Tuesday, 13 January 2015

We Got There, in a Roundabout Way

Mogden - no flowery notes to its bouquet
I am not the most observant of people, so for all I know the advertising for a scaffolding firm which features on the now so flowery Mogden Lane roundabout at the entrance to Tesco may have been there for some time. But this weekend was the first I saw of it.

The current political leadership at the London Borough of Hounslow, who presumably authorised it, may or may not have been aware that the general idea of seeking private sponsorship of our roundabouts was originally mooted by the late Chiswick Conservative councillor Dr. Robert Kinghorn, at the initial "brainstorming" session of the then new coalition administration back in 2006. For whatever reason it was never implemented by that administration.

This is one small example of the kind of area in which the introduction of private capital really does work. I am less enthusiastic about it in areas such as health and social services - or for that matter public utilities.

It is perhaps ironic that this particular roundabout sits just outside the much and rightly maligned Mogden Sewage Works - the best example I can think of a privately-owned enterprise that has been charged with the task of providing a service for a neighbouring community about which it clearly gives not a toss. It doesn't offset the smell, but it was maybe felt that passers-by might be able to endure it a little better if they had some nice flowers to look at whilst retching.

Nevertheless it is, as they say, the thought that counts, and the scenic display serves as a fitting tribute to a good man who was so excited about the prospect of a new approach to managing the borough.