Weekly Update From Councillor Guy Lambert

Congratulations to Cllr Corinna Smart for being selected for Brentford


Guy Lambertguy.lambert@hounslow.gov.uk

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All the weeklies have bumper double-sized Christmas editions for you to enjoy around a log fire with your extended family, packed with celeb interviews, Christmas recipes, reviews of the year etc. Well, this is your bumper Christmas edition, so read on. And don’t expect another instalment on the 28th December because I expect to be too drunk. Anyway, you’ll be too busy watching reruns of Morecambe and Wise and witnessing the mighty Bees and the even more mighty Liverpool FC ascending their respective tables as they find a winning streak through their packed holiday programmes. If tradition is maintained there will be a couple of ‘resignations’ by cabinet ministers to keep you amused as well.


Anyway, life is getting a bit odd in the run up to Christmas with various meetings cancelled whilst frenetic activity is happening all around as the Labour candidate selections are completed, ward by ward. So Thursday, Friday and the weekend I have no meetings, which obviously leaves me feeling very vulnerable and is on the verge of driving me to drink. I console myself with dealing with bits of casework about the usual high matters of state that Councillors have to concern themselves with – a missed bin collection here, a dollop of dog poo there, flytipping and graffiti everywhere. Some people’s phones are full of selfies taken with celebs. My photos are far more interesting. Cartier-Bresson would be proud of me.

On Saturday morning I hear the result of the selection meeting for our third council candidate for Brentford. I’m delighted to hear that it’s Corinna Smart. Corinna is an experienced Councillor who currently is a member for Hounslow Heath. Like all the best people she lives in Syon ward [cough, cough, Ed.] though unlike some lucky councillors she does not have that most prestigious asset – a TW8 postcode. In the afternoon I cruise round the Ferry Quays estate with 400 flyers for the Carols in the Park event which is coming on Monday.

That funny green symbol

I am also continuing to wrestle with recycling definitions, not least because some enthusiastic recyclers are kicking up about the council no longer accepting plastic film. As I research things on the Recycle Now website I realise that a) it seems plastic film is not recyclable (and many packs say that, if you look closely) b) the swirly arrows symbol that I always thought meant something was recyclable means nothing of the sort and c) you need a PhD to understand what’s really going on. So why do so many packs come replete with this swirly arrow symbol (the one at the bottom of this picture) which actually means nothing at all?  Answers on a postcard and if you want to commence that PhD study visit RecycleNow

Enough already. Monday morning I take to the bike to inspect a few issues – pavement issues on Kew Bridge Road, flytipping (there isn’t any!!!) on Green Dragon Lane and I then end up in Greenrod Place, one of our local homes for the elderly, to support a concert given by Frank Sinatra on his 217th comeback tour. I must say it didn’t look all that much like Frank but handbags were produced from all directions and a certain amount of uninhibited raving ensued.
In the afternoon it’s down to St Paul’s Rec to assist the redoubtable Sara Ward in setting up Carols in the Park. The stage has obviously come from IKEA and somebody lost the instructions but Sara cruises around supervising this construction (and everything else, indeed!) and it is evident that she’s done this kind of thing before. There are lots of people helping and it’s all set up in no time, so having erected the banner we have for www.thamesbank.org – your Credit Union which sponsored the mince pies etc. – I made my excuses and left: I had to go to a credit union board meeting which meant I missed the fun, including the animals, most of the human ones and all the non-human. I believe about 400-500 people attended, which is absolutely great and massive respeck goes to Sara and all the others involved. The Melvinator even managed to negotiate good weather with ‘im upstairs (or is it ‘er, who knows?)

Tuesday morning a meeting with a lift consultant about our awful Ferry Quays lifts and we agree a plan to get them back shipshape. Then a lunch up in Covent Garden with some old workmates – people I’ve kept up with for 30 years or more from when we were hungry young men in the Finance department of Honeywell and met in the Kings Arms or the Globe or the White Horse before it became the Weir. I remember coining a collective noun – you know, like  a Murder of Crows – and deciding we were an Aggravation of Accountants. Still aggravating after all these years.

In the evening, a licencing panel. Licencing panels are interesting because there are always three councillors and the first one to blink gets to chair. On this occasion it’s muggins – the kiosk in Turnham Green Station and a formerly dodgy pub in Feltham now turned into a respectable restaurant are on the agenda, though Cllr Louki gets a fit of the grumps when he discovers they don’t have a Tandoor oven. There were councillors with objections to both applications and a most courteous lady objecting in person to the Chiswick one but in truth we could find no valid reasons to refuse the applications. It was actually a most pleasant meeting and I think everyone went away reasonably content.

Whilst I’m in the civic I pick up a mysterious parcel that I have been told was left for me. Gold? Frankincense? Myrrh? No, it turns out to be a big box full of carrier bags and the plastic film off the top of supermarket trays, delivered to me for recycling. Armed with my new-found expertise, I am able to dump it promptly in the ‘general waste’ bin in the office, carefully preserving the cardboard box to be recycled, obviously.

Wednesday the three Brentford councillors have our Christmas dinner at the excellent Siracusa restaurant, so here’s your celeb interview: Melvinator – what will you have? “I’ll have the pork belly with mashed potato, and a cup of tea”. “Your Worshipfulness?” “Vegetable risotto and let’s share a bottle of the cheapest white wine on the menu”. See – this is how celebs live – hope you’re grateful for a window into the glamourous life. And that was almost a recipe, too.

So it’s now the Thursday before Christmas. I must away in a minute because I have offered to deliver some food boxes for Hounslow Community Foodbox plus I have a run through with planning for the meeting in January. I will be Chair as the real chair will be occupying a deck chair in Spain (more celeb lifestyle for you).

So it only remains for me (my PC decided that it remoans for me – yes, I plead guilty to being a Remoaner) to wish a very Merry Christmas to both my readers and to say – see you again come January if you’re daft enough to want more.

Councillor Guy Lambert

December 21, 2017

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