TRAG to go to Supreme Court?

TRAG, Twickenham’s leading opponents of Solum’s plans for the station, are looking into options for taking their case to the Supreme Court. After getting knocked back by a Judicial Review and then by the Court of Appeal the group is hoping it could be third time lucky in the courts in their battle over Richmond Council’s approval of the plans back in December 2011. Quoted in the Richmond & Twickenham Times, TRAG spokesman John Watson says, “We are hoping that permission to appeal to the Supreme Court might be granted on the basis that the Court of Appeal overstepped the mark by effectively putting itself in the shoes of the local planning authority in deciding that the TAP report would not have made any difference [to the Planning Committee’s decision].”

We can’t quite face going back over all the issues on here but you’ll recall the gist of the saga. And, by the way, the ‘TAP report’ referred to above was a report commissioned by El Brute from the Twickenham Advisory Panel about the station and which turned out to be critical of Solum’s plans. It was not taken into consideration at the Planning Committee.

So… in the absence of anything more scientific, we’ll simply ask a basic question in the form of a twickerati poll. It’s our first (woo!) so bear with us and cast your vote here:

Update: Unfortunately rather than get a snapshot representative of a broad spectrum of readers to gauge the mood of the town, there does appear to have been some multiple voting going on. Clearly there are people who think their opinion is up to six times more important than other people’s. The poll criteria have now been adjusted to try to prevent multiple votes. (Updated updated: 61 times in one case. LOL)

* Richmond & Twickenham Times


Filed under Council, Local Issues & News, Station Development

39 responses to “TRAG to go to Supreme Court?

  1. AnonyMouse

    There’s 11 months to go until the local council elections and I’m already getting bored with the political posturing and party playground bickering.

    Does anyone else find it tedious?

    Dear politicos, if you haven’t got anything positive to say, please shut the eff up!

    • Alexis

      You spoilsport AnonyMouse, its such fun winding these politicos up especially when they are silly enough to respond!
      Despite appearances, I’m not one of them although I took a strongly oppositional stand to Lourie and Williams’s last LibDem regime. Does that make me a Tory or UKIP? Not really, so I’m sorry, I know its a bit late but I can’t help you with the Conservative & UKIP candidates for Twickenham Riverside other than to direct you to our local press.
      Anyway, why do you care? As you so eloquently put it: “Politicians are like nappies. They are disposable, need to be changed regularly & are all full of the same old shite!”
      Perhaps AnonyMouse would do well to heed his or her own words.
      “if you haven’t got anything positive to say, please shut the eff up!

    • Steven Topol

      Now who’s being confrontational Alexis ?!

  2. Steven Topol

    From Steven Topol
    Reply to Alexis’s latest missive at 4.48 pm Jun 18th

    My apologies, my spelling of Cllr Chappell’s name in an earlier posting was incorrect. So let me ask the question again: Why have Cllrs Chappell, Cllrs Naylor & Cllrs Salvoni ignored the views of over a thousand residents of Twickenham who petitioned the Council to oppose the reduction in the number of Bus Stops in Twickenham ?

    There will be less Bus Stops in Twickenham as a result of their actions.
    The removal of Bus Stops will make shopping harder in our town centre, especially for young families and the elderly.

    We await Cllr Chappell’s & Cllr Naylor’s response. Perhaps someone could contact Cllr Salvoni in Cornwall & ask her to respond.

    On another note Alexis, why did you include Doug Orchard in the list of independent candidates, when you knew very well that he stood on the UKIP ticket ?

    • michelangelo

      Mr Topol, you are skating on very thin ice here. Remember peoples’ views on the Pool site development.

    • Guess who

      And let us not forget the skating rink fiasco under the LIb-dems

    • Alexis

      For ease of unnderstanding, I repeat two of Steve Topol’s para’s as follows:

      “My apologies, my spelling of Cllr Chappell’s name in an earlier posting was incorrect. So let me ask the question again: Why have Cllrs Chappell, Cllrs Naylor & Cllrs Salvoni ignored the views of over a thousand residents of Twickenham who petitioned the Council to oppose the reduction in the number of Bus Stops in Twickenham ?”

