Question Time for Twickenham

“The gentleman at the back with the flowery shirt and the moustache. No, not you Sir, the person to your left. Ah, I see, my sincerest apologies Madam!”

The seat of El Brute power

The seat of El Brute power

Have you ever wanted to have Sir David of Dimbleby fix you with his steely gaze as you direct your incisive, finely honed question to the Question Time panel with the primary aim of securing an ego-boosting round of applause from your fellow audience members? You have? Great! Well, now you’ll get the chance to do that right here in Twickenham. Sort of. In our case it’s going to be Council Leader Lord True and some ‘senior cabinet colleagues’ who’ll be the stars of the show in El Brute’s “all things Twickenham” Question Time event on 17th September.

With some of the regeneration work now underway as part of the TWAP (aka the Twickenham Area Action Plan) and a bunch of other local issues generating strong feelings – both for and against – it could make for a lively evening. And if that’s not enough for you, on the following day the Blue Baron himself will be taking to Twitter to answer questions fired at him using the hashtag #twickenhamrediscovered. 

It’s all about connecting with the community. A kind of panel-based Q&A and followed by a virtual group hug, if you will. Of course on the real Question Time, Chairman Dimbly Dave makes the point about the questions not being known to the panel before the show but in Twickenham’s case residents are asked to submit their questions in advance. We’re told this is “to ensure that the event isn’t dominated by only one or two topics”. By that we assume this means that El Brute doesn’t want the Twickenham station approval to hijack the agenda. Any resident whose question get prior approval will then get the chance to put it to the panel at the event. There will also be the opportunity for others to chip in at that point.

With the panel composed of members of the same political party, we’re expecting to see a lot more unity in the responses than on ‘official’ television version but the event will at least put a selection of our elected Council representatives in front of a live audience and so it could prove to be an interesting experiment.

So, is this a good thing? Are we seeing a Council reach out to local residents and businesses in new ways? Or is it a PR gimmick designed to soothe this turbulent town? Will you be taking part? Why not add your thoughts below or, better still, give us the questions that you’d like to put to the Council right now. Don’t worry, nobody in authority reads this so no one will know what you’re really thinking (apart from the nice folks at GCHQ and the NSA of course).

* Q&A Event – Tue 17th Sept, 7.00-9.00pm, Clarendon Hall, Twickenham.
* Twitter Q&A – Wed 18th Sept, 6.00-7.00pm on Twitter with @lbrut using the hashtag #twickenhamrediscovered

* El Brute link


Filed under Council, Local Issues & News, Twickenham Action Plan

2 responses to “Question Time for Twickenham

  1. Alexis

    I didn’t attend this meeting, so had a look at the transcripted questions both pre-submitted and asked on the night. Most were pretty reasonable and related to issues which concerned residents, however one was not. It was yet another bit of petty party politicking by Cllr Gareth Roberts, Opposition Spokesperson for Education. Did he ask anything about Education? I couldn’t see anything even though a lack of school places is clearly a problem although perhaps not in his ward of Hampton. Instead he asked a question about a Twickenham Riverside councillor who now lives in Cornwall for most of the time and is not standing for re-election!

    This is the abbreviated question he asked and Lord True’s abbreviated response:
    GR. ‘We touched upon representative democracy. Does it serve the democratic needs of the residents of Twickenham riverside to have one of their councillors living for the majority of the time in Cornwall and receiving the majority of their allowance.’
    NT. We should have these debates in council. That councillor has fulfilled fully her requirements. It is unfortunate in a cordial meeting like this that you have chosen to attack someone who is not present.

    It’s well worth listening to both question, answer and interjections in full which are available on the LBRUT website. Unless you want to hear the whole 2 hours, the question is at c 1.49.00 on the counter.

    I am quite concerned that, if the LibDems are successful at the 2014 election, Cllr Gareth Roberts could be responsible for our childrens education. If so I am surprised that he spends so much time sniping at the current Council, absentee councillors and defectors to UKIP – what’s that got to do with his Education brief? Absolutely nothing, it’s all about self-promotion within the LibDem ranks, so, hopefully, he will get a shoe-in to the GLA like his boss or even a seat in Montgomery which he might have to work for unlike Hampton (2nd safest LibDem ward in the borough)! Amusingly he seems to have irked UKIP Councillor Richard Lee of Nantwich and Crewe on Twitter who he accuses of being obsessed with him! It’s well worth keeping an eye on these somewhat self-absorbed people who may get the opportunity to impact our lives. I do hope not.

  2. Alan Winter

    Hello everyone. My apologies for the recent silence regarding the Market project. Truth is that since finishing the business plan and discussing the project with the council’s business and retail champion back in June nothing has happened. At that meeting I was told the project might sit nicely in the BID department (Business Improvement District). BID currently has no teeth and is not really even up and running I believe. Anyway guess what ! – My question regarding why the market project has not been eagerly grabbed and moved forward by the council has been accepted for Lord True’s Q and A public Forum in the Clarendon Hall, York House on Tuesday evening 17th September..
    I’ll be asking why the Twickenham Community Market has been parked internally rather than having some positive action,cracking on, opening the market within 3 months or so and adding significantly to the townscape at no real cost to the council or the electorate. The plan is that the market is for the people by the people and is designed to be non profit making but will pay for itself. I’ll elaborate in the “Your News” section of this website where I can explain the project and the huge support received for it.
    Thanks folks
    Alan Winter