Weekly Update From Councillor Guy Lambert
Brentford's Stadium, repairing the library and tidying up the A4
Hmm, I just realised it’s Thursday afternoon. This oppressive heat is addling my mind. In fact it’s so addled it’s making up oppressive heat. I heard on the TV that there’s a link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s and my gums have been trouble for quite some time so perhaps… Still, I’m not so addled as to forget the wrath of the Editor Who Must Be Obeyed if I don’t wake my ideas up and get this written multi pronto.
Another quiet week and I confess that I’m working at half pace at the moment. Been trying to organise a short break somewhere with my daughter but it doesn’t look like that’s going to work out so no holidays :(. Good news is the insurance have paid out for my cancelled one: this is one in the eye for me as I have been telling everybody that insurance companies are dedicated to making up reasons not to pay out, like Monty Python’s Cheese Shop.
Anyway, not completely idle in the councilloring business. Signor Melvinatora and I went and did a little walkabout on the A4 and Windmill Road with a resident and Hounslow Highways people. The issue on the A4 is litter and general mess. It’s not easy to keep clean but we will continue to hound H Highways to do better. On Windmill Road the issue is pavements. They have not been ‘done’ for many years and the resident points out that Lambert Lodge – where all the best elderly people live in Brentford – is nearby and they have great difficulty dealing with even small dips in the pavement and at least one of them is inclined to walk on the road – not a great idea on a narrow, busy bus route featuring a hump back bridge. A few problems are already marked for fixing and a few more are identified including some on Hounslow Housing land.
We then go to the library and meet with a lady from the British Legion. This is mainly making sure that the grounds will be in shape for November 11th but of course we digress into other matters in the library grounds – the fallen tree I refer to as the Maginot Line as it looks like an underground artillery piece aimed at the library building, the still unrebuilt wall which was demolished by another tree falling and various other matters. I get onto the subject of lights: last time I was there we were grumbling about the state of the fittings that throw light on the building exterior at night and subsequent to that they were fixed, and very nice the building looked. So I cast my eyes about to see if the fittings have been refurbished and… they’ve gone. Full fulmination mode is assumed until the librarian comes out and says ’oh yes, the old damaged ones were replaced, but the next day somebody pinched the new fittings’. Sometimes you wonder why you bother. Anyway, just today I’ve heard that they are raising a purchase order to rebuild the downed wall so at least that most pressing problem will progress.
On Monday we have the Thamesbank board meeting. A couple of our directors are moving away so we’re getting a bit thin (not me) and we decided to recruit some new blood. If anybody wants to shape and develop our small community ‘bank’ let me know. The commitment of time is not great, but then nor is the salary, being an extremely round sum.
Tuesday I cycle into the Civic to meet an officer. I have to chair the Overview and Scrutiny Committee next week as the Chair is off sunning himself and I didn’t duck fast enough when they were looking for vice chairs. In the evening a crisis meeting at Ferry Quays – our estate manager is moving on at a time when there is much to do.
Wednesday two late afternoon/evening meetings. First off is the trustees of the David Henry Waring Trust. Why the surfeit of names? Perhaps I should start referring to myself as Edwin Guy Lambert. It never did George Bernard Shaw any harm, nor John Cooper Clarke. It’s a housing charity in Bedfont where I’ve been coopted as one of the council trustees/directors. There’s a big change coming and this is controversial amongst the trustees so the meeting is lively!
Then back as a late arrival at the Lionel Road Liaison Group at our wonderful Steam Museum – I forget how wonderful but I love going there. This meeting is about Brentford FC’s new stadium and a planning application that changes the stadium fairly radically and the surrounding housing somewhat less radically. This is, as you can probably guess, another lively one. Melvinatoro is off in exotic climes (St Ives I believe) so he has given his lovely assistants a list of questions to ask. The lovelier one is busy asking them as I arrive so I don’t altogether hear the answers. It is clear that the audience, which I suspect is more from Chiswick than Brentford though they don’t have any distinctive markings, brands or whatever, at least none showing, is not over-gruntled by the whole plan but there seems to be a grudging view that the changes make it marginally less horrific than the original scheme. Somebody suggests closing off Lionel Road South as it’s just a smelly rat run: this seems quite a wizard idea to me, though closing off rat runs is not universally popular. Not popular with the rats, and not popular with the people who subsequently have the rats running outside their houses. Still, I want to explore it. I’m very keen to hear from Brentfordites, particularly Bees fans, as I don’t fully understand the impact of the stadium changes.
Myra owes me a birthday meal so I suggest the tasting menu at Hedone – Carte Blanche is only £135 per person plus a modest little claret probably only about £100 – but Myra prefers the Express Tavern and I am happy enough with a tub of sausage and a bowl of chips which saves her a pound or two.
Today, Thursday, I have booked a meeting with the head of planning enforcement and we go through various issues in Brentford with one you’ll have heard about before – Sarah Trimmer – top of the list. It seems they have agreed a way forward with the developer which will involve them dismantling some of the steel framework which we were shocked to see going up last week but this needs close watching, to put it mildly.
This evening we have a second dose of Lionel Road in the pre-planning forum so I’d better mug up on Mel’s questions – Myra won’t be able to attend because of a family bereavement. I believe there is another mystery application so I’m all excited.
Councillor Guy Lambert
August 24, 2017