      I repeat, one misspelling could have been a mistake but two was deliberately rude. Never try to demean your competition with tacky tactics – customers and voters spot it and hate it.
      As to the the bus stop petition – don’t give me a hard time, I haven’t a clue. Why not ask the Councillors or the Council?

      “On another note Alexis, why did you include Doug Orchard in the list of independent candidates, when you knew very well that he stood on the UKIP ticket”?

      What an extraordinarily assumptive statement to make – I warned residents of Twickenham Riverside of Topol’s confrontational reputation, which he hotly denied, so I’m rather pleased that he’s repeatedly showing it on this forum. As the saying goes; forewarned is forearmed. To set the record straight, I hadn’t got a clue about Doug Orchard’s political affiliation other than the fact that he used to be a Tory and then stood unsuccessfully as an Independent in my ward of South Twickenham in 2006. I don’t even know the man! Does Topol know more about me than I do? It would seem so which is quite scary.

      A simple apology will suffice – Steve.


    • Steven Topol

      From Steve Topol
      Replying to Alexis’s latest missile !

      I’ve commented previously on the spelling of Cllr Chappell’s name. I have apologised for not researching the exact spelling of her name before posting. As someone with a surname such as mine, Topol, which is frequently spelt incorrectly, I know that this can be annoying. However, what is wasn’t Alexis was a tacky tactic on my part. I’ll debate the issues, such as public transport, & leave tacky tactics to others.

      With regards to the Bus Stop Petition, we were debating why the Conservative Councillors have ignored a petition by over 1000 residents. Of course, as you say Alexis, you don’t know the answer to the question. What was interesting was that you leapt to Cllr Naylor’s defence, accusing me of ‘kicking a man when he’s down.’ If debating public transport in Twickenham means that I will be labelled ‘confrontational’ by Alexis, then c’est la vie !

      With regards to Doug Orchard: Alexis stated correctly that he resigned from the Conservatives. If she knew he stood as an independent in South Twickenham in 2006, it beggars belief that she didn’t know that he was the UKIP candidate in Twickenham. for the General Election in 2005.

  3. Anonymous

    would like to know who is paying for all this is it the tax payer? time for trag to move out of twicks

  4. To the person who appears to have voted 61 times. When someone is doing market research in the street, do you walk round the block so you can pass them 61 times just so you can be sure you’ve made your point absolutely clear? If not, why not?

  5. Max

    Please!!!.TRAG just don’t know when to stop. Their personal agenda is costing the town!!!!!!

  6. Heatfield til i die

    were residents bloody minded enough they could drag the building of this station out for years. Complying with building regs and discharging of conditions can all be challenged after all. I am not sure this is the end of the end, more the end of the beginning

  7. Update: Unfortunately rather than get a snapshot representative of a broad spectrum of readers, there does appear to have been some multiple voting going on.Clearly there are people who think their opinion is (up to six times) more important than other people’s. The poll criteria have now been adjusted to try to prevent multiple votes. That’s democracy inaction.

  8. Anonymous

    Not scientific certainly but the bias is almost certainly towards those supporting TRAG. The results so far ( 60% No ) suggest that the fairly silent majority who want a new station with as little fuss as possible are getting a bit sick of this protracted legal battle.

    The station plan is not perfect, and yes the RFU should be paying more and yes the plan for rugby days should be much better… But this battle was regrettably lost at the planning stage – all TRAG is achieving now is making the process of the build itself more painful for everyone who lives here – they will have to cram more and more work into a shorter timescale meaning more track closures and night workings..

    get over it

  9. Riverside Resident

    I doubt very much whether Cllr Naylor would attract much support as an independent. He stood on a Conservative manifesto and has continued to support Lord True and the Conservative administration on every issue apart from the station redevelopment demonstrating his lack of influence and ability to speak up for residents. Remaining as a Conservative suggests he still supports them. Hot air. I want councillors can influence their leaders and get changes enacted. Together with absentee Sam Salvoni, Twickenham has been let down.

