LB Hounslow Labour hit back at Chiswick’s Conservative councillors

LB Hounslow’s Labour councillors have hit back at Chiswick’s Conservative councillors after a motion of no confidence in the Leader of the Council, Cllr Steve Curran, was decisively rejected last night (10 November) during a meeting of the borough council.

Chiswick’s councillors, led by Cllr Gerald McGregor, put forward the motion after describing the recent traffic restrictions in Chiswick as “chaos”, “a shambles” and “a mess.”

During the meeting, Labour councillors rallied around their leader and accused the Conservatives of making pointless political gestures which distracted from the council’s work to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 in the borough.

‘Vocal minority’

The councillor for Hounslow Heath, Cllr Vickram Grewal said in a statement after the vote:

Vickram Grewal“The Tory Councillors have focused solely on a vocal minority in Chiswick for their own opportunist gain. They have stirred up a minority of residents who oppose these changes when the silent majority overwhelmingly support them.

“This sums up the Tories in Hounslow. They just don’t know how to represent the entire Borough. Whilst the Tories focus on dividing our communities, the Labour Leader of the Council, Cllr Steve Curran has brought the Borough together during the first wave of the pandemic and this has continued as we are in the midst of the second wave and national lockdown.

“Far from questioning the leadership of this Borough, they should look to their own Prime Minister who has made U-turn after U-turn, mistake after mistake and has added to the suffering of our residents and businesses. From the fiascos of PPE, Test and Trace, Free School Meals, the list goes on! I implore the Tory Councillors to come to their senses to work with us so that we can do the very best for our residents”.

‘Farce’

Cllr Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council said:

“This whole farce has been a distraction caused by the Tory Councillors playing politics at a time when they should have been concentrating on working with us to beat the pandemic. Our residents and businesses expect nothing less. This was shameful grandstanding on their behalf.

“Since March 2020, the Council has been protecting our most vulnerable residents and supporting businesses in the Borough. Sadly over 240 residents have already lost their lives to COVID-19, with thousands of jobs already lost and huge number of residents still on furlough and a massive increase in residents receiving Universal Credit. Not forgetting the sharp rise in homelessness and rough sleeping because of the effects of COVID. These are the issues the opposition should have been working with us on.

“I understand the frustration that the introduction of the Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes and Cycleway 9 has caused some residents in Chiswick. The LTN’s were introduced at the direct request of this Government to improve walking and cycling to avoid a car led recovery and to improve air quality particularly for those most at risk, the young and the elderly. These measures are temporary and will be independently reviewed before a final decision is made as to whether they become permanent. If they are not doing what they set out to do, then they will cease or be changed. This was always the intention. As it says on the tin, these were introduced under Temporary Management Orders.

“This furore has been in part caused by the intemperate language of some Tory Councillors who have fanned the flames of frustration and anger of some residents without thinking of the consequences of their Trump like tactics. Councillors have received death threats which have been reported to the Police as a direct result of some of the hysteria whipped up by those Councillors.

“We have over 280,000 residents in Hounslow, we stretch from the East to the West, from Chiswick to Feltham, this Council is committed to support all residents of the Borough irrespective of where they live. We will continue to fight the pandemic, protect the most vulnerable, support businesses and those who are unemployed, and do whatever it takes to protect residents from the impact of COVID-19.

“I am immensely proud of our fight against COVID and the way our communities have come together as one for the benefit of all”.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Residents group files for Judicial Review of Cycleway 9 installation

See also: Labour unanimously vote down vote of no confidence against LB Hounslow leader

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