Frustration Over Way Cycleway 9 Call-in Decision was Made

Chiswick Gunnersbury councillor Ranjit Gill reports back

Cllr Ranjit Gill
Cllr Ranjit Gill

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September 24, 2023

C9 controversy continues

The council call-in process allows councillors who are concerned about a cabinet decision to call-in the decision for review by a panel of five members of the Overview and Scrutiny committee (OSC). There are five grounds for call-in, of which at least one must be agreed, and the call-in sheet must be signed by eight councillors.

There are deadlines to meet – the call-in must be logged and approved within five working days of the cabinet decision and the OSC panel must meet within five working days after that.  It is a frantic time for councillors bringing the call-in, taking advice from specialists to make sure their grounds are sound, waiting to hear if the grounds meet the council’s rules, then pulling together the evidence to present to the OSC panel.

After cabinet voted to make C9 permanent, the Conservative group leader Cllr Peter Thompson identified three grounds on which to call-in the decision:

·          The absence of adequate evidence on which to base a decision – he raised the inadequacy of data provided on safety, cycle usage, journey times and air quality

·          The action is not proportionate to the desired outcome – the relatively small increase in the number of cyclists using C9, the negative impact on bus and other road journey times and the council-admitted risk to litigation on the grounds of equalities impacts did not justify the £13m cost of the scheme

·          A potential human rights challenge – the cabinet decision noted that litigation is possible and complaints likely and that the design of bus stop bypasses were to a standard that has been challenged by disability groups. 

On Thursday evening, the OSC panel met to consider the call-in. I’m sorry to report that it was another embarrassment for the council and the OSC chairman Cllr Sayyar Raza who was visibly partisan about who should ask questions and again found it hard to work out the process (at least he didn’t claim he had had “hundreds” of emails supporting the scheme so he won’t need to announce that he had been “speaking figuratively“). The call-in was rejected, with four Labour councillors voting as you would expect and one Conservative voting for the call-in.

Borough council

Tuesday meant a journey to Hounslow House for a meeting of the full council. It’s always a buzzy time for our group of 10 councillors, meeting in the opposition room before moving to the chamber, signing the attendance sheet, and waiting for the mayor to process in with the mace. Labour seems to have abandoned its corporate dress code (presumably an army-style instruction, from its chief whip, to wear red) as there were only a few flashes of its party colour around the chamber. Sometimes they are issued with red roses, too. It’s all about the show, not the substance, with Labour.

Many of us in the opposition struggle with the game-playing. Thankfully, one game has been abandoned. Instead of both parties racing to submit motions early, trying to ensure they are first and therefore guaranteed to have their motions on the agenda, sometimes grabbing all three slots, the two parties have agreed that they will take it in turns to have two motions one meeting and one motion the next. Even that isn’t ideal as, of course, game-playing continues.

This time, Labour refused to extend standing orders – a device that allows the meeting to continue either for a fixed time or until all business has been dealt with – because they didn’t want to reach the final motion which was ours on ULEZ expansion. The consequence of that short-sighted decision was that the Labour motion on cargo bikes – a sensible motion we agreed with, with a small amendment we had tabled on safety training – couldn’t be concluded as it was timed out. You can watch the council meeting on the council’s YouTube channel.

Crime and policing in Chiswick

Progress is being made on holding our fourth public meeting on crime and policing in Chiswick. We are waiting for confirmation of a room in Chiswick Town Hall and will then ask the tri-borough commander Sean Wilson and others from the police to present to us. We will announce the date as soon as we can.


Housing availability continues to be at the top of my casework load and we are all waiting for a full answer to our question, tabled at the borough council, about the scandal of hundreds of council homes lying empty across the borough. I can report one success, though. If you read my Chiswick Gunnersbury ward colleague Cllr Joanna Biddolph’s blog last week, and in particular the story and photo of the appalling state of temporary accommodation offered to a homeless resident, you will be glad to know that the landlord with the filthy carpet, and a take it or leave it offer of a bed with sheets that had been slept in, has been taken off the council list until the landlord has improved the standard of accommodation.


As the rain comes down like the Malaysian monsoons of my childhood, the inability of our drains to cope with the sudden influx leads to calls from residents.   At the recent Area Forum Sabeel Khan who is in charge confirmed that he will look into this, and any blockages should be reported to him. 

Birthday Party

Chiswick Flower Market celebrated its 3 rd anniversary at a local hotel and was well attended by  Councillors volunteers, team members and traders.  I particularly enjoyed the  birthday cake, showing the Flower Market’s latest poster, by the artist Anita Klein.

Flower Market cake

Councillor Ranjit Gill

07976 702956






Chiswick: Every Saturday from 9.30am to 10.30am at Chiswick Library (the eight Conservative councillors take this surgery in turn).

Gunnersbury: First Saturday of the month from 10am to 11am at The Gunnersbury Triangle Club, Triangle Way, off The Ridgeway, W3 8LU (at least one of the Chiswick Gunnersbury ward councillors takes this surgery). 


Chiswick Gunnersbury (was Turnham Green) ward

Cllr Joanna Biddolph 07976 703446

Cllr Ranjit Gill 07976 702956

Cllr Ron Mushiso 07976 702887

Chiswick Homefields ward

Cllr Jack Emsley 07977 396017

Cllr Gerald McGregor 07866 784821

Cllr John Todd 07866 784651

Chiswick Riverside ward

Cllr Peter Thompson 07977 395810  

Cllr Gabriella Giles 07966 270823 

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