    • twickregenerate

      Whoever you are you with your various posting you are clearly pretty sour, you clearly don’t live here or you live in a bunker, I have a very long list of matters I have represented residents on, and yes winning the election was a pretty big step and stopping another monstrous River of Concrete. Creating community and a common purpose has been really fulfilling and I hope those whom I have managed to help regardless of their political sway or none will continue to benefit. Local politics can be grubby especially when reading foundless vitriolic vacuous claims like this with no foundation and hidden behind a nom de plume, come on share whom you are, we are all interested.

      So interesting to see the political attack dogs out in a frenzy tonight, sad really for the residents are simply switched off by blatant attacks like this.
      Cllr Scott Naylor

    • Gareth Roberts

      Of course it’s a point of view Scott, though self praise is rarely, if ever, any recommendation.

      The one point which I think you have difficulty defending is the claim that you’ve propped up the Conservative group on the council, offering them blind loyalty when, let’s be honest, they’ve shown you pretty little in return. And not only supported them but literally cheered while you did it.

      As it is I think there’s a genuine question to be asked as to why you didn’t resign in protest over the granting of planning permission for the station, or when the judicial review and appeal findings were pretty scathing over the handling of the whole process.

      And of course the question of the next 10 months. Will you continue to support the Tories or go UKIP or independent. You complain about attack dogs but residents are equally disenchanted by poodles!

    • Alexis

      On the surface, LibDem Councillor Gareth Roberts seems to make a reasonable point about the predicament in which Tory Councillor Scott Naylor finds himself. As an opposition councillor, I guess he is duty bound to home in on any weakness and Twickenham Riverside looks like a pretty easy target to make mischief. You only have to read Gareth’s tweets to see quite how often he has tried to goad Scott Naylor into an intemperate response – how often do you have to suggest that someone is about to defect to UKIP before we believe it is true, whether it is or it isn’t?

      As to resignation – why should he? He was elected and has stood up for the interests of his constituents – it will be interesting to see how Gareth Roberts handles it if his party is elected to power and he is faced with a similarly difficult issue of loyalty to his party or to those who elected him.
      Why doesn’t Cllr Naylor simply resign the Tory whip and serve out his time to the benefit of his community on issues other than the Twickenham Station redevelopment? Others, both LibDem and Tory have done so in the past. Cllr Roberts suggests that, “…residents are equally disenchanted by poodles!”. Could I suggest that they are equally disenchanted by Hyenas.
      PS: Our family dog back in the seventies was a black standard poodle – large, flighty and difficult but utterly loyal to us.

    • Gareth Roberts

      Ah! Yes, I should have qualified my comment by suggesting that Scott should have resigned from the Tory Party, rather than resign as a councillor altogether.

      However, it’s an interesting hypothesis which arises. Were Scott now so minded he could resign as a councillor, force a by-election and restand – much along the lines of the precedent set by Tory MP David Davies.

      This would have a couple of implications

      1) It would allow the station issue to be placed front and centre. At the moment I dare say the Tories are hoping that by May 2014 it will have lost some of its toxicity; while not forgotten it may not be headline news locally.

      2) As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the Tories are probably relying on the issue of cost to avoid calling a by-election to replace Cllr Salvoni. Were a by-election called in her ward it would be incredibly tricky for the Tories to maintain their current position so it could be a double election. Of course Scott may be perfectly content with Cllr Salvoni spending so much time in Cornwall but many residents aren’t.

    • Alexis

      There is no reply button to Mr Topol’s post, so here goes anyway as near as I can get it.
      I have to agree with Mr Topol – “no party that stops listening to people will be popular”
      In 2009, since the Council refused to consider holding a referendum about the highly controversial Twickenham Riverside sell-off, RUG did so, at their own expense. As a result, 1,785 Twickenham residents voted in opposition to the sell off – 93.5% of those who voted. What happened? They and RUG were rubbished by Lourie, the then LibDem leader of the Council who’s pet project this was. Topol also had his strongly worded say in support of the project in the letter pages of the R&TT. The construct of a question in a referendum is always controversial however this one was pretty straightforward. All the protests would probably have been ignored had the property developer not had financial problems. Fortunately Lourie made it an election issue which saved us from 4 more years of that autocratic regime.
      I’m sure that the voters of Twickenham Riverside would like to know whether or not Mr Topol’s views have changed on this highly controversial project? After all the 3 LibDem Councillors were voted out, so, it was hardly popular with the locals was it?
      As to yet more goading of Cllr Naylor. I always thought that kicking a man when he’s down is a bit infra dig.
      PS: It’s Chappell not Chapel.
      PPS: Jeremy Rodell writes an interesting post about candidate selection in the R&TT comments section today.

