Promoting STEM and Tackling Crime

Chiswick Gunnersbury councillor Ron Mushiso reports back

Cllr Mushiso outside 10 Downing Street with Larry the Cat
Cllr Mushiso outside 10 Downing Street with Larry the Cat

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October 30, 2023

This week I had the pleasure of being invited to Downing Street as a representative of the teaching profession alongside an expert panel of members from the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) and other leading engineering technology executives from across the UK.

The purpose of the meeting was to take a deep dive into the provision for developing engineering skills within education and looking at methods that would reduce disparities and improve social mobility and diversity within the next generation of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workforce. We were joined by the Minister for Social Mobility, Youth and Progression, Mims Davies MP. Among the panel we also had former teachers and representatives from Ofsted as we discussed and refined the recommendations in the IET's 'Engineering Kids’ Futures' report.

The report had found that, as a country, the United Kingdom had a serious shortage in the STEM workforce and that the skills gap is widening as new technologies emerge. It also found that we are especially short when it comes to developing and encouraging future engineers to address the gaps in our economy. Industry and the education system therefore need to rethink how we identify, educate and recruit our next generation of engineers and problem solvers into the workforce.

We all agreed that we needed to start with the early years. Primary education is the optimum starting point, where creativity, curiosity and imagination are at their highest point among pupils. Here, educators and industry can begin to harness the problem-solving skills required for engineering. By targeting resources to the early years, the Engineering section of the STEM sector can lead to a 5% surge in productivity according to data, which would translate to billions in the national economy.

Locally, we have opportunities to develop our own home-grown talent. I will be reaching out to our local primary school in Chiswick in the coming months to talk about the report and wider STEM subjects, among other things. Our future depends on a skilled workforce.

Crime in Chiswick

At the recent police meeting held at the Chiswick Town Hall, I was reassured by Chief Superintendent Wilson and his colleagues in their response to the recent spike of criminal activity across Chiswick. Residents rightly challenged the officers on several areas of concern and safety. We have had a number of drug related incidents concentrated in one particular area of Chiswick, as well as a spike in shoplifting, as reported in Chiswick Calendar , and then the national press. The meeting was very well attended and was conducted in a very reasonable manner, mainly because the Police Officers were very open and honest about the challenges they faced. They did this while reassuring us that they were on top of their briefs.

During the meeting, a number of issues were raised, with one young resident’s tale of being mugged whilst walking through Barnes Passage a particularly shocking example of the impact this spike in crime is having on our community. I know that my Conservative councillor colleagues in Chiswick Homefields ward have been working hard to improve the passage with additional lighting and CCTV, and they have organised a meeting for local residents in Staveley Gardens to discuss crime in the passage next Friday 3 November at 6:30pm at Chiswick Cricket Club. If you regularly use the passage between Chiswick Station and Barnes Bridge, or are a local resident concerned about crime in that area, do go along to hear about what steps are being taken to improve safety.

What the Chiswick Town Hall meeting showed was that we have competent and well-informed officers assigned to our three Chiswick Wards. However, the meeting also exposed the limitations of their reach. We all know that the Met are struggling for resources across London, and not just in Chiswick. Under the current Police and Crime Commissioner (Commonly known as the Mayor of London), the police have visibly failed to tackle the so called “minor crimes” like theft and robbery.

I hope that we can look forward to May 2024 when we elect Susan Hall as the new Police and Crime Commissioner (and new Mayor for London). Susan is someone who has already pledged that, on her watch, there will be no such thing as a minor crime. She will back the Met Police with a further £200 million to put back into frontline services so that officers can do their jobs properly. She has pledged that every crime will be followed up. Justice is the best way to support and reassure any victim of crime.

So called ‘minor crimes’ should not be tolerated because, what we tolerate today, will inevitably lead to what is acceptable tomorrow. We cannot allow that to happen. That is why we will keep engaging with residents and the police until the criminals get that message.

Israel/Hamas Conflict

Despite being so far away, the horrific terrorist atrocity carried out on the 7th October by Hamas, and the subsequent conflict between Israel and Hamas, is having a very real impact on local communities here in London. The Conservative group of councillors on Hounslow Council, which includes 8 of your 9 Chiswick councillors, released the following statement yesterday:

"Hounslow Council Conservative Group is horrified and disturbed by the atrocities committed by Hamas against Israel, which have caused horrific devastation and created an escalating humanitarian crisis. There can be no justification for Hamas' barbaric terrorist attack which is driven by hatred. Our thoughts are with all those innocent Israelis, Palestinians and others who have lost their lives, all those taken hostage, and everyone affected by this conflict.  We welcome the Government's £30 million aid package to provide food, water, healthcare, and shelter for the Palestinian people, who are also the victims of Hamas.  

"Israel has the absolute right to defend itself and deter future terrorist acts against its citizens. We are also appalled by the huge increase in antisemitic incidents and attacks in London since the Hamas atrocity and urge everyone to oppose all forms of racism and not to allow the politics of hatred to spill over onto our streets."

Cllr Ron Mushiso

07976 702887


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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