Tag Archives: richmond

True Time is Over at El Brute

The 4th of July marks the final day of the Blue Baron bossing the show at El Brute.  Conservative Council Leader Nick True, aka The Blue Baron aka The Duke of York (House), is stepping down from the role after 7 years in the hot seat. True will also bring to a close his position as Councillor for East Sheen by not standing in next year’s local elections.  He is being replaced as leader by Councillor Paul Hodgins who has yet to be assigned an appropriate twickerati nickname.  Hodgins is Councillor for Barnes and has been gracing the corridors of York house since 2006 where he has most recently been Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools. We’re not privy to the workings of the Council or the local Conservative Party but we might have expected a more high profile name such as Pamela Fleming to get the gig but that’s not the case. Is it a case of going from Lord True to Mr Who?

True’s legacy will be the subject of debate for years if not decades to come. OK, probably not but his quotes in assorted El brute press releases were always entertaining and irritating in equal measure.  He certainly did a lot of “slamming” and of course who could forget his withering request for “A period of silence from certain all too well ventilated local voices”.

He has been vocal in opposition to Heathrow expansion, has presided over the merger of the administrative and commissioning functions of Richmond and Wandsworth Councils and has led an authority which largely kept Council tax flat whilst making savings to its operational budgets and services. In Twickenham the early part of his Baronial Reign saw the redevelopment of the derelict swimming pool site to create the Diamond Jubilee Gardens.

He generated his fair share of controversy too. A campaign against LBRuT’s approval of Solum’s large scale development of Twickenham station was defeated in law.  He also championed the creation of a new Roman Catholic Secondary School with ‘voluntary aided’ status. That also went to legal fisticuffs in which the Baron triumphed again. But he didn’t get his way when it came to the Battle of the Gloriana. When True announced that the park at Orleans Riverside would become home to a large boat house for the former royal barge owned by fellow Lord, Lord Sterling, the locals weren’t impressed.  A very vocal campaign rallied against developing (and paying for) a new greenfield riverside home for the boat and eventually the plan was dropped. True’s dream of a “crystal palace for a fairy craft” (yes real words!) had turned to dust.

True’s Council took the positive step of aquiring the rest of the old pool site and nearby shops to improve Twickenham Riverside but now it will be left to Clls Hodgins and Fleming to carry the torch for Francis Terry’s retro-themed riverside scheme as the debate on the best use of the site rumbles on.

Twickerati van gets LBRuT branding and a special server

We hope that new Leader Paul Hodgins does what’s best for Twickenham, whatever that is and of course only you know that.  And we say, best of luck to Lord True in new ventures… although we’re not sure he’ll take up our suggestion of serving up ice creams from the van. Nice idea though eh?

 

UPDATE

Hodgins (or is that Paul “Whodgins?”) has already announced his own reshuffle of the El Brute Cabinet.  In ‘selected highlights’, David Marlow (South Twickenham) will become Deputy Leader while remaining as Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health.  Pamela Fleming (South Richmond) will also become Deputy Leader and continue as Cabinet Member for Environment, Business and Community. Stephen Speak (North Richmond) takes on the expanded role of Strategic Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance.  Children’s Services and Schools (Hodgins’ former brief) goes to Susan Chappell (Twickenham Riverside).  Two new roles have been introduced: Martin Seymour (Hampton North) takes on the new role of Cabinet Member for Planning and Strategic Development. He’s the lucky lad who will need to help Pamela Fleming sort out Twickenham Riverside, and Gareth Elliott (Whitton) will take up the new post of Cabinet Member for Digital and Technology. What a time to be alive eh?

 

And finally here’s something that is totally unlreated and was definitely not filmed at York House. It’s not a tribute or even a “Trubute”.  We find it amusing though, eh Ted?

