Happy New Year to you. We hope that you’ll not be starting the year as you intend to continue. After all, who wants to spend the whole of 2014 skint, bloated through over indulgence in food and drink, and with a question nagging at the back of their mind that somehow things aren’t quite what they used to be? Not us that’s for sure. Onwards and upwards.
So what does 2014 hold for this fair town of ours? What do the fates have in store for Twickenham in the year ahead? Building work commencing at the station and the so-called ‘brewery wharf’ on the former Royal Mail sorting office site could well provide the soundtrack to the year. And don’t forget that the work on the Embankment needs to be finished, there’s the whole pavement / bus stop moving work to look forward to and maybe some tentative steps towards better cycle lanes in the town centre. We also predict a Solum press release explaining why only a small part of the building work at the station can take place before the 2015 Rugby World Cup begins – cue endless finger pointing.
New schools? Yep. We can expect progress on the planned free schools most notably the big reveal on the location of Turing House secondary school, growing support for Richmond Bridge primary and don’t forget El Brute’s championing of a new secondary school cum Haymarket Media HQ at Richmond College on Egerton Road. Oh, and the existing local secondaries will open their own sixth forms in September.
So that all sounds like progress, doesn’t it?
No doubt we’ll also see a smattering of new cafes and restaurants opening, at least one of which will be closed within six months. One will even prove to be very popular. We reckon we’re fully loaded when it comes to charity shops and curry houses so we’ll take a punt on a couple of national chains opening in the town centre – one a ‘themed’ restaurant chain, the other a retail outfit.
However, perhaps the defining moment of the year could be the local elections on 22nd May. It’s your chance to have a say on who represents you on Richmond Council. Of course, El Brute will always be El Brute regardless of the colour of the rosettes worn by our esteemed councillors but the election could see some changes of personnel inside the hallowed walls of the York House Council Chamber. Will the Lib Dems take the power back, with the Yellow Knight wresting control from the Blue Baron? Will Twickenham return a UKIP councillor for the first time? Perhaps we’ll even see a “no overall control” situation.
And what would a change of control do for the Twickenham Action Plan? It’s very much the brainchild of the current administration (although everyone wants a better Twickenham etc, etc) so how will it survive a a switch from blue to yellow? Will we be back to endless discussions about river centres once more?
Forget the benefit of hindsight, why not share your 2014 Twickenham predictions right here, right now? What could possibly go wrong?
Have a great 2014 all!