Your Twickenham 2014 Predictions

twickenham-riverside-2Happy 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!

16 Comments

Filed under Local Issues & News, Random Stuff, Twickenham Action Plan

16 responses to “Your Twickenham 2014 Predictions

  1. The outcome of the May elections will depend on the split wards: Kew, 1L 2C; St Margaret’s 2L 1C; Whitton 2L 1C; Heathfield 2L 1C; Hampton North 2L 1C; and my own ward, Twickenham Riverside, 2C 1 UKIP. The Lib Dems need to gain 3 for a tie (Tories hang on on the mayor’s casting vote), 4 for control. The lesser parties (Labour, Green, UKIP, BNP and CPA) and independents/nutters will all do well but win no seats.

    As in 2010 the final outcome will be decided mid-day on the Friday after several recounts and much haggling over split and spoiled ballot papers. 50/50 would be reasonable odds.

    • boanerges

      Will be interesting to see how this prediction works out.
      What I see as a serious problem is the low turnout. 40-50% is an insult to democracy, and – ladies, pay attention here – especially to the suffragette movement, whose members only 100 years ago suffered greatly in their cause. I meet people who say “Oh I can’t be bothered”, that I find an extraordinary attitude, as whatever they think,there will be a government/council that spends their money and tells them what to do (or what not to do!). Australia is a good democracy, and they have compulsory voting, that seems to work. An idea for here??

    • nemesis

      I think it is more to do with anger than apathy:
      http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/dec/26/fury-mps-not-voting-poll
      certainly at a national level if not a local level.
      Democracy may be the best system but it has built in destruct button.
      ‘A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.
      Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.’
      Taken from here; http://www.lorencollins.net/tytler.html

    • boanerges

      These words merely express a theory. To show that the theory is right requires evidence, and I see nothing to prove that eg “a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy”.
      Whether he’s right or not, the fact remains that people refusing to vote are saying in effect that they don’t care how, and how much of, their money is spent by others.

    • michelangelo

      Sad that nemesis gave such a negative answer. I was hoping for some ideas as to how electors might be persuaded to vote.
      On a lighter note, I believe someone once said that the ideal form of government was “a benign dictator, with an option for assassination”.

    • nemesis

      Sorry to disappoint.
      It is my observation that as the State grows ever larger – that the people want ever less to do with it.
      It is certainly the perception that policy is no longer dreamed up by the parties, but by Civil Servant bureaucrats, EU parasites, Corporate
      Bigwigs, pressure groups/qangos/NGOs and hidden in plain sight
      – UN Global Government ambitions.
      We mere mortals are an inconvenience to them that they have to pander to every few years with their spin and lies. Increasing regimentation of human life, trapping individuals in bureaucratic, rule-based rational control. Do you really think that voting for an irrelevent set of playboys indulging their love of tv appearances is going to change this?
      BTW I like michelangeo’s benign dictator quote.

    • nemesis

      Just to illustrate my point further before being accused of wearing a tin
      foil hat;
      Decisions are made at an international level by groups such as: WTO, FAO, IPPC,OIE,NPPO,IMO, ICAO and thousands of others. Try googling them or look here for a more detailed look; http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=83518
      It is here that ‘diqules’ or soft law is made which is then enshrined into hard law by the participating countries. Norway for instance has its own seat at the table where as the UK’s place is subsumed by the E.U. So much for Dave’s claim of Norway’s ‘fax democracy’.
      Take a look at the deeply unpopular and expensive HS2 programe for example, which has its roots in UNECE, then through EU’s TEN (Trans European Network) programme.
      http://www.unece.org/trans/main/ter/ter.html

      So do you still think that Joe Bloggs, the plumber down the road, sticking a cross on some ballot paper every 5years is going to make the slightest difference to these decisions?

      Angry yet?

    • michelangelo

      Nemesis is writing about the national (UK government) level and international level (EU etc). However, local government decisions probably have more to do with voters’ day to day life than these, thus there should be a higher turnout. “People power” can have a direct effect on local issues.
      But to vote, one has to be on the Electoral Register. In fact, it is a legal requirement to sign on, punishable by quite a stiff fine. However, many people are not on the Register. A few years ago, I asked, via FoI, the Returning Officer in this Borough (aka The Chief Executive, Gillian Norton), how many prosecutions there had been for failing to register: answer “nil”. I think this is disgraceful; for the Census (where there is also a legal requirement to participate), people are employed to go round chivvying up the defaulters. Why not do this for the Electoral Register, too?

    • nemesis

      You do have a point. I was responding to Boanerges post on democracy in general.
      However, despite Pickle’s outpourings on giving Local Authorities more autonomy (which I think is a move in the right direction – especially regarding retention of business rates) https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/giving-local-authorities-more-control-over-how-they-spend-public-money-in-their-area–2
      you may be surprised to find that according to LGA – 50% of legislation implemented locally comes direct from the EU !!
      http://www.local.gov.uk/eu-policy-and-lobbying

  2. anonymouse

    The May elections should be interesting. The LibDems and Cons(ultations) have already changed their candidate line ups (following minor indiscretions) and the purple Tory discard only seems interested in anti-Europe politics.

    On that note here’s a Twitter quote:
    “@NigellaFarage: When UKIP come canvassing at your door, do your lips start tingling? Does your face swell up? Do you feel sick? You’ve got a nut allergy”

  3. Thanks for the valuable updates. Much appreciated. Happy New Year to you all.

  4. Pat Pending

    It will certainly be interesting to see how ex-Tory Scott Naylor fares if he stands for UKIP in Riverside ward. Regardless of that, I reckon the Council will stay in Tory control come May.

  5. Twicktor Meldrew

    A half-built station will probably be the lasting memory for us commuters. If it begins that is! Lots of bluster about a new runway could be on the agenda for 2014 too.

  6. Garp

    Come on Solum / Network rail – the station redevelopment is a big project and we still know nothing of the timetable and impact on station users!

  7. michelangelo

    “Predicitons” are similar to emoticons? 🙂