Breaking Down Silos to Support Local Projects

Chiswick Riverside councillor Gabriella Giles reports back

Cllr Gabriella Giles

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September 30, 2023

The daily life of a councillor is extremely varied, as I hope you have been able to see from our blogs. Each of us have different priorities; and sometimes it’s hard to decide what we should include, how much information we should provide, and indeed, how much detail we should go into when discussing some of the technicalities and finer details of our roles.

Chiswick Area Forum

In my last blog, I wrote about how I had been planning and preparing for this quarter’s Chiswick Area Forum where the theme of the meeting was to be the environment. Personally, this was a bit of a milestone as it was the first meeting where I had full responsibility for the agenda and for chairing the meeting. It was a rather full evening, and while I’ve taken away some learning points, I’m glad that the format was well received. I was able to bring together both external groups (the Thames Landscape Strategy) and various council departments (Risk and Contingency, Climate Emergency and Recycling) to present on what they are working on locally to improve our local environment.

Based on the feedback received, it was insightful and beneficial for those who attended. The video recording of the meeting is available on the council’s Youtube page, and while there were some technical issues with the start of the recording, you will be able to see all that was presented.

Breaking down silos to support local projects

In Chiswick Riverside, we have learned a lot about School Streets over the past four years, but we also know that this isn’t a new innovation. Brooks Lane, which is off the Thames Road, and serves as the main access road to the Strand-on-the-Green Schools has been closed to traffic during school hours since the early 2000s.

Over the summer, my fellow ward councillors and I met with a joint project team from Hounslow Council and Sustrans to discuss the new iteration for this road. Funding has been secured to support a co-design project to help place-make for this space. This space includes the length of Brooks Lane and the space at the end of the street by Waldeck Road and the foot of the bridge over the railway, which is often used as a car park, and now includes a parking bay for the Lime e-bikes.

As part of our earlier discussions, I was surprised to learn that there had been no interaction with National Rail in regards to the prior-approval plan for the footbridge here as residents had expressed their frustration to Peter Thompson and myself about the lack of step-free access in this site.

(L-R) Councillor Peter Thompson, Lucy Atkinson (Sustrans), Zahra Ali (Hounslow Council), Cllr Gabriella Giles at the Brooks Lane Play Street (L-R) Councillor Peter Thompson, Lucy Atkinson (Sustrans), Zahra Ali (Hounslow Council), Cllr Gabriella Giles at the Brooks Lane Play Street

After learning that the prior-approval application had been rejected by Hounslow Council, I followed up with the planning department to find out why (not a like-for-like replacement in design) and what the next steps are. As a result of this rejection, it means that National Rail will now either appeal this decision, or advance to a full planning application which can then be reviewed inline with the council’s planning policies which will include those that look at equality and diversity. I hope that this will provide the opportunity for National Rail to provide full step-free access at this site, and can be part of an integrated design with the rest of Brooks Lane.

As part of this project, there was a play street event last Friday. It was a great opportunity to speak with both teachers and parents of the school, understand more about what they would like to see in this space, as well as learn what the pupils were voting to see in this space (see photo). Cllr Katherine Dunne, Cabinet Member for Climate, Environment and Transport, and WIll Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, so it was a great chance to share what residents had told us about what they want to see for this area. The public consultation is still open, so please do add your thoughts here.

Proposed Merger of Wellesley Road, Grove Park and Chiswick Family Doctors GP Surgeries

You may have read in September about the proposal to merge three Chiswick GP Practices. On Monday, the Chiswick councillors received an email from the Hounslow Borough Primary Care team with the statement below:

“Following concerns raised by patients, the business case was not considered by the Hounslow Primary Care Executive Group on Monday 25 September, as the ICB was not assured that there has been sufficient patient engagement prior to the case being presented. The practices are being asked to work further on their patient engagement and the group will consider the merger business case once this has taken place and patients’ views can be included.”

We have been told that if you are looking for further information on this, please contact us, as we can escalate any concerns to the Hounslow Borough Primary Care Team.

Crime and Police Meeting in Chiswick - 16 October - 7pm - Chiswick Town Hall

In Chiswick, local crime and police efforts have been on the front page a fair bit over the past two months. At the Area Forum, I invited Sergeant Jim Cope to give us a brief update on their efforts over the prior week. He was able to report back on the discussions following the private meeting hosted by Councillor Joanna Biddoplh with retailers, the police efforts in the hunt for Daniel Khalife, and the unfortunate death of a woman on Devonshire Road.

As a result, Councillor Ranjit Gill has arranged for the fourth Chiswick Police Public Meeting to take place at Chiswick Town Hall at 7pm on the 16th October. We look forward to welcoming you there.

Case work, Events and Future Meetings

Case work continues as normal, with subjects ranging from noise complaints, intervening on housing concerns, supporting a resident with ULEZ exemption, the closure of the Falcon’s School, Lime bike parking and Leaseholder services. Other events include attending estate inspections, council meetings, and looking to the week ahead, preparation for Monday’s licensing panel for Sam’s Waterside in Brentford.

Wishing you a good week!

Councillor Gabriella Giles

Mobile: 07966 270823




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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