Last week one of your stories linked the lack of progress on the Heston leisure complex to the housing slump.
It may be that the eventual demise of a plan to offer Heston some of the best leisure facilities in west London is bound up with housing affordability, but two years of Tory stagnation is the real root cause of the problem.
For those not familiar with the scheme, the land that the existing outdated facilities sits on was to be sold to a major developer to pay for the new complex on a nearby piece of land.
Your article said there was no chance of the new Heston leisure complex going ahead and this comes as no surprise to local Labour councillors or, by now, the residents of Heston.
What may surprise them is the role of Mr and Mrs Blackett and the Heston Residents' Association (HRA).
This is the same Mr Blackett, chairman of Heston Residents'Association that was expressing concern in your newspaper that 'nothing would happen'with the leisure development that was proposed to replace the facility there now.
In April of 2006, after several years of intensive design work and negotiations, the contract to build a state-of-the-art swimming pool and library was ready to be signed within literally a couple of days.
About 10 days before the May 2006 election HRA put forward a petition objecting to the development and the borough solicitor was forced to forbid the signing of the contractual agreement to build the new complex.
Many years of work and effort by engineers, architects and elected members was wasted as the project was blocked at the last minute.
Even though an emergency executive meeting was requested, in order to overcome the objections raised by this petition, it was not possible to have it at short notice before the election.
At the forefront of the move to block the development were Mr and Mrs Blackett.
They are the principal motivators of HRA. Their action stopped the development plan dead in its tracks.
As the Conservative administration took control of Hounslow it was obvious they would not allow a prestigious development to go ahead in an area that was a Labour stronghold.
Even though this new facility was to offer a new experience in water quality and design, the bitterness towards an area that for years has been an
bedrock of solid Labour support allowed no pragmatic way forward.
Any twaddle about the downturn in the housing market is an absolute whitewash. Two years ago the housing market was more buoyant than at any time in our history and the residents of Heston would have had a fantastic new swimming pool and library at no cost.
The only reason it will now perhaps never be built is the actions of Mr and Mrs Blackett, the HRA and the Conservative Party.
COLIN ELLAR Former Labour leader of Hounslow Council.