The Flower Market and the Berlin Wall of West London

Chiswick Homefields ward councillor Gerald McGregor on his week

Cllr Gerald McGregor on right, with fellow councillors

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Creating a new Normality

It is very important that vibrant communities such as Chiswick (for example, think Green Days, Bedford Park Festival, Chiswick Book Festival, Arts Education School events, live music, drama, Chiswick Playhouse, choirs, local orchestras, the Chiswick Timeline Space at Turnham Green Station, the list never ends) are able to come together and create a new normality after all the trauma of Covid-19. The Chiswick Flower Market has required a huge amount of organisation and the Chiswick Councillors would urge that you give the venture your fullest support in recognition of such a fine effort in pursuit of a civilised vision for the future

Chiswick Flower Market Update: Such a positive approach
The organisers have had so much interest from local new start-up businesses that they will have an “Innovation Zone” with young stallholders from the Borough. It has been great to see that the enthusiasm has brought both mature and start-up businesses together in taking part.

Other well-established local garden centre and florist’s businesses in Chiswick High Road and Turnham Green Terrace are participating too to help get the idea off the ground and fully established as a regular “fun” treat for the Chiswick Community.

It aims to bring people from across London into Chiswick as word spreads - the High Road will be busier but the open air market will be carefully marshalled (my two estimable colleagues Cllr Ranjit Gill and Cllr Ron Mushiso are helping there) so everyone can stay safe, and hopefully more Londoners will be able to enjoy a day trip to one of London’s’ great communities

Local Chiswick activist, Abundance London’s Karen Liebreich, tells us amongst other things that: “This is really positive for Chiswick in what is a very hard year for everyone - so remember to tell your friends about the market, come along on the day with them and see the stalls, see and buy the mix of interesting plants buy some fresh flowers, as well as visit some of the local shops in Chiswick Town Centre to show your support so there’s something for everyone”.

The planned launch date is Sunday 6th September, 09.30 am – 3.00 pm with subsequent markets planned on the first Sunday of every month: 4th October, 1st November and 6th December in the Old Market Place car park outside the police station, immediately opposite Waterstones in Chiswick High Rd, W4 2DW.

Chiswick Traffic Update: Not Such a Pretty Picture

No civilisation here though, not even a scintilla of proper governance. What we have instead is the minimalization of consultation, no published review procedures, legislation being used for dubious purposes, regulatory approvals through single council member decisions and ill-defined schemes without a proper democratic mandate. They have even been using pre-Covid 19 plans as if the world has not changed.

All of this at huge financial cost and future exposure to the council tax-payer and to future generations of tax-payers coughing up for the current chaotic train of events.

A New Berlin Wall

Residents in both the Ealing and Hounslow parts of Chiswick are now facing the consequences of the approach detailed above: the imposition by their Councils of a two mile long division of Chiswick along the District Line Railway embankment from Stamford Brook station to Chiswick Park Station, effectively creating a barrier to traffic. The “Berlin Wall of West London,” and yes we have the policing, security and road traffic enforcement cameras and lighting to go with it, so we are truly going backwards to 1989 (fortunately without the Stasi thugs manning watch towers)…

Trying to get the Politics Right

Responding to all this requires the councils to be held to account at Borough Council meetings but this will be tricky. Ealing held a virtual meeting on July 21st with a 228 page agenda! Their next proposed meeting is in October at a public Borough Council.

Hounslow are proposing a virtual meeting on 16th September, details yet to be made available.

The problem of modern Chiswick, split between two remote super-councils by virtue of mainly Victorian boundaries, is that of governance which generally descends into party political squabbling when local interests seek justice and fairness and good governance from the party in charge at the centre.

My colleagues and I have been trying since the beginning of June to engage with the administration in Hounslow. Cllr Jo Biddolph and Cllr Sam Hearn have been involved in discussions with officers at all levels and one of them did come to Chiswick to meet traders and residents but we still have not had a proper response from the elected leadership of the council. They need to do so – people are angry and frustrated (especially the traders who were already suffering).

I became Leader of the Opposition at the end of July. I am certain that in future we can do better than this. The only way to run proper local government is to listen with respect and learn.

Cllr Gerald McGregor

Chiswick Homefields ward
07866 784821


Most council meetings have been cancelled. A few are taking place virtually and residents can attend online. Joining instructions will be on the council website, in the agenda reports pack for each committee, here.

•  20th August: Planning Committee

•  3rd September: Planning Committee


Surgeries have not yet been reinstated. When they resume you will be able to meet a councillor in Chiswick library every Saturday from 9.30am to 10.30am and on the first Saturday of every month at the Gunnersbury Triangle Club from 10.00am to 11.00am. You can, of course, still contact your local councillors by email or phone; see their contact details below: 

Chiswick Homefields ward

Cllr Patrick Barr
07976 703263

Cllr Gerald McGregor
07866 784821

Cllr John Todd
07866 784651

Chiswick Riverside ward

Cllr Michael Denniss
07976 703274

Cllr Gabriella Giles
07966 270823

Cllr Sam Hearn
07833 376222

Turnham Green ward

Cllr Joanna Biddolph
07976 703446

Cllr Ranjit Gill
07976 702956

Cllr Ron Mushiso
07976 702887

August 13, 2020