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Ealing and Northfield

Sharma tweets again

Over the last couple of days there have been a couple of pieces in the newspapers about the influence of modern communications technology on the forthcoming elections. See here and here.

One thing we can be sure of is that a number of candidates are going to make fools of themselves with blogs and Twitter. No doubt some will say that I have made some mistakes with this blog. No doubt. But, unless you want to simply regurgitate the party line you will sometimes make mistakes.

Congratulations to local MP Virendra Sharma for trying to reach people with Twitter. You can see his efforts here.

The other sure thing about this election is that anyone telling porkies is going to get quickly demolished by bloggers and the other fact checkers out there. As a local councillor (who is unembarrassed to pick up his allowance in spite of his lack of attendance) Sharma should know that road re-surfacing is not a good line of attack. You can see the comparative records of Labour and Tory administrations illustrated in the chart below.

The list of roads to be resurfaced next year that we signed off at our last Cabinet meeting, see here, included twenty roads in Southall.

These will cost something like £1 million. Ooops. The horrid Tories are spending as much in Southall alone as Labour spent across the whole borough in a year. Sorry Cllr Sharma but you are a wally.

10 replies on “Sharma tweets again”

I can’t believe he can be that stupid to use this line of attack – especially the re-surfacing issue. I have never seen so much infrastructure improvements to pavements and roads – throughout the borough. The work the council has undertaken is real and visible after years of neglect under Labour, and after cumulative 50% rises in council tax over a few years. He must think his electorate is blind, and has a short memory. All that Labour can do is throw huge amounts of money at problems with little incremental benefit to the taxpayer (buying cushy offices, expensive call centres, etc.) and neglect the things that REALLY matter to residents.

Phil

Steve pound tried the exact same thing in Hanwell. He has complained that Hanwell is not doing as well as other parts of Ealing, even though we have invested the best part of £2m on Hanwell roads and footpaths, over this term which is the same amount as they spent on the tram in their last term.

He also tried to convince people that we would demolish the Hanwell community centre that the previous labour council tried to sell at auction to developers.

Instead we have invested over £3m with over £1.2m yet to be invested in there. The biggest ever investment by Ealing council into this part of Hanwell.

The Labour council candidates in Hobbayne have said that Labour will build 1,000 affordable homes. this leaflet came out in the same month that Cllr Greenhead objected to the 15 council houses that we want to build in the ward that she has represented for 12 years for labour

It’s a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. They really think the electorate is so stupid.

You and I saw a very good example of this at overview and scrutiny last week where the Labour group called in the skate park decision that cabinet had made. The labour leader after being asked twice if he was opposed to the locating the skate park in ‘elthorne park refused to state an opinion, probably because he saw Steve Pounds leaflet saying they would do something for teenagers. Then all the labour members on scrutiny voted against it.

What a farce that was

Am not complaining about the potholes, although I get tempted sometimes because of a nasty one which I have to traverse.

But do your contractors have a count of the potholes, and how far are they through the repair programme and when do they expect to finish the known ones?

I also query whether the road resurfacing programme contractor is working to the same materials specification as when the Tories started the exercise.

“Congratulations to local MP Virendra Sharma for trying to reach people with Twitter. You can see his efforts here”

Well I wish he was as keen to answer his emails.

Rather than send Mr Sharma a letter by post I sent it as a Word attachment by email to his email address. No answer was forthcoming, not even an acknowledgment. So I duly printed out the letter and sent it by post.

This time I did get a reply, by post. However he didn’t answer the question I asked in my letter, just said his views were a matter of public record. He presumably felt that I was wasting his time, and I certainly felt that I had wasted mine.

George,

Yes, the contractors do have a count – they are about half way through 8,000. On a typical day there are about 15 gangs on the job. They can only do the work when the temperature is consistently above 5C otherwise the material does not go off properly.

I wonder where that £2m investment in Hanwell’s roads and footpaths has actually gone. Hanwell’s dangerous and inconvenient as a pedestrian, horrible for cycling, and the road surface has been getting consistently worse for the past couple of years now.

The number of posts on the first four of Sharma’s website news pages, (there are 23 but I can’t be bothered to read them all), not quite but very frequently look inwards at Southall rather than at the whole constituency. His supporters never like it when I say this. But in my view this is about selectivity again, and just selectivity.

I certainly know of his lack of response syndrome.

Thanks Phil about the pothole numbers. What a headache. Do you think that it is possible to get the contractors to do the main through routes first and apart from very serious ones, then concentrate on the backroads please?

Erm, did you have nothing to say about materials?

George,

The main through routes are often TfL roads and I am not quite sure how we face off to TfL on these. I guess we can report problems to them but I guess they are responsible – transport and roads are not my area. Same with materials George. I am not a council spokesman and I am not an expert on roads. I don’t mind passing on what I know (for sure) but I don’t like to speculate about other people’s areas.

Double D

From memory, I will list the roads in Hobbayne ward that have been done and I will list the ones that I know have been done in Elthorne ward too

Milton road
Shakespeare road
Cowper road
Drayton bridge road
Greenford avenue
Mayfield Gardens
Bordars road,
Elfwine road
Bordars road
Brentmead close
Grove ave
Allingham close
Harp road footpath and Elfwine road footpath
Alwyne road
Park road

Elthorne Ward

Boston road
Campbell road
Connolly road
Myrtle Gardens

I’m sorry but I can’t remember the other roads in Elthorne as this is not my ward

I do have some sympathy with the points you have made, but I would point out that we have spent £25 million over a 4 year period compared to £4.5m spent by Labour over their last 4 year period.

They underinvested in the roads to such a degree that it will take us years to catch up.

George,

I agree with your point about Sharma and his website being mostly focussed on Southall. However I doubt whether Gurcharan Singh would be any more concerned with Northfield ward. The problem really lies with the Electoral boundaries. Northfield should really be part of Ealing Central and Acton and Southall should be a constituency in its own right. Unfortunately, the boundaries are unlikely to change for the foreseeable future, so we just have to put up with it.

Incidentally, Phil, do you know whether the Ealing Southall Conservative website (http://www.ealingsouthallconservatives.org.uk/) will be re-activated prior to the election?

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