The East's Awake: Tory Led Administration takes charge
Composition of executive reflects geographical shift of power
There has been a changing of the guard in Hounslow with the Labour administration handing over to a Conservative led coalition. This has brought an end to 35 years of Labour domination in the Borough
The new executive will be led by Chiswick Councillor Peter Thompson and includes nine Conservative Councillors and two from the Isleworth Community Group.
Cllr Peter Thompson said, " This heralds a new beginning for the Council and promises to be an exciting time with a large amount of challenges ahead. My fellow Executive colleagues and I, which includes Members of the Community Group, are full of enthusiasm and ready to start delivering a better service, which the residents of Hounslow voted for and fully deserve.”
He pledged higher standards, cleaner streets, quality developments, better schools, efficient services, civic pride, and strong financial management.
Cllr Mark Bowen, Deputy Leader added, “This is good news for residents in the Borough. The era of arrogance is over. We are keen to work with people throughout the Borough, irrespective of political opinion or persuasion, and we will strive to restore people's faith in the Council. A culture of being enthusiastic and able to answer questions will be re-introduced, as that has been a feature that has been missing over the previous four years."
The new Executive reflects a decisive shift of power from the west of the borough to the east. The former Council had been accused of using areas like Chiswick as a 'cash-cow' with their opponents claiming that they starved the east of the borough of services whilst discriminating against the area with policies such as higher parking permit charges. Four out of the nine councillors named on the executive represent the Chiswick area.
Isleworth Community Councillors Phil Andrews and Dr. Genevieve Hibbs join the seven Conservatives on a new Executive. Councillor Andrews, the Leader of the Community Group, said that he had absolute faith in the integrity of his Conservative partners and commented, "We are proud to be a junior but essential partner in a new administration which is committed to bringing honesty and openness back into local government in Hounslow. Although we are the smaller of the two groups involved we have no intention of being a support act. We will be at the heart of some major changes and are determined that the old culture of secrecy will be replaced by one of transparency. We want to see local government opened up in a way which allows the whole community to play a real part, rather than being the preserve of a secretive cabal of select political factions and cliques. "
Mark Gilks, Chief Executive of Hounslow Council, said “Officers here at the council are looking forward to working with the new executive to deliver high quality services to the borough’s residents. Over a third of the new Council are new members, who have already immersed themselves in induction training. By working together we can achieve success for our Borough.”
The new administration doesn't have a clear majority as the combined number of seats of the Conservatives and the ICG is just 30 out of 60 in the Council. An abstention in voting by the Liberal Democrats allowed the new administration to be formed.
The position of Mayor was also taken by a Chiswick Councillor after the unanimous election of Felicity Barwood. Councillor Barwood, of Chiswick's Riverside Ward, becomes the first Conservative Mayor in Hounslow for 35 years.
In her speech to the Council, Cllr Barwood spoke about the mood of the new Council, and how she wanted to use her term of office. Speaking after her appointment, she said “There is a new spirit of co-operation in the Council, and a will to work together to better serve the people who elected us. We are all here for the same reason, and we should use this to help make Hounslow a borough for residents to be proud of. I hope to use my time as Mayor to increase ‘Civic Pride in our Borough‘, and to promote ‘Dignity for the Elderly‘, who often need our help the most.”
Conservative Councillor for Feltham North, Allan Wilson, becomes Deputy Mayor for the Municipal year 2006-2007. Cllr Wilson previously served as a local councillor in Hounslow for seven years, before returning to public duty in this year�s local election in Feltham North.
May 26, 2006