account ‘exchange windows’ to give commuters enough time to transition between trains. 
Cllr Gareth Elliott, Whitton Ward Councillor said:

"Whitton station is a vital transport link to our residents and any change to the timetable to makes access to London and elsewhere longer would impact very negatively. I am encouraged that we have secured a meeting with SWR's Managing Director and I hope to make the case strongly of the concerns of Whitton's residents."

Cllr Peter Buckwell, Cabinet Member for Highways and Street Scene said:

“While we can understand South Western Railway’s desire to create more uniformed timetables, and note that some journey times are shortened, we are concerned that some people in the borough are likely to be adversely affected where the timing of their daily service changes. 

“We look forward to a productive discussion with them and hope they will take on board our residents’ concerns when making a final decision on the scheduling of their services

Whitton Library Refurbishment Running to Schedule

Cllrs Gareth Elliott and Grant Healy
and candidate Sophie Lister
Whitton Library is on track to reopen next month following a refurbishment programme that will ensure it is accessible to all.


Since January, the Library has been closed to enable much-needed work to be undertaken on the interior layout and environment of the library. Improvements include roof repairs, ceiling replacement, the installation of new lighting, and a much needed fully accessible entrance door. 

The interior has been revitalised with the introduction of new shelving, display units, a study area with computers, comfortable seating and space for activities and events. The children’s area has been given a complete makeover, including a new StoryWall with a cheery woodland theme.

If the works remain on schedule, the library will re-open on Tuesday 4 April 2018.

Cllr David Linnette, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and the Voluntary Sector, visited the library yesterday to see the improvement works, he said:

“Our libraries team and contractors have been working around the clock to ensure that these improvements are delivered to time.

“The improved library will provide a well-equipped flexible space which will be suitable for leisure and study purposes as well as a meeting place for the local community.

“One of the most important changes is the new door to the library. Whilst this might seem like a small thing – the door is suitable for those with disabilities to be able to open. This is key in ensuring our libraries are accessible to all.”

Sophie Lister, Conservative Candidate for Whitton added: 

“Whitton library is a fantastic asset for the local community and I am delighted to see that our Conservative Council is investing in our local library. I can’t wait to the new look and much improved features.”

Monday, 5 March 2018

ACTION ON FLYTIPPING: Clear up at 310 Nelson Road

Your Local Conservatives in both Whitton and Heathfield wards have worked together to force the clean-up of the unsightly and potentially unsafe site at 310 Nelson Road since early December. Following strong pressure from Conservative Councillors, the site has now been cleared of waste.

The site before the clean up
This site has become a blot on the landscape following the departure of Threshers many years ago. Developers have failed to finish building on the site, using loopholes in the planning system to leave it empty and derelict. The result being that the site has become a magnet for illegal fly-typing. 

The Conservative run Council issued an 'S215 Untidy Land Notice' Order to the developer, ordering the rubbish to be cleared and the site made safe. Within a couple of days, this was complied with.

Cllrs Grant Healy, Gareth Elliott and
Candidate Sophie Lister inspecting
the site
Your local team will continue to monitor the activities on the site to ensure that should there be a reoccurrence the swiftest action will be taken. We will be putting pressure on the developer SEP to complete the building works as soon as possible.

We will also support the Council in lobbying the Government to increase its power to force builders and developers to complete projects more speedily rather than just sit on sites. There are already encouraging signs that the Government will bring in measures soon to stop so-called land-banking.

Cllr Grant Healy, Whitton Conservative Councillor, said:

“From first highlighting the escalation of flytipping to the appropriate Council department in early December to reporting the collapse of the barriers in front of the site on 3rd February I have been impressed by the Council’s response (the fence was re-erected the same day as I reported the dangerous incident) to this issue, which is of great local concern."

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Help our birds to thrive in Whitton - put up a bird box

Bird boxes will be springing up across the borough over the next few weeks thanks to a donation from Richmond Council’s street cleansing contractor.
 As part of National Bird Box Week (14-21 February), Continental Landscape has donated £100 towards the purchase and installation of House Sparrow Boxes. The boxes will be installed on council-owned buildings. National Bird Box Week takes place each year and aims to encourage everyone to put up nest boxes in their local area in order to promote and enhance biodiversity and conservation of our breeding birds and wildlife. Whether you’re a family with space for a box in your garden, a teacher, a member of a local wildlife group, or you belong to a bird club and could organise a work party, National Nest Box Week gives you the chance to contribute to the conservation effort in the UK whilst giving you the pleasure of observing any breeding birds that you attract to your garden. Richmond Council would like to challenge residents and local businesses to also do their bit by putting up similar boxes in their gardens or on their properties.
 Cllr Pamela Fleming, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for the Environment, said:

Natural nest sites for birds such as holes in trees or old buildings are disappearing fast as gardens are ‘tidied’ and old houses are repaired.
 “Bird boxes can be easily made or are inexpensive to buy.  But the rewards for both the environment and indeed families and nature lovers alike are much more.” Niko Mardushaj, from ContinentalLandscapes, said:
 “Continental Landscapes are always looking for ways in which we can support wildlife, and National Nest Box Week is the perfect opportunity to make a contribution and raise awareness of the need to provide habitats for our native birds, especially in urban environments. We are pleased to continue our strong relationship with London Borough of Richmond and help the Council to enhance the biodiversity of the borough by donating these bird boxes.” If you are putting up a bird box, or if you already have one, let us know by contacting: hello@swlen.org.uk

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Make sure you’re registered to vote in time for the local elections this May

On Thursday 3 May residents in Richmond upon Thames will go to the polls to have their say on who represents them at a local level.
 
