After thirteen years as Chairman of the Hounslow Brentford and Isleworth Conservative Association John Davies stepped down on Friday at the annual AGM.
It’s difficult for all voluntary activists these days, and that’s not just the Lib Dems. Tories canvassing stalwart supporters from local roads have to defend Conservative policies from `distant’ Downing Street. So while he was delighted at receiving a personal letter from the PM, it was clear John Davies’ resignation from the Chair was due in part to changes in national and local party policies. The list of recently adopted left-leaning Coalition programmes which have confused and angered grass-roots Conservatives has grown on an almost weekly basis.
The local MP Mary Macleod, who read out a letter from David Cameron thanking John for his thirteen years of unstinting support and work as an effective activist, is also under pressure. The Labour Party which is focussing on Tory seats with less than a 7.07% swing, have declared Brentford and Isleworth a target seat for 2015.
However, the feisty MP who is popular in the region, may well still carry the day. She has been irrepressible in helping over 11,000 people locally, has held 121 surgeries and organised work seminars. Mary Macleod is also behind a new scheme to encourage apprenticeships in the area.
While the economy is suffering from rising living costs, it seems to many that £2.60 an hour is not much of a pay. But the idea of getting West London businesses such as BAA, Starbucks and Otis linked up with the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) is proving popular. Rather than joining the local unemployment line, more and more young people are now seeing the real advantages of a scheme which gives not just a little bit of money, but also a whole lot of focussed training.
Plus the local area is buzzing as more and more companies flood into the newly constructed Chiswick Park sited just off the Chiswick High Road.
The fact that the Coalition has now created more than 1 million new jobs, the Brentford & Isleworth constituency is sure to be amongst one of the most prosperous new regions of London. So the Labour party are unlikely to have the seat tied up as yet.
Elected to take John Davies’ place as Chairman of the Constituency was Robert Oulds MA , a military historian and local Councillor. He is also the Director of the Bruges Group, a think tank which for the last 20 years has been involved in the debate about the UK’s relationship with the European Union and the wider world.
Cllr Peter Thompson, who heads the Conservatives in the Hounslow Council was appointed Deputy Chairman Vice Chairman taking over from Cllr Barbara Reid who had been active for the past five years.