And in other news, the Dear Leaders in York House have announced that council tax in the borough will be frozen again this year. Good news for residents feeling the squeeze of continued recession. In the accompanying press release, Deputy Leader of Richmond Council, Geoffrey Samuel [for whom we don’t yet have a nickname but are now working flat out to deal with that] said: “Over the past three years we have had an intensive efficiency programme, which has already generated more than £20m of savings… Further savings must be made and our plans include a further £10m+ savings in the next 2 years. Our aim will remain to deliver the lowest possible increase in Council Tax whilst maintaining or improving the services that residents tell us they value the most”.

It’s that tricky old balancing act between keeping residents onside in terms of the bills we pay, prioritising and delivering services (where one person’s irrelevance can be another’s crucial piece of council support) and responding to the cuts in local authority funding being passed down from Westminster. So, that good news on council tax bills for the majority of residents could be less good for those where services are reduced or where savings have a direct impact on jobs, especially if it’s your job.

Yep, it sure is tricky! And that is why we say ‘good luck with all of that’, to Mr Samuel, the Deputy Dear Leader of El Brute and Cabinet Member for Finance or, to use his new street name… G-Sam.

* Richmond Council – Council Tax Freeze

We usually leave Teddington matters to those in the know, namely the Teddington Town website. But, FYI, the footbridge over Teddington Lock will be closed for lighting repairs in March. Panic not, oh little ones. Or rather, don’t panic excessively, because it will only be closed during weekdays and even then will still be open for morning and afternoon school rush hours. Does the bridge have a rush hour? Probably not, but it will be open to let school types and others use it. Closure will be between 4th & 28th March, from 9.30am and 3.30pm on Mondays through to Fridays.

* El Brute & The Footbridge