Monday, 10 August 2009

Working together on Worton

This afternoon I spent a very productive hour or two on a walkabout on Isleworth's Worton estate in the company of two new but very keen officers from Hounslow Homes, Residents of Worton Estate (ROWE) Chair George Langridge, the indefatigable young peoples' champion Kim Dobson, and fellow ward councillors Paul Fisher and Dr. Genevieve Hibbs.

One of the issues we were keen to resolve was the apparent lack of communication that persists between Community Payback and Hounslow Homes, which has resulted in young people gathering up waste and dumped material from the alleyways and storing it into piles, only for it to be redistributed about the place again when it goes uncollected. It isn't actually as straightforward as it sounds - Hounslow Homes not unreasonably require notice whilst the nature of Payback's activity can vary at short notice according to weather and other conditions. With goodwill and determination we will get there.

The alleyways behind the houses have long been a bone of contention. Flytippers routinely use them as a venue for dumping their wares. Gating them off and issuing keys to neighbouring residents does not seem to stop them - at least one household would appear to be making its key available to the tippers. Closure could be an option but residents who have bought their homes also purchased the right of access from the rear and for us to remove that could lead to a compensation claim.

Some highways matters were also discussed at some length, with problems still following on from the introduction a few years back of the one-way system.

On my way around I picked up two items of casework from residents - one of them, by a curious coincidence, by telephone from somebody on that very estate.

The ROWE Community Centre itself is starting to look good. The toilets, which had been in such a state of disrepair that the Association has had to turn down potentially lucrative hall bookings, had now been brought up to spec thanks to some grant funding from the Isleworth & Brentford Area Committee (IBAC). More money is expected from the Rainbow Project to renovate the building still further.

It is in everybody's interests for residents, councillors and officers to pool their thoughts and ideas and to work together to improve the living environment on our estates. Things seem to be really looking up in places.

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