Weekly Update From Councillor Guy Lambert
Girding his loins for the Isleworth and Brentford Area Forum
Thursday morning was a Credit Union activity: at the invitation of the Ivytag residents' association I spent the morning in the Bridgelink Centre on the Ivybridge estate. Business was a touch slow but I did get to talk to about 5 potential Credit Union members. Experience tells me – the bad news is we’ll be lucky if more than 2 or 3 of them follow through and join – the good news is that once people join they tell their friends and neighbours and new members appear as if by magic.
In the same area of trying to help people avoid high cost credit, one of my local Labour party colleagues is heavily involved in a new non-profit service just launched called Fair for You (www.fairforyou.org.uk). This provides a fair-priced alternative to High Street stores, for example saving well over 50% of the cost of a fridge freezer compared to the leading rental company.
Lunch with an old colleague from the University sector who was down from his home in Newcastle to do some work with Richmond College.
On Friday, with my fellow ward councillors, we had an update on plans for Capital Interchange Way, of which more anon.
A self indulgent Saturday, where I had my first foray of 2016 into the world of old cars by visiting Race Retro up at the National Agricultural Centre near Kenilworth. When I was 15 it was obvious I was going to be the next Jim Clark but, a bit like Tony Hancock who explained in the Blood Donor that he wasn’t actually a doctor because he ‘never really bothered’, I ‘never really bothered’ to become a motor racing icon. Probably too late now, but a man can dream.
Sunday was out on the canvass down Boston Manor Road way, with Myra Savin, Martin Whelton (our London Assembly candidate) and the redoubtable local activist Naima Hassam. We had a pretty good reception and I was able to take on board a few issues, mainly the inevitable rubbish collection and street sweeping (it’s great that Hounslow is winning Keep Britain Tidy awards but whilst people drop litter, especially around stations and takeaways, the public will never be happy, and rightly so). Also complaints in private flats that people are sleeping in the stairwells. Not clear what the council can do about that so I advised them to complain to landlords but we will monitor.
Tuesday was an estate inspection. This is never exactly a bundle of fun but necessary for council officers to do and appropriate for councillors to engage with – you see things that you wouldn’t notice under normal circumstances. This was up in the area around Clayponds Avenue and we were inspecting all the small blocks which each contain around 4 flats and sometimes a couple of terraced houses. This was a special pleasure because just as I hopped on my bike to go up there it started raining: it built gradually to a crescendo and then gradually subsided so that when we finished 2 hours later it had stopped. So I had a barmy dry ride home but when I retrieved my notes from my trouser pocket they came out as a mushy mess. Fortunately someone else had made copious notes and knew how to keep them dry!
Wednesday I chaired the Labour party campaign committee at Chiswick High Road, working out our campaign for the London elections (only about 60 days to go now) and having first thought about the referendum which is not many days after that. This is not specially easy for the Labour party where nearly everybody wants to stay in the EU so must be a special nightmare for the Conservatives, where they have, shall we say, differences of opinion. I do hope it doesn’t come to blows.
OK, a fairly short one this week. Now girding my loins for the Isleworth and Brentford Area Forum tonight. I have beseeched the Chair to include the latest hiatus of the 235 bus as an emergency item and he has agreed. I don’t often get really angry, but the 235 has tipped me over the edge and I have to be a bit careful what I say about it and put my language censorship system on red alert.
March 3, 2016