A recent survey of Twickenham residents has revealed a deep degree of frustration regarding the ongoing saga of Twickenham Riverside, with people questioning whether the council is genuine in its stated ambitions to create a valuable public space and new centrepiece for the town.
- 45% think the Riverside has been neglected
- Less than a third think Richmond Council care about the Riverside, or local people’s views
- Nearly two-thirds think Twickenham town centre deserves more attention
The survey revealed that less than a third of local people think that the council cares about either Twickenham Riverside or local people’s views.
This comes in the aftermath of the heated local debate around the council’s proposal to house the Gloriana barge in Orleans House Gardens, which caused a wave of angry protest and eventual U-turn by Richmond Council.
Labour Parliamentary candidate for Twickenham Nick Grant said: “The Riverside should be Twickenham’s centrepiece, not the RFU stadium, train station or any number of luxury housing developments. It should be a celebrated public space for local people to enjoy and to attract visitors to the town.
"The whole episode has been characterised by stale thinking and dither, and the Gloriana episode only serves to underline the Council’s unwillingness to listen and adapt to local concerns unless they are forced to.
"Richmond’s Conservatives have repeatedly shown that they will not bring change or vision to Twickenham, and I feel it is hugely symbolic that their candidate in the forthcoming election is a serving councillor. The survey showed that two-thirds of people feel that Twickenham deserves better and I agree with them, we do deserve better.”
Rather than being the pride of Twickenham, 45% of people felt it had been neglected by the Council with 7% describing it as a disgrace. There is a great degree of confusion regarding plans for the site, and one local residents’ group, Twickenham Riverside Terrace Action (TRTA) is still waiting for a Council response to their request for a meeting to discuss the plans.
Nick went on to say: "The area really needs some vision and creativity to bring it to life. Some of the ideas we've discussed include a bridge to the Ham side, bringing back the swimming pool and creating a genuine public space to rival Richmond's Riverside. I hope that the council will start to engage more with residents and accept that imposing decisions on the community won't be tolerated."