Local government elections select councillors, who are responsible for making decisions on running services in your local area. These include housing, education, transport, planning, parks, leisure, social care and waste management.
 
In order to vote in this important election, residents must be on the electoral register. The deadline to register to vote in local elections is fast approaching. Therefore, Richmond Council is urging residents who have not registered at their current address to make sure they are registered in time.
 
The deadline to register to vote is midnight on Tuesday 17 April. Anyone can apply online at gov.uk/register-to-vote. It takes just five minutes.
 
Mark Maidment, Electoral Registration Officer for Richmond Council, said:
 
“Time is running out to make sure you can take part in the local elections. These elections are an opportunity to make your voice heard and have a say on who represents you on issues that directly affect day-to-day life here in Richmond upon Thames But if you’re not registered by 17 April, you won’t be able to vote.”
 
Adrian Green, Electoral Commission Regional Manager for London, said:
 
“If you have turned 18, or if you have moved home recently, it’s particularly important that you act to ensure that you are registered. It takes just five minutes online and means that you can take part in this important election.” 
 
If you were eligible to vote in last year’s general election and your details have not changed, you will still be registered to vote. If in doubt, check your details by giving the Council a call on 020 8891 7775.

Friday, 26 January 2018

Community Pavement Fund is Back!

Does your road have a pavement in need of minor repairs? Well, now’s the time to do something about it with nominations for the Community Pavements Repair Fund now open.
 
The Council has set aside £500,000 in 2017/18 to fund community nominated improvements after residents told us, through the Annual Residents Survey, that the condition of pavements was one of their top priorities. You can get involved now by nominating a pavement you feel is in need of extra work, nominations will stay open until 31 March 2018.
 
Each of the fourteen villages across the borough will receive £35,000. Funding is provided on top of £500,000 directed towards highway improvements each year. The scheme looks at ‘small fix’ repairs which are normally minor improvements. Work may include replacing damaged paving slabs, blacktop infills or eliminating standing water.
 
After nominations close on March 31, Council Highway Engineers will visit nominated areas to review the suggested repairs. Council Officers along with Richmond Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Streetscene, Cllr Peter Buckwell, will select the winning pavements. The results will be announced in June. 
 
Cllr Buckwell said:
 
“We know how popular the Community Pavement Repair Fund is to our residents, underlying the importance they place in the borough’s environment. We’re delighted to once again be encouraging interest in the fund for people to nominate the ‘small fix’ they think is needed for their pavement.”
 
If you have a pavement in need of repair you can nominate it online or by picking up a nomination form in libraries or the Civic Centre. 

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Royal Wedding - Street Party Time

Cllr Gareth getting into the spirit of the
Royal Wedding last time with his
neighbours in Derwent Road
Who doesn't like any old excuse to have a street party and use the opportunity to re-engage with neighbours and friends? With the Royal Wedding coming around this Spring Richmond Council is once again encouraging residents to get out the bunting and dust off those baking books.

For the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Council has agreed to wave the cost of closing roads on 19 and 20 May and the bank holiday weekend of 26, 27 and 28 May. This includes the cost of the statutory adverts required to make drivers aware. Neighbours and resident groups will only have to find the cost of hiring ‘road closed’ signage.

The deadline for applications is Monday 30 April 2018.

Cllr Gareth Elliott, Whitton Ward Councillor said:

"My neighbours and I had a great time at the last wedding and it was wonderful to see everyone out enjoying the occasion. I will certainly be getting together with my neighbours in Whitton to encourage a party on Derwent Road. I encourage others who wish to do so to get your neighbours together and plan for it well in advance."

Cllr Peter Buckwell, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Street Scene, said:

“We saw a great outpouring of goodwill across our borough for Prince William’s wedding, and I would love to see the same for his younger brother.

“We have already had a number of requests for street parties, but we want to encourage even more people to come together, show some community spirit and celebrate this joyful day.

“We will again do our bit for local people this year by covering the costs of closing roads, helping people mark this national occasion together.”

Advice from Richmond Council is to prepare well in advance, including talking to neighbours and applying in good time to have roads closed.

Visit the street parties page for more information and to apply.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Whitton Library to Undergo Refurbishment

Whitton Library is to close from Saturday 13th January 2018 to Monday 2nd April 2018 as it undergoes refurbishment.
The works will include roof repairs, ceiling replacement, the installation of new lighting and a much needed fully accessible entrance door.  The interior will be revitalised with new shelving, display units, a study area with computers, comfortable seating and space for activities and events. The children’s area will also be given a complete makeover, including a new StoryWall and a cheery woodland theme.
Cllr David Linnette, Cabinet member for Culture, Sport and the Voluntary Sector said:
“This is an exciting time for Whitton residents. Their improved library will provide a well-equipped flexible space which will be suitable for leisure and study purposes as well as a meeting place for the local community.
“Whilst the library will be closed for a few months in the new year, residents will still be able to use any of the other libraries in the borough and access any of the library’s online services. Twickenham library is the nearest and I know they look forward to welcoming Whitton’s readers whilst the library undergoes its refurbishment.”
The nearest library is Twickenham Library, Garfield Road, Twickenham TW1 3JT. Bus 281 is a 14 minute journey, buses run every 8 minutes. Bus H22 is a 19 minute journey, buses run every 12 minutes. Bus 110 is a 27 minute journey, buses run every 20 minutes.
To find out more about the Council's Library Services and the eServices available to library members in Richmond upon Thames visit: www.richmond.gov.uk/libraries