Kew Liberal Democrats

YOUR KEW LIBERAL DEMOCRAT TEAM Cllr Jean-Francois Burford, Catrin Mogilner and Leon Sosnowski Learn more


by jfburford on 21 September, 2012

While David Cameron faces accusations of a potential U-turn and broken promises on the expansion of Heathrow, Conservative Councillors in Richmond this week showed just how they felt about their Government when they voted alongside the Lib Dems to agree the following motion:  “This council unanimously reaffirms its opposition to a third runway at Heathrow and to any intensification of the use of Heathrow and calls upon all councillors, our GLA members and our local MPs to work together across party lines to sustain that position permanently.”
Residents in Kew were given promises by both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, when they ruled out a third runway at Heathrow in their 2010 general election manifestos and the coalition agreement continued this commitment.
A survey of residents was carried out by the Lib Dems in 2008 and showed that almost 90% of respondents were opposed to expansion and the third runway.
However, people in Richmond are going to be given another chance to express their views, as the Council would like to hold a Borough-wide referendum to once again gauge the views of the people living and working in Richmond.
Please email me your views on Heathrow expansion at
At this week’s Council meeting, Councillors from both parties formally agreed a motion to “oppose the government’s proposals to significantly extend permitted development rights”.
A month-long consultation is currently under way on plans to ease rules on new developments and house extensions, which won’t require planning permission if proposals go through.
Council officials said they were “reading through the proposals with legal advisers with a fine tooth-comb to identify any flexibility”.
Email me at and let me know whether you agree or disagree with the proposals to relax planning rules for building extensions.
Pensford Field has won the Green Flag Award for 2012-2013. The ceremony to raise the flag will take place on Saturday 22nd September at 11.00 am and will coincide with the gardening morning. Everyone is welcome.
The Green Flag Award is the benchmark national standard for parks and green spaces in the United Kingdom. The scheme was set up in 1996 to recognise and reward green spaces in England and Wales that met the laid down high standards. The scheme is owned by the Government through the Department for Communities and Local Government.
 For more information, please go to
Double gold medal-winning champion Mo Farah has been given the Freedom of the Borough in recognition of his sporting achievements at this summer’s Olympics. The athlete, who has a home in Teddington and still trains at St Mary’s University when in the UK, has seen a huge groundswell of support since becoming the Olympic Champion in the 10,000 metres and 5,000 metres.
It is hoped that the Freedom of the Borough ceremony will be early in 2013.
Richmond upon Thames has been recognised as the most flowered borough in the Capital after scooping the top award at the London in Bloom prize-giving ceremony.
The Council’s entries in the annual competition resulted in the coveted Borough of the Year award and gold awards for York House Gardens, Terrace Gardens and the City B categories with second place positions for overall Biodiversity and for Barnes Common. Twickenham Town Centre also received high praise with a Silver Gilt accolade. Well done to all involved, especially Des Smith and Reg Leach from the Council’s Parks Department, for all their hard work in making our borough a great place to live.
Recent reports by local police suggest that flats in Kew are being targeted by burglars. The most popular hours for break-ins are from 0600 to 1330. So please make sure that you have closed all windows and doors before you leave for work.
If you want more information on how to secure your home, please go to
The council is looking to introduce a taxi rank outside Kew Gardens. The taxi rank will operate between 7pm to 7am. The proposed placement would be to the left of Litchfield Road outside Kew Gardens, opposite the bus stop.
Email me at and let me know your views.
Excessive road traffic is one of the contributing factors to the production of gaseous air pollutants including nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which can have a harmful effect on health, particularly in children, according to studies carried out by Greenfacts in 2012.
I asked council officers if the triangle of Kew Road, the A316 and the Mortlake Road were monitored for NO2.  They told me they do carry out tests on a regular basis and all the results are available on the Council website.  However, alarmingly, all 3 of the roads around Kew exceed EU limit values, together with most main roads in the Borough.  However, residents living on the Kew Road are, apparently, far enough back to be within reasonable limits.
A study by scientists from Imperial College London has shown that planting green walls can reduce air pollution by up to 30%.
Green Party Councillor Jamie Whitham has asked Reading Council to look into planting walls with vegetation to reduce pollution. He said: “Plants in towns and cities have been shown to remove nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM), both of which are harmful to human health. Reading Green Party is supporting the use of green walls to help reduce air pollution. This initiative can also form part of the regeneration strategies, changing the way parts of our urban areas look.” BBC News Berkshire
Is this something we should be looking at in Richmond to try a help reduce the air pollution in the Borough?
Let me know your thoughts by emailing me at

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