Conservatives Choose Local Election Candidates For Turnham Green
New faces replace long-time councillors on the ward
Local Conservatives have selected three candidates for Turnham Green, one of the three Chiswick wards, to represent the party in next year's local elections. Joanna Biddolph, Ron Mushiso and Ranjit Gill hope to be elected as councillors for Chiswick.
The new faces are replacing the three long-serving councillors who have decided not to stand again. Long-time Chiswick councillor and leading Eurosceptic Robert Oulds failed to be selected- he had already been de-selected from the Homefields ward.
Joanna Biddolph moved to Chiswick in 1983 and now lives in the northern part of the ward in the Gunnersbury Park Garden Estate conservation area. A reputation crisis management consultant working with independent businesses and charities, Jo has also been a journalist who, for three and a half years, wrote the monthly local issue features, the Kids’ Corner column and articles about local businesses for The Green (Chiswick's local glossy magazine, now WestSide Resident); she had a column in a PR magazine taking a sideways look at freelance life and wrote food/restaurant reviews for online and print guides. She’s a passionate and determined supporter of Chiswick’s independent shops, cafes and restaurants and is a natural campaigner seeking to right wrongs and work hard for the benefit of local residents.
Ron Mushiso and Ranjit Gill both ran for election in Brentford's Syon ward in 2014 and got 617 and 606 votes respectively - the seats were held by Steve Curran, Katherine Dunne and Theo Dennison (all Labour).
Ron is a former professional Rugby League player who now teaches PE and games at St Benedict’s School in Ealing and was recently appointed head coach at Old Emanuel Rugby Club. He was a local council candidate in 2006 and stood again, in 2014, in Syon ward against the current Labour council leader. He grew up in various foster homes across the borough and recalls fondly his two year stay in a top floor flat in Chiswick Village in his early teens.
He has also worked as a lettings agent on Chiswick High Road before training to become a teacher and a rugby coach. He believes that air quality is an urgent issue in Chiswick and that the council is not doing enough to address it. He says you just have to look at the number of diesel vehicles on the A406 Gunnersbury Avenue (the North Circular) and the A4 to appreciate the severity of the issue.
Ranjit, a qualified accountant, has lived in the borough for nearly 30 years. He wants an end to wastefulness and for resources to be directed to cleaning up our streets, tackling crime, and caring for the young and elderly. He says we need value for our money and more openness and accountability. He would like to inspire members of the public to help elderly people and, in particular, to end their isolation and reintegrate them with the community, bringing happiness and joy to the lives of people who need care and attention.
Five of the nine Chiswick councillors have decided to retire from local politics.The departure of the three long-standing Turnham Green councillors, Adrian Lee, Samantha Davies and Peter Thompson, had left the local party looking for new candidates.
In Riverside ward, which has yet to make its selection, Felicity Barwood has retired, as has Paul Lynch. One local source said that the way was now clear for a strong local independent candidate to run there.
The de-selection of Cllr Oulds and the arrival of new faces heralds the start of a major shake up in local politics for Chiswick. The only familiar faces likely to remain are John Todd, Sam Hearn and Gerald McGregor.
However one local Conservative source said that the newcomers would be "a breath of fresh air" in Chiswick and it might shake things up.
August 19, 2017