If you’ve not dropped in to Richmond Council’s barefoot consultation then it’s worth a look, but take note that Saturday 24th is the final day. As we said earlier all this listening stuff is a good idea as long as the Council commit to taking some account of the views expressed and are honest about the funding available (presumably not much). The gig seemed to involve different interest groups putting forward their proposals, many of them being variations on the theme of re-developing the riverside. With all these assorted visions on offer all that was missing was Eric Idle arguing the toss over the merits of the Judean People’s Front versus the People’s Front of Judea. What also seemed to be missing was an understanding of LBRuT’s existing vision of what Twickenham should look like in five or ten years time. The Council have the difficult task of balancing development priorities across the whole Borough – including far off places like Teddington and East Sheen – rather than just being a Twickenham Council. They must have an existing vision or view on the direction of travel and it would have been useful to get a clearer understanding on if and how that corresponds with most residents’ views.
The twickerati are clearly not backward in coming forward and plenty of ideas were posted up on the boards in the hall. Most favoured creating more open spaces, keeping new buildings free from bold statements of “the new” and developing the idea of Twickenham as a destination for visitors as well as somewhere good for locals. A few favourites were the idea to return Twickenham to some kind of Victorian idyll by restoring and re-creating Twickenham as it was over one hundred years ago – but perhaps without the poverty and poor health. This contrasted with a rather more direct message of “Don’t make Heatham House crap”. And the even more powerful note which was almost haiku like in its simplicity, “No housing, no shops, plenty off grass”. It certainly seemed like the author had already achieved that objective.
(The offices of Twickerati will be quiet for a while as, by an amazing twist of fate, all the staff are off on holiday at the same time, but every effort will be made to moderate comments despite this. Probably.)