Richmond Council's deputy leader Councillor Geoffrey Samuel has been accused of "hypocrisy" over a tweet made about Twickenham riverside.

LAST WEEK: Regency-style ampitheatre and town square plans revealed for Twickenham riverside - but it could include up to 40 flats

Coun Samuel described the Liberal Democrat administration's 2009 proposals as a "£3m white elephant" on the social media website last year.

But, after the Conservatives unveiled a Regency-inspired ampitheatre and town square, the leader of opposition has attacked his comments.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Coun Samuel described the 2009 Twickenham riverside plans as a "white elephant"

The council, which purchased the site for £6m last year, have commissioned architects Quinlan and Francis Terry, who designed Richmond riverside, to design the development.

Lib Dem leader Councillor Gareth Roberts said: "Given that Geoffrey has never missed an opportunity to make a cheap remark or snide observation about our plans for the riverside, it would be lying to suggest that it isn't a little pleasing to see his own words come back to bite him on the backside.

"This tweet lays bare the sheer hypocrisy of the Conservatives' position over the riverside.

"They were vicious in their attacks on our plans to develop the site using the receipts from residential development yet this is precisely what they are now proposing themselves."

The tweet, made shortly after the council's Gloriana u-turn in September 2014, said: "2009 LibDems - £3m Riverside White Elephant + 32 luxury houses. No consultation. 2014 Gloriana. Consultation. Tory Council listens."

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Coun Roberts has branded the Tory administration "hypocritical"

Proposals for the multimillion pound Conservative scheme could include as many as 40 flats on the riverside.

But Councillor Samuel said there is "no comparison" between the 2009 plans and the shop-lined arcade proposals, which would be completed by spring 2019.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Deputy leader Coun Samuel added there was "no comparison" between the two schemes

He said: "We are consulting, which is what they always refused to do - and, as proved with the Gloriana - we listen, whereas they didn't.

"There is no comparison between the two schemes because their housing was ground floor, which would have denied citizens access to the riverside.

"As expected, there was a small group of opponents to the scheme but, so far, there is no evidence that it has spread any wider than that."

He added that he had received no emails from residents about the council's plans but resident Chris Key has since contacted the RTT to say he copied Coun Samuel into an email on November 11.

Despite a fierce backlash online when the proposals were announced on November 9, there is not one public question about the riverside scheme scheduled for Tuesday's full council meeting.


Richmond and Twickenham Times:

We asked you whether or not you liked the council's plans for the riverside.

It was a close-run poll but the majority of those who took part said they were against the plans.

  • What do you think about the plans? Let us know by emailing