 

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SPEAR Marks 30 Years with Charity Event

In the leafy suburbia of Twickenham and Richmond it’s sometimes easy to overlook the very real problem of homelessness that exists in our local area. Not so for SPEAR. The Twickenham based charity has a strong track record for its excellent work tackling homelessness across the borough and more widely across south west London.  This year SPEAR marks its 30th anniversary with what must surely be mixed emotions. It’s a great achievement to have played a key role in helping people in need for three decades but this must be balanced with concern that it still has a vital role to play in 2017. In fact, the demand for SPEAR’s services is increasing and SPEAR is needed as much today as 30 years ago when founded by Penny Wade.

The Penny Wade House hostel

To mark its 30 years, a special Anniversary event is taking place on the evening of Tuesday 11th July at Richmond Adult Education College  It  is not just a celebration of those SPEAR has supported from Homelessness to Independence, but also recognises the tremendous hurdles the charity and its supporters have faced in helping those most vulnerable over the last 30 years. The words of SPEAR’s founder Penny Wade are still relevant today: ‘No-one should die because they don’t have a home’.

Being based on Heath Road in the heart of Twickenham, SPEAR continues to be thankful for all the support given from the local community, to those most vulnerable.  One local client said:  “I’ve never looked back and never spent a night on the streets since – there is nothing like SPEAR in other boroughs and I feel lucky to know them – they give me what I need and more and I wouldn’t be here without them”.
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Pic of the Week

The River Thames was unruffled by the result of last Thursday’s referendum. It was good to see someone, or rather something, keeping calm early on Friday morning as the result became clear. 

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Richmond and Twickenham Say Remain While UK Brexits

ice-cream-van-twickenham-twickerati And in other news… After months of campaigning, claiming, counter-claiming and downright confusing-ing, the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union. In a tumultuous referendum, the country has decided to roll back over 40 years of Project Europe and try to re-assert its political independence. Nationally it was a close call, with 52% voting to leave and 48% to remain but here in London’s premier borough the result was more clear cut with 31% opting for out and 69% to stay in.  El Brute announced the Borough’s results in the early hours of the morning but even before then the direction of travel was clear.

Local MP Tania Mathias described herself as ‘Euro cautious’ but voted Remain. Meanwhile over the river Zac Goldsmith voted Leave. Uncertainty across the country and internationally about the impact of Brexit will also see yet another airing of questions of local importance such as a third runway at Heathrow. Is it more or less likely now? And what about the impact on jobs, inflation and house prices?

So, as you digest your Full English Brexfast this morning you can ponder on why Twickenham and Richmond bucked the national trend and whether, like Scotland, calls will grow for an independence referendum in the Borough to allow it to secure its very own membership of the EU.  After all, if Luxembourg can get a seat at the top table, why not Richmond? After all, they’re both duchies of a sort.

Oh, and here’s the LBRuT announcement.

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Pic of the Week: More Spring

A bit cold, wet and miz outside? Not yesterday it wasn’t. It was bloomin’ luvverly, especially early in the morning. In fact, the view from Richmond Hill looked a little bit like this…

Twickenham, as seen from the wrong side of the river

Twickenham, as seen from the wrong side of the river

Twickenham, you’re lookin’ good!

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The All New Twickenham General Election Spectacular…

polling station sign in lbrut
Our Election Result item will appear HERE.

PREVIOUSLY…
Deja vu all over again? You betcha! The previous thread got rather overloaded so we’ve re-launched our election item to allow for three more weeks of heated debate…

May 7th is looming and you’re asking yourself the very straightforward question, “What is the twickerati position on who to vote for in the election?”. It’s a great question. Let us make our position absolutely clear. We regard elections as the very bedrock of our democracy. In fact, over the last ten years we have seen year on year increases in the number of references to democracy across the internet. Furthermore, we’ve shown our support for the use of the internet and social media by opening accounts on Twitter and Facebook and regard good communication as vital for hard working British families. So let’s celebrate the creativity and diversity we have in our midst, right here in Twickenham. To the people at home we say, ‘We hope that clearly answers your question’. Next!

