Better news on the economy has recently been one topic which residents will have picked up on, listening to the radio over breakfast, or read in newspaper headlines on the way to work.
Regardless of your politics, or what you might think of our current coalition government’s policies, this is most welcome after the years of doom and gloom. Let us hope it is not another false dawn.
Here in Hounslow we can see for ourselves how one corner of the borough is contributing to the recovery and transforming before our very eyes. Brentford is becoming a real success story in the regeneration of the borough, with exciting new proposed developments to the north and south of the town linked by plans to regenerate its canalside.
Part and parcel of this growth are, of course, plans for a new home for Brentford FC, along with housing and community facilities at Lionel Road. I was intrigued to read the Chronicle’s recent of a public meeting in Chiswick, at which objections to the football club’s plans were heard, as well as views in favour. I was reminded that in politics and life, you can never have your cake and eat it.
So we read that local Conservative councillors who would rightly champion the cause of regeneration, growth and enterprise, objecting to a development which would bring just that, and many other benefits to the community aside. The reason of course is their need to represent the views of their residents and communities and highlight the impact of the development on their lives.
Putting the best interests of the whole borough before those of local residents is never an easy choice to make. Let us not forget, there are elections around the corner. But what interests me about the position of our members in Chiswick is how their positioning may – potentially – affect an obvious opportunity for growth and regeneration.
My own personal perspective is that we have to fully embrace positive opportunities for regeneration when they come. This example is unique, and of course, would have all the beneficial effects on match days for surrounding shops and businesses. And of course, there are the myriad benefits which having one of football’s oldest clubs here in the borough brings.
Our planning committee will make their minds up on the football club’s application later this year. We will see if they keep the bigger picture in mind in their deliberations.