Sign our Petition opposing Cycle Super-Highway 9

Cllr Caroline ffiske writes

Transport for London opened its consultation on the Cycle Superhighway 9 (“CS9”) proposal in late September, closing it on 31 October.  The proposal involves the development of a three metre wide Cycle Superhighway from Olympia, around the top of the Hammersmith Gyratory, along King Street and Chiswick High Road and through to Brentford Town Centre.

CS9 passes through the heart of Olympia, Avonmore and Brook Green, Hammersmith, and Ravenscourt Park.  Therefore Conservative councillors representing these area have spent the last few months doing as much as we can to make sure residents know about the scheme and consultation, and seeing what they think about it.

While a local councillor can never speak to everyone or for everyone, it is safe to say that, in its current form, CS9 is very unpopular.  A huge number of local people have spent a considerable amount of time looking at the scheme in detail and sending in comments and observations.

It is also important to put on record concerns about the quality of the consultation.  Large numbers of people living near the route had no idea about the scheme. This includes many people who use Hammersmith Road as their main commuting route, and people who use King Street every week and regard it as their main local shopping and community area. It is also difficult to make head or tail of some important details of the scheme which matter for particular areas, such as where pavements will be narrowed.

A number of important concerns have been raised with us by local residents.  The most significant is the increased congestion and resulting air pollution that the scheme will cause, and the impact that this will have on local people’s health and well-being.  Air pollution is high on the agenda in local government, yet no-one has shown how this scheme along already densely congested roads will do anything but make it worse for local people.  The second concern is the congestion itself.  Whether you’re sitting in a bus or car in traffic that can’t move, walking past those queues of traffic, or living in a street that is suddenly filled with backed-up rat-runners, it is misery.   Locals have told us it can take an hour to move along Hammersmith Road from North End Road to the Gyratory – and that’s now, without CS9. It will only get worse.

Then there is the narrowing of pavements, particularly in King Street: a big ‘no’ when we are trying to make King Street a lively destination that all local people use and are proud of.   And we are all hoping it will get busier with new developments like Landmark House.  Many cyclists themselves have said that higher-speed ‘commuter’ cycling next to busy pedestrian streets like King Street will be dangerous for the cyclists as well as for pedestrians.

There are also many details which have not been thought through adequately, such as moving bus-stops that elderly people use, or removing bus lanes so that traffic will grind to a stand-still every time a bus stops.

Because of these factors, Hammersmith and Fulham Conservatives are launching a petition asking the Council to withdraw its support for CS9 in its current form. We would like them to look instead at more incremental measures to improve the experience of cyclists within the borough, to continue to look at other transport improvements that will work for the benefit of everyone in the borough, and to work with TfL to find an alternative route for a major cycle superhighway.

Throughout the coming months we will continue to raise awareness of the CS9 scheme with local people, and we will compile and publish comments on our website so people can see what others are thinking.  If you have any specific comments on the scheme, please e-mail us.

If, like us, you are seeking more time, more detail, or are already concerned about aspects of the CS9 scheme, please sign our petition and forward it to any friends and family who live along the route.  Click here to sign!

Only 306 new affordable homes built in H&F in the past three and half years – Wandsworth’s had 1,195

When I canvass local residents in Hammersmith and Fulham the biggest issue that comes up is housing. Many people voted Labour at the last council elections in 2014 as they felt the Conservative council was not providing enough of what is officially termed “affordable” housing.

So what has been Labour’s record?

The Mayor of London provides the statistics.

For 2013/14, when the Council had a Conservative administration, there were 178 “affordable completions” – that is to see new homes that were actually built that met one of the criteria for being “affordable”. There were eight “affordable rent” (which can be up to 80 per cent of market rent and so pretty unaffordable to many people), 35 “social rent” (which is under half the market rent). There was also  135 for “affordable home ownership” – this would include “shared ownership” schemes.

Anyway for 2014/15 the figure was 168 for “affordable completions” – 61 affordable rent, 27 social rent, 80 affordable home ownership. So slightly down in Labour’s first year. Still they could argue there was a bit of a time lag so that wasn’t really their fault.

