CHISWICK ON THE MOVE
Over 200 marchers demonstrate against excessive development in Chiswick
Local shoppers stared in absolute amazement as a large number of people, many pushing prams, took over the bus lane and headed to Turnham Green. In what must have been one of the best-mannered marches of the year, protesters restrained themselves to blowing on whistles and a few chants while in transit.
Once at Turnham Green, Terry Thorn gave a speech decrying "death by planning". Mike Smith was the next to take the stand and castigated Hounslow council for its treatment of Chiswick. He waved his hand at the Town Hall and said "We have a town hall but no town" and lamented the lack of theatres and cinemas in Chiswick despite the high percentage of the population being involved in the arts. Pat Sterne called out from the crowd to remind Mike of the Waterman Arts Centre. Mike also repeated his worry about funds destined for improved transport links paid by Chiswick Park developers being used elsewhere, talking about "the vast lake of Section 106 money heading for Hounslow".
Terry Thorn read out a letter from Ann Keen, MP. After apologising for being unable to be present in person (this provoked jeers from the crowd), she expressed her support for the march, saying "I fully agree with the views of the West Chiswick and Gunnersbury Society" and pledging her help in the future."
Each of the local political parties were then given a chance to speak. Councillor Adrian Lee feared too much building "will create an area of poverty", Councillor Tristan Bunnel said "we want Chiswick to be developed but we don't want it to be over developed" and the Green Party and ABeeC candidates also spoke of their support for the cause.
Mike Smith speaks out
If you wish to join the West Chiswick and Gunnersbury Society, the group behind the march, you can contact its chairman Terry Thorn. Phone: 07950 952 064 E