Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Isleworth councillor meets US anti-graffiti campaigner

What a splendid initiative by Isleworth councillor Ed Mayne (left), taking advantage of a private visit to New York to meet up with a well-known US anti-graffiti campaigner to pick up some advice on fighting crime at no cost at all to the Hounslow taxpayer.

Councillor Mayne, who is Lead Member for Community Safety (a post I held between 2006 and 2009), met with Council Member Peter F. Vallone Junior (!) during his trip to the States and was also able to discuss issues surrounding possession of firearms and relationship between civic leaders and police.

Speaking to the Hounslow Chronicle (click here for full story), Cllr. Mayne commented: "It was enlightening to meet such a high profile councillor who was happy to engage and share ideas. Councillor Vallone has been a major part of New York's drive for public safety and decreased levels of crime. It was exciting to have him agree with many of the ideas I was proposing and share some of the ways he has made his city significantly safer for residents".

Let's hope that some of the lessons learned by Cllr. Mayne during his visit can be put to good use for the benefit of Hounslow residents.

Photograph reproduced with acknowledgements to the Hounslow Chronicle.


Anonymous said...

Right, now, help me to keep up now cos I'm sure it must be me but are we in the Labour party now and if not have I missed the reasonn why we'ce suddenly startyed plugging them after all the crap we've had to and still have to put up with from that bunch?

Phil Andrews said...

Not at all. But what value can be placed upon our criticism if we are unprepared to give credit when credit is due?

Councillor Mayne has taken advantage of a private holiday to do something positive from which Hounslow could benefit. I believe that is worthy of acknowledgement.

The other thing one needs to say about Councillor Mayne is that, thus far at least, his attitude has generally been a positive one.

Yes it is true that he has made one or two comments at Area Committee and in the local press about the ICG as part of the previous administration which have bordered on the childish. But at the same time I watched him closely at the recent meeting of the Mogden Residents' Liaison Committee and his body language towards MRAG and the residents in general was positive, and suggested to me a genuine desire to engage.

Compare this with the comments on the TW8 forum by Robin Taylor, who lives outside the borough but seems to be pretty much running Labour's operation in Isleworth, when in almost his first pronouncement following the election he "advised" his charges not to work with MRAG unless the new councillors could exercise some kind of control over which residents could be involved with the group and which couldn't. Election victory one day, straight back to the 1990s the next.

I am not so naive as to think that Councillor Mayne is going to single handedly transform the local Labour Party into a modern, community-friendly organisation nor do I believe that he would probably even want to. Nevertheless I think that as a community group we should be big enough to offer praise when they do do something positive.

I have publicly noted the efforts of Mr. Taylor and, probably even more so, of former councillor Vanessa Smith in trying to provoke us into an adversarial position, presumably because they fear they personally would lose relevance in the event of a more constructive relationship.

That doesn't mean that we in the ICG have to oblige them by playing to their agenda.

Anonymous said...

Phil I understand you are well intentioned but this isnt going to impress anyone. Labour are on a high and believe they have been given a mandate to do whatever they like in Isleworth and it is only a matter of time before they feel confident enough to turn on the residents groups, it was even hinted as much on the Brentford forum to which you refer to. They were single minded and werent prepared to meet you half way when you were in office so they are hardly going to change now they are power. The only way to deal with these people is to utterly defeat them in 2014 as you will with no generakl election on the same day, then do what you werent able to do in coalition and introduce some statutory bye-laws to give some protection to the residents groups. In the meantime all we can do is offer solidarity to them to resiust any attack, hopefully we can slow the process dolwn and use delaying tactics till 2014.

Phil Andrews said...

I can't believe you seriously think my objective is to impress the Labour Party in Isleworth. If it is I'm clearly not very good at it, am I?

On the balance of probabilities your analysis of the situation is most likely correct, but I remain of the view that in all likelihood there are elements within the Labour Party locally who are where they are for the best reasons, and who don't necessarily share the totalitarian objectives of the main players.

If it can be demonstrated to these people that our quarrel with their party is not based on ideology but rather on a fundamental difference of opinion as to the rights of communities to organise themselves (something their own leaders are unlikely to have pointed out to them) then there is a chance that at least some of them will start to question why their party devotes so much of its time to trying to fight us.

Anonymous said...

"a chance that at least some of them will start to question why their party devotes so much of its time to trying to fight us."

The answer to the question is that they are terrified of the ICG and the power it commands

Phil Andrews said...

Absolutely spot on, but the essential point is this -

Any power we have we use to give a voice to our residents.

That is our raison d'etre and the sole purpose to which our power is applied.

We have stressed unambiguously our preference for exercising that power outside of party politics.

So bearing that all in mind, what exactly does that say about the agenda of those who still oppose us?

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous @ 13.10.10 21.08

They must be terrified of something if all the Labour can do in power is attack their defeated opponent. It looks very undignified.

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh at one of the more stupid members of the ICG who tried to imply that this was a taxpayer funded jolly on a local website.

Phil Andrews said...

From what I could see he asked a genuine, straightforward question.

Possibly he was getting Councillor Mayne's visit to the States confused with the global town-twinning jaunts of old?

Sprat/Mackerel ? said...

Big Ed in the Big Apple, scouting for new ideas
Our safety czar on the job, hoping to learn from his peers
A new approach ? A different tack ? Unknown tricks of the trade ?
The New York way in TW3, bro' we've got it made
Cops with guns, truncheons too and not afraid to use 'em
Strong arm stuff, non-pc, hit 'em hard and bruise 'em
It's worked for them, why not us, it's got to be worth a try ?
Zero tolerance, nowhere to hide, bad guys left high & dry
But we're so unalike, chalk & cheese, would we really stand for that here ?
OUR villains have 'rights' and smart lawyers too, they offend without any fear
Rogues and rascals wherever we look, sizing us up and taking their pick
Our boys in blue nowhere in sight, all tied up at the local nick
Enough's enough, it's got to stop, our streets have never been meaner
Dirty Harry or PC Plod, who will be our redeemer ?