Weekly Update From Councillor Guy Lambert

Happy blog-a-versary or centenary!


Guy Lambertguy.lambert@hounslow.gov.uk

tel 07804 284948

twitter logo @guylambert

Facebook /BrentfordCouncillors

Sign up for our Brentford newsletter

Comment on this story on the

Well now, this is a momentous day, as it’s the day this blog comes of age, having completed its first century. Occasionally I come to Thursday morning (when I usually write this) with a feeling of dread – will I find anything to say? is anybody interested? wouldn’t a dog roll from the Boston Café be a better way to start the day? – but when I get down to it I generally quite enjoy it and I have found a switch for the drivel-o-matic which churns it out mainly painlessly. A few have expressed that the pain is all theirs in reading it, which I point out is not compulsory, but some people have sad enough lives to profess to enjoy it and that provides encouragement.

So, ‘ere we go. Thursday evening was a pre-planning presentation in the Civic centre with two proposals, both controversial. One is the Watermans Centre/Police station redevelopment in Brentford and you’ll not be surprised to hear that we made a few comments on it. I am on record as believing that the principle of relocating Watermans into the town centre is good -better transport and location outweigh the waterside location IMO, and the Watermans management agree – but the details are another matter and need thrashing out. I mis-spoke during the meeting by suggesting I didn’t care about the impact on Lighterage Court, which is just west of the proposed new riverside flats. This was not quite what I meant – I was just trying to point up that I thought the impact of the height of the proposed development would be overbearing on Watermans Park and I would prefer that end in particular to be lowered. We haven’t really thought about the impact on neighbours the other end as yet but we will. Anyway, there is still a lot of water to flow and I’ve yet to be convinced that we have a viable solution for Watermans which will be needed, inter alia, if anyone wants my support for the final proposal. The other matter was a development opposite Hounslow West station. There was once a Morrisons there but they closed it down when they closed their unprofitable stores a couple of years ago. Some (at least) locals would like a new supermarket but the developer says only a large convenience store is viable, together with flats.

Friday was Belgian National Day (not a lot of people know that, except Belgians I suppose) and I was invited by a colleague to dine at La Cuisine in Isleworth with Belgian chef Joff (who is Cllr Dunne’s partner). I had something called scampi diabolo (or something like that) which was pretty wonderful then steak and Belgian chips. Magnifico, as they don’t say in Belgium but if you go there do try the scampi.

Saturday I was away in deepest Worcestershire where my niece was getting married. My sister is a farmer so the reception was held in a marquee in their garden? field? And very nice too. Apart from family, the company was a bit on the rustic side – a lot of ‘untin’ shootin’ fishin’ and general horsin’ in evidence but entertaining none the less and the hog roast was delish.

On Monday morning we respond to the call of Obergruppenfuhrer Savin who is trying to whip the Brentford councillors into line and has called a meeting to be held at the Watermans centre. This features a meeting with the centre director – very useful in understanding where she stands on the redevelopment – and a massive agenda of ward priorities that Myra has put together. In recent weeks the three of us have not got together as often as we might and Myra reintroducing a bit of coordination is very helpful.    

In the evening I go for licensing training, together with most of the other Panel members (a few played truant). We have to do this every year (to keep our licence to be on the licensing panel, I suppose, a bit like an MoT test) so it could get boring but it is enlivened by a few anecdotes about dodgy licensing activities in Hounslow or elsewhere, and of course by the magisterial remarks of Lefty Lee.

Tuesday morning our occasional meeting of the working group on the transfer of planned maintenance (of council housing) to Lampton 360 Facilities Management. This took place in April as planned and is going OK operationally, however the person who was leading for Lampton has left which means that our poor old director of Housing, who is not exactly underworked what with the aftermath of Grenfell Tower as well as everything else, now has to help Lampton go find a new director whilst overseeing the day-to-day running.

In the evening a meeting of the Thomas Layton Trust, which is a rare pleasure. The book collection, previously housed in Hounslow Library, is now partly in the Archives of the museum of London and partly in Feltham Library.
Thomas LaytonIs old Tommy turning in his grave? Probably not, because many of his artefacts are on display in the Museum of London and the trust is doing a lively job of keeping his legacy alive, thanks to the wonderful local historians who give it plenty of enthusiasm as volunteers, and various in the library service who give fantastic support. The trustees were pleased also to present a bunch of flowers to the finance person from LBH who works hard to keep the wolf from the door. Anybody think that Tommy looks a bit like George C Scott auditioning for a part in Downton Abbey? Anyway – all food this week - we eat afterwards in La Rosetta In Brentford (it’s all food this week 😊) which is always a pleasure.

Wednesday we go down to the Civic Centre in the afternoon for a ceremony to thank our emergency services – Fire Brigade in particular – for the fantastically brave and dedicated job they did in Grenfell Tower. It takes a special courage to enter a burning building and we hear that some people were on shift for 30 hours. It turns out that we are losing our borough fire commander, because he has been selected to lead the review of the Grenfell catastrophe.

This morning, Thursday, I’m supposed to attend a meeting with officers and Friends of St Paul’s Rec re attempts to revive the Victorian drinking fountain. Unfortunately I run out of time and I miss this but I do manage to get along to an estate inspection of various of the Haverfield ‘Walks’. These are 1970s buildings and have their share of issues in places – water leaks and smelly rubbish chutes – but in general I’m always rather impressed by their standards in the internal common areas but less impressed by the public areas. I chat to the housing officer about this and I know there are thoughts of rebalancing how all this gets addressed. Fortunately the rain holds off during most of our perambulations (believe me, there is a lot of perambulating involved where the walks are concerned!) and I don’t get soaked at all until I head for home, arriving duly drenched.

OK, my century is completed. Time now to mug up on the Area Forum meeting which takes place tonight: this is an away fixture at the St John’s Centre, 80 St John’s Rd TW7 6RU. We’re hoping for some good away support from the Brilliant fans against those Isleworth hooligans.

July 27, 2017

Bookmark and Share