Oh dear. Here at twickerati HQ we’re not very good at politics because we find it so difficult to give a straight answer to a straight question. And that is why we asked five local candidates to write 500 words each setting out their stall for the 2015 election. We said we’d include a link to their website and their profile picture too. They agreed. This is what they have to say to you… Continue reading

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Richmond Literature Festival

RICHMOND LIT FEST logo (with dates_colour)Words. They didn’t come easy to singing Frenchman F.R. David in his boring yet surprisingly successful early 80s hit of that name but there are plenty of them coming up in the Borough over the weeks ahead. Why? It’s the return of the Richmond Literature Festival, that’s why. Here at twickerati HQ we thought that a quick preview of the event would work well and would work even better if we could get someone else to write it for us. Carla Bromhead from the London Borough upon Thames Arts Service has volunteered to be just that someone. These are her words…

“The Richmond Literature Festival will once again take place throughout November, bringing a range of exciting literary events to the borough. This year’s main programme features a range of literary figures and personalities covering a variety of subjects including history, music, art, politics and war. Highlights include the esteemed actor Sheila Hancock at the Orange Tree Theatre and British Museum curator, Irving Finkel discussing his discovery of an ancient Babylonian tablet which was the subject of a Channel 4 documentary recently.

As part of the festival, the Richmond Shakespeare Society (usually based at the Mary Wallace Theatre in Twickenham) will be celebrating the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth with a special performance titled Love’s Fool in the Octagon Room at Orleans House Gallery. Twickenham will also welcome Charles Beauclerk whom will be discussing his biography of the pianist John Ogdon.

Strawberry Hill House will be the atmospheric location for an evening delving into the English obsession with vampires in a talk with acclaimed writers Essie Fox and Lynn Shepherd. It will also be the venue for BBC Antiques Roadshow’s Marc Allum to tell the tales of his discoveries in the intriguing market of antiques. And at the end of the festival, when you’re starting to feel slightly Christmassy, Kneller Hall will host an evening with Andrew Gant, composer and former choirmaster at Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal, to dissect the stories behind our well known carols and kick start the Christmas season (mince pies included!)

The Literature Festival is also very proud to be working in partnership with St Mary’s University on a series of events held examining the art of writing.

Tell us which festival events you’re looking forward to or add your reviews in the comments below.”

LINKS:
* For more information on all the events in this year’s festival programme and to book tickets: visit www.richmondliterature.com or call 020 8831 6494

* Keep up to date with festival news and share your thoughts on Twitter @richmondlitfest

* ‘Words’ by FR David (Warning: contains tedious repetition)

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Cyclist Dies After Truck Collision

There has been more sad and sobering news concerning a London cyclist this week. On Monday morning a cyclist was involved in a collision with a refuse truck on the A316 at the junction of Kew Foot Road and St John’s Grove, near Richmond Athletic Ground. The cyclist was taken by air ambulance to hospital with serious head injuries but died the following day. He has now been named as Henry Lang, aged 40, from Twickenham. Mr Lang was a Technical Business Analyst at Photobox and had previously worked for the Metropolitan Police and KPMG.

The Richmond & Twickenham Times quotes Detective Sargeant John Hartfree, of the Met as saying: “The road would have been very busy at the time of the collision and I believe that a number of people would have seen the incident. I would urge anyone with information to contact us on the witness appeal number 020 8543 5157.”

Mr Lang is the second cyclist to die on London’s Roads this week, the eighth this year.  The police investigation is ongoing but the incident will certainly put local cycle safety back into the spotlight. Our condolences to Mr Lang’s family & friends.

LINK:

* Richmond & Twickenham Times
* BBC London

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Pix of the Week: Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park

“Steady on there! What’s with all this Richmond Park nonsense?” is what you may well be muttering to yourself on seeing this headline. Well, d’you know what, you do actually have a fair point. The pages of twickerati aren’t generally littered with items from ‘over the water’, it’s just not the done thing. This is a Twickenham blog for Twickenham people, but in this case we’ve made an exception. We all love a bit of Richmond Park even if it’s only to admire the view of Twickenham squatting majestically between the river and the A316. The exception we’re making here is to advise you to visit the Isabella Plantation at some point in the next couple of weeks. Just wait for a sunny day and go early or go late but make sure you avoid the crowds.

There’s stuff like this…

Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park
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