Another busy week, even including a break
Week 3 and I already have the editor asking where the blog is.
There are times when the Brilliance of Brentford gets just a little too dazzling so I took off for a few days to Germany to watch old cars driving round in circles (otherwise known as historic motor racing) at the Nurburgring.
This meant a break from council activities for a few days and some time to reflect. As I’m developing a very sad interest in street cleaning I found it interesting to note that Germany, which we tend to think of as disciplined and well-managed, has issues with dropped litter not all that different to our own. Having said that, cycling from the civic centre to Isleworth on Monday I espied no less than 4 cans of Red Bull in the road, of which 3 were in the middle of the road upright and undamaged. It obviously doesn’t give you enough energy to put the blinking tins in the bin.
But before all that I had a couple of meetings last Tuesday, the first with the council officer who is working on the proposed cycle track up/down Boston Manor Road. This is more than a little controversial, as I discovered very clearly during the by-election campaign; the scheme has been modified to accommodate most of the issues raised by residents and I hope it will be better received when it goes out for further consultation, shortly I believe.
The second meeting was of the licensing panel, one of the committees I was fitted up for. Very interesting it was too, and I had not realised quite how semi-judicial this is, with decisions having an impact directly on people’s jobs and livelihoods. I think it’s better not to say any more other than that the panel was about two licence applications, for a store in Feltham, and for the Old Fire Station in Brentford (well, Syon, technically), and that the decisions are published on the council website.
Returning from foreign lands, relieved not to be assailed by swarms of marauders as I entered the channel tunnel, Monday afternoon was spent with a council officer whilst we both tried to work out how Hounslow Highways do their prioritising. Turns out the complicated spreadsheet that we were looking at seemed to have a few columns missing so we’re hoping to have a session with the real experts at the depot later in the month. In the evening it was a local activity only indirectly to do with the council, where I met with other volunteers from the team who are looking to take over management of Isleworth Public Hall.
Tuesday was a meeting with a local resident about plans for Watermans Park and the Arts Centre. We didn’t reach any great conclusions but we both agreed that Watermans (both elements) are two important assets for Brentford and ones that should be cherished. For my part, I came away realising that I need to research plans and motivations in a bit more detail, which I will attempt to do. In the evening it was another licensing panel this time with only one application for the wild west of the borough.
Finally today, Wednesday, I was back in the civic getting my IT sorted (again) then spending a long session trying to get on top of casework, some of which was still hanging over from the by-election campaign. Not sure I’ve achieved much but at least I now have a clear list of all the things I’m trying to move forward.
This evening a balmy picnic in Brent Lea, with a good attendance of councillors and of course the stars of the show – the people led by Joanna Russell who put on the Save Our Rec show to such good effect. They are to be congratulated! Better still, they are looking to organise a ‘Friends of Brent Lea’ to get this rather beautiful and very undiscovered chunk of Brentford more widely appreciated and used.
That’s all folks. If you have been, thank you for listening.
August 13, 2015