Then we have the figure for 2015/16 which was 86 – of which 20 affordable rent, 48 social rent, 18 affordable home ownership. They could still mutter about a time lag – although it is a bit harder for them to say that it was still nothing to do with them.

So we now have the figure for 2016/17. I don’t think any reasonable person could say that three years of power meant they could still be absolved of any responsibility. The total of affordable completions for that year was ten. That’s right. Just ten. Four of them for affordable rent, six for affordable home ownership.

For this financial year so far we have the tally for seven months to the end of October. The total so far is just 42 – all for affordable rent.

When you add them up it means that only 306 new affordable homes have been built over the past three and half years of Labour running the show. Over the same period Wandsworth has seen 1,195 affordable homes completed. In Barnet it is 943.  Westminster has managed 480. Hillingdon has seen 463.

The figures provided by the Mayor of London go back to 2008/09. So that covers six Conservative years. The total during those six years of affordable completions was 1,162.  So an average of 194 a year. Labour’s annual average, for their three and half years, is 87.

Anyway you slice it a deplorable record. By comparison with what Conservative councils have achieved over the same period, or what was achieved in Hammersmith and Fulham during the Conservative years the Labour failure is stark.

 

 

 

An array of performances to choose in Hammersmith and Fulham over Christmas

Lots of arts events to choose from locally over Christmas.

Jack and the Beanstalk – Lyric Theatre, Lyric Square, King Street

Tickets £15 ‐ £40 available here. Running time – 130 minutes. Ages 6+

See the review in the Evening Standard.

Bush Hall, 310 Uxbridge Road, London W12 7LJ 020 8222 6955

Lots going on at this excellent Edwardian venue. It was originally built in 1904  and was used as a dance hall through the roaring twenties and as a soup kitchen during the Second World War.

Comedy: Bush Hall Presents a Festive Tim Key – details here.

Then on New Year’s Eve there is: The Sheen Resistance presents: Lost in Disco New Years Eve Extravaganza! Sunday, Dec 31, 2017 9:00 PM – 3am January 1st 2018. Details here.

 

Baron’s Court Theatre, The Curtains Up pub, 28a Comeragh Road, London W14 9HR 020 7602 0235

An intimate venue under the Curtains Up pub. Founded in 1991 it has only 57 seats.

Coming up we have Improvised Pantomimes. 7.30pm – 10.00pm from 12th- 17th of December with the Very Serious People. Tickets £10-£12 here.

Then we have The Fairground Magic Show. Set in the Fairground and carnivals of yesteryear. A traditional magic show for the whole family. Created and presented  by magician and showman Richard Leigh. Tickets £10-£12 here.

More details here.

Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, W12 8LJ 020 8743 5050

I’m afraid very much dominated by agitprop in recent years. Currently showing Parliament Square about a woman who sets herself on fire for no terribly clear reason. “There’s passion here, but without purpose and direction it just fizzes and zips about haphazardly, like a lit firework in a box,” said the review in The Times. Plus “some blurry existential musing.”

As Miss Jean Brodie said: “For those who like that sort of thing.  That is the sort of thing they like.”

Others might prefer A Storystock Christmas on Saturday December 9th and Saturday December 16th. “A magical series of interactive storytelling, craft, drama and comedy sessions for all the family this winter season.” More details here.

Tabard Theatre, 2 Bath Road, W4 1LW 0208 995 6035

This 96 seat venue opened in 1985 above the Tabard Pub and is very near Turnham Green tube – so just over the border in Hounslow.

The Little Match Girl, 7 December – 31 December 2017 adapted from the classic tale by Hans Christian Andersen. Tuesday – Saturday 7pm, Saturday Matinees 3pm, Sunday Matinees 3pm.

Tickets £19.50 Concessions £16.50 Under 16’s £14.50. More details here.

Irish Cultural Centre, 5 Black’s Road, Hammersmith, W6 9DT 

Nun’s Chorus – an Irish Theatre Play by Sally Mulready. Directed by Molly Mulready. “Set in 1950s Ireland, ‘Nun’s Chorus’ tells the story of what happens when a group of Carmelite Nuns, from an enclosed order, are forced to leave their convent for the very first time in years, to go on an holiday to Galway.”

Friday December 8th, 7.45pm. Tickets £10, £6 concessions. More details here.