    • Steven Topol

      From Steve Topol

      In Reply to Alexis’s 2.38 pm June 18th posting:

      I raised the issue of the Conservative Council & Conservative Councillors – currently Chapple, Naylor & Salvoni, ignoring a petition of over 1000 residents, opposing the reduction of Bus Stops in Twickenham & the removal of Bus Stops from Twickenham Town Centre. As I expected, Alexis seeks to distract attention from this issue by seeking to debate issues from the 2010 local elections. Alexis is no independent !

      However, in the interests of debate, I’ll answer Alexis’s attempt to distract the debate from what the current Conservative Councillors are doing now. In return, let’s get some answers from the current Conservative Councillors for Riverside Ward on the damage they’re doing to Public Transport in Twickenham now, & why they’ve ignored a petition of over a thousand residents.

      Before the 2010 local elections, Liberal Democrats flagged up the following idea for Twickenham Riverside: A River Centre, A Riverside Cafe & a Riverside Park. These facilities were intended to be financed by an enabling development at the rear of the site. The aim of this was to make the public facilities self financiing, instead of adding to Council Tax bills. In common with any set of proposals from any party at any time, the proposals weren’t perfect. We’ve learnt from the past…..& that is how we’re going to improve what we offer in future. Watch this space.

      Now, back to the present. why have the 3 current Conservative Cllrs, Councillor Silent, Councillor Rebellious & Cllr Moved, ignored the wishes of over 1000 residents on Public Transport in Twickenham ?

    • Alexis

      See below.
      Mr Topol,
      It’s Chappell not Chapple or Chapel – once could be a mistake, twice is simply rude and reflects badly on you.
      As to the rest? – others who have a vote can make their own judgement.

    • twickregenerate

      Blind loyalty Gareth?

      As usual your own sense of the ridiculous excesses ad ever, and your arguments self defeat even in the same sentence. I think this story shows how ironic your distorted logic really is. You really are desperate to try to make some traction here, your efforts are wasted, surely Henry VIII an keep you engaged in your own Ward to at least show that you are a Councillor who for Hampton not Twickenham Riverside, and you were a cheerleader for ex Lib Dems Leader Cllr Serge Lourie, who lost not only the Lib Dems power but lost his own seat, and I am very happy to have been part of that campaign to ensure people like you who blindly supported the River of Concrete were put in your place as a party.. No party that stops listening is going to be popular is it?

    • Gareth Roberts

      Good heavens. Vintage ‘Fails’. I must say I’m at something of a loss as to where Henry VIII comes into the whole argument. As for getting on with ward issues, well some of us go about our ward business quietly and efficiently without resorting to self aggrandising, grandstanding statements suggesting that, single handedly one has been ‘Creating Community and a sense of common purpose’.

      However, be that as it may, for all the bluster and pomposity the questions were rather obviously dodged – perhaps they bear repeating rather more blatantly

      1) Why did you continue to support the Tory group even when they were pushing ahead with a development which you vehemently disagreed?

      2) Will you continue to offer that support now that they’ve hung you out to dry very publicly?

      3) Do you think it right that Cllr Salvoni spends the bulk of her time in Cornwall, thus denying democratic representation to Riverside residents? If you think it wrong, why have you yet to make any public comment on the situation?

    • Ex Twickenham Resident

      Henry VIII’s Ward would be Hampton Court and thus out of Richmond Borough no?

