Update From Councillor Guy Lambert

Meetings and more meetings...


guy.lambert @hounslow.gov.uk
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So where were we? Ah yes – getting to grips with councillors' IT. Well, that hasn’t gone too well and just to make matters interesting my personal PC went up in smoke yesterday.

This report is a bit of a catch up and will go two weeks – I hope I can get down to a weekly update hereafter, though there won’t be much to say next week as I’m having a few days away.

Guy Lambert

So on Thursday 23rd I attended a public meeting in Gunnersbury Park about the development plans. These seem to have two components: a ‘heritage’ bit restoring the houses and gardens, and a ‘sports hub’ bit which is about reviving the rather neglected sports facilities in this park. Both have attracted a lot of funding from lottery and sport bodies, so it should be all good news. The meeting was really about the sport bit, which is coming up for planning approval by Ealing Council (the park, though entirely within Brentford Ward, is jointly run between Hounslow and Ealing Councils) and, as I suppose is normal, there were a few people who had big concerns, mainly about light spillage from proposed tennis courts into their houses in Popes Lane. They are looking for trustees for the park and I made the point that it would be good if at least one trustee was a truly local person with a passion for the park rather than a member of the ‘great and the good’.

Last Monday I went into the Civic centre (to try and sort my IT, obviously) and got hijacked by Cllr Theo Dennison who told me it would be a great idea to attend a meeting of the Residents Associations Forum, in the Council Chamber. Very interesting it was too, meeting (or at least seeing strangers across a crowded room) a few whom I already knew and many more that I have a feeling I will get to know. People passionate about their local area and giving their time to try and make it better.

Tuesday was a busy day, in the morning I met Aled Richards the Assistant Director who looks after Hounslow Highways, and members of his team. This advanced my understanding quite a bit and I was able to put some of my bugbears to them (e.g. surface of Crowther Avenue, which is especially shocking, cleaning around the boundaries of parks etc, which seem to be nobody’s responsibility). We’ll see what progress we can make.

Later in the day I met with the people behind the Nishkam School, currently on London Road but with plans to go to the Conquest Club site in Osterley, which the Department for Education has recently purchased. This is Metropolitan Open Land and there are multiple issues with it as a school site. I’m not a fan of faith schools but I found the Nishkam people hugely impressive and they are somewhat at their wits end trying to find a suitable site, so I have no idea how this will play out.

I then met the developers who are planning to build on Griffin Park. It seems a pretty good development to me – all 3 to 5 bed family houses and no flats, heaven be praised -  but locals have concerns about detail: last night (3 AugusAugust 7, 2015esidents. I thought it was a very constructive meeting where residents put their concerns across and the developers did their best to allay them. Planning is in September I think, though building will not start for at least a couple of years.

Then another planning issue, to do with developments in Hamilton Road.

On Thursday it was my first meeting of a committee looking at how the council manages repairs and developments within the council estate. A large team of people have come back into the council following the demise of Hounslow Homes, and the committee is looking at how best to move forward. I then spent a happy hour walking the junctions of Great West Road with fellow councillors and TfL. We found ourselves pretty much in agreement and I am hopeful schemes will now commence to make the junctions (Windmill Road, Ealing Road, Clayponds) safer and smoother running.

Saturday was my first councillor’s surgery, standing in for Mel Collins at his regular gig at the Mission Hall. Not a soul turned up (nor for Myra up in Clayponds) so I can only conclude that everything in Brentford is running Brilliantly.

Finally on Sunday we had a ‘walkshop’ on Brentford High Street with people from the London Sustainability Exchange. This was (I think!) about how to improve amenity along the High Street to make it more attractive/liveable. It was interesting and thought-provoking but I’m not sure what happens next. I think there may be some GLA money floating about so we’ll have some of that please.

In summary, I’m still getting my feet under the desk, trying to meet the people who make things happen in the Civic Centre, as well as locals with a beef or an idea. One day I’ll get the IT working properly and I’ll get a system that ensures I don’t forget stuff. I try very hard to keep on top of things but please indulge me and feel free to nag if I forget something you raise or go quiet!

Guy Lambert

August 6, 2015

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