THE decision by Nationwide Building Society to close their branch in Northwood Hills is yet another nail in the coffin for any future sustainability of Northwood Hills shopping centre.
We are witnessing the slow erosion of what was a lively shopping environment, by benign neglect caused by Hillingdon Council's failure to direct resources to Northwood Hills Ward.
Shopkeepers are concerned that Northwood Hills shopping centre will become a ghost town in two years time.
We are suffering the opportunity cost of resources directed elsewhere by members of the Cabinet who exercise their influence by ensuring that tax payers money, either through TFL(Transport for London) or the council is directed to improving favoured wards, to the detriment of Northwood Hills.
Over £1 million has been spent on improving Ruislip (and it shows); currently over £200,000 is being spent on Northwood. Northwood is already a thriving shopping centre with all the major banks, a Waitrose supermarket and car parks, with a town management parking scheme.
My association with Northwood Hills goes back to its formation in 1934 and we chose to live here 45 years ago when the shopping parades were dynamic and varied. The absence or disregard of any improvements in local facilities by Hillingdon Council is a cause of major concern by shopkeepers and residents in trying to maintain the viability and resilience of Northwood Hills.
Are the other two councillors going to blame the residents for shopping and banking elsewhere, when they fail to support any measures to improve parking arrangements in the area around Northwood Hills Underground station? The introduction of a managed parking scheme,to deter commuters and non-residents who are using our streets as a free car park, and impeding local residents and potential customers, would help; as would proper toilet facilities and traffic safety measures.
But why are they not showing their support towards the 465 people who signed the petition requesting such a scheme?
May 2010 is fast approaching and the people of Northwood Hills will be able to demonstrate their disenchantment with the two Conservative councillors, through the ballot box.
My fight to reverse the current trend and support the 9,000 residents of Northwood Hills will continue.I want to stop the decline in the provision of services and try to restore our Ward to its former active and vibrant condition.
Thank you to everyone who supports me.
Independent Councillor Northwood Hills Ward. C/O The Civic Centre, High Street,