    • Steven Topol

      From Steve Topol
      Correct….no party that stops listening to people will be popular. Recently, over a thousand Twickenham residents signed a petition, calling on the Council not to remove the Bus Stops from King St. The residents were ignored by this Conservative Council, & by Conservative Councillors Chapel, Naylor & Salvoni. Conservative Council’s only listen to residents when it suits these Councilors to do so. The Conservative Council are cutting the number of Bus Stops in central Twickenham. That will have a negative effect on the Twickenham Town Centre. Does Cllr Naylor support what the Conservative Council are doing here ?

    • Gareth Roberts

      Hampton Court Palace? Well yes that does fall within my patch but unless Scott thinks I have a TARDIS stationed in the garden then I’d be hard pressed to go and sort His Majesty’s problems with ye olde streete lightinge

    • Ex Twickenham Resident

      Oh…live and learn and all that. I had not realised Hampton Court was included in Hampton Ward and consequently in ‘El Brute’s’ jurisdiction.
      Just out of interest Gareth were you asked to speak out about the development opposite the Palace?

  10. twickregenerate

    Russell, I wonder why you are polling when you are pushing answer one way from your personal Twitter account @russalex, slight conflict of editors story isn’t it, surely you should say what you are broadcasting there on here in the name of fairness and transparency? Just saying…

    • Thanks for following my personal Twitter account. I’ve now reached 50 followers! Assuming only a few of them are remotely interested in what I have to say personally then I doubt a response to the question is likely to have a huge amount of influence. I hope not. It was a personal vote on a question posed to all. And the question was posted (& answered) on Twitter before the idea of a running poll on this site. In fact using a personal account to respond to a twickerati question was designed to have a say without putting the @twickerati ‘stamp’ on it. (i.e. not to broadcast an opinion to over 4,400 followers). Worth noting too that the wording on the poll on here does not express a strong view either way.

      But one of the benefits of running a website and having 2 Twitter accounts is the ability to answer one’s own questions… and not having to comply with other people’s interpretations of what the editorial guidelines should be.

    • twickregenerate

      Quite Russell, feel free to be a community blog, you have quite a following but let’s keep it on the level not made up and adjusted as you go along!

    • twickregenerate

      I wonder who put all of these thumbs down to a note about editorial integrity, looks like a bun fight going on or is it the mad hatters tea party with everyone trying to outdo the very coarse ‘voting’ on here of various kinds?!

    • Gareth Roberts

      Or perhaps, and I think this is by far the more likely scenario, there is greater support for the writer of a non-partisan, well written blog than there is for politicos like you and me.

  11. Purple Haze

    I see that Councilor Scott Naylor has not been chosen by the Twickenham Conservatives to stand for next year’s election.
    It’s not surprising, as this is no doubt down to the fact he openly opposed the Tory’s approval of the railway station development and supported TRAG and local residents over this issue.
    Hopefully he might consider standing as an in independent as I am sure he would attract some significant local support.

    • UKIP is perhaps a more likely scenario.

    • Riverside Resident

      The Tories locally must be extraordinarily dim, tolerant or, more likely, running scared of the opposition. If Cllr Naylor was a member of any other political party he would have been expelled by now. Anyone following his Twitter feed will be aware that he actively promotes the interests of another political party namely UKIP and is hell bent on undermining the interests of the Conservative party in Twickenham. So an errant and an absent councillor.

    • Gareth Roberts

      They positively sprint scared, let alone run. You may recall the chap who was councillor for North Richmond who took a new job in the Caribbean – they wouldn’t allow him to resign his seat until they could justify timing the by-election to coincide with the Mayoral election. Upshot being that they could piggy back on votes for Boris.

      Now we have Sam Salvoni in a very similar situation, shoving tenners worth of allowances into her back pocket in return for spending lots of time in Cornwall. Her party bosses look on in approval “Coun Samuel said: “She’s probably spending more time in Cornwall than when she was first elected, but there’s no difference other than that.

      “It’s not a question of calling in a by-election. Her position from when she started is, as far as I’m concerned, unchanged.”

      Strange. I dont recall seeing “i shall be spending a load of time in Cornwall” on any election material. Surely this would influenced voters.