Weekly Update From Councillor Guy Lambert
"Hounslow Highways, Fix My Potholes"
On Saturday morning I have surgery up at Clayponds Community Centre. As is becoming a bit of a habit, I don’t get a single customer. Perhaps people have read that the NHS crisis (crisis, what crisis?) has led to all surgery being cancelled but really, that doesn’t apply to councillors. The only scalpel that we apply is that of our unchallenged intellect which is perfect for dissecting pot holes, graffiti and dog…. No, let’s not take our scalpel there.
Anyway the powers that be from the Residents Association came in to do some stuff of their own so it was good to meet up with them and have a chat about how the centre is used. They have heard that the Brentford housing office will take some of the space later in the year and have some concerns about that. The exterior of the building is looking a bit tired so I outs with my trusty camera phone and send some suggestions for a lick of paint, more bins and all that jazz.
Tuesday morning Melvinator and I are out in the Haverfield estate with the head of repairs, following up on the walkabout we had just before Christmas. The good news is that there has been real progress on gardening – trimming shrubs etc, getting rid of weeds – and general cleanliness. The bad news is that the recent storms have demolished a few of the high fences. Actually maybe not so bad news because it will force some action. Mel starts pirouetting in the middle of Netley Road, chanting his mantra – Hounslow Highways, Fix My Potholes. He tells me he did the same last week unaccompanied, which is not altogether wise for someone visually impaired, but three cars screeched to a halt without flattening him. Netley Road is notable for having a surface that is 47.3% potholes which probably makes it Brentford champion. Trouble is (is this trouble?) they are all pretty shallow so they don’t count as real potholes and just get filled from time to time when they get a bit deeper. Mel and I are campaigning for a proper resurface of what is now certainly the least Brilliant road in the ward now Crowther Avenue and Clayponds Ave and Layton Road and Green Dragon Lane etc have been done. Quiet at the back, Lateward is second least brilliant and we’re working on that too.
In the afternoon all three of us are in the Civic Centre meeting with the CEO Mary Harpley and a number of officers and members about the changes to the parks and libraries contracts as Carillion disappear over the horizon. There is nothing but good news here and we councillors grump about the way we present it, which tends to feed people’s suspicions that we want to close libraries and build on parks. Absolutely not so. Of course it’s no secret that we will remain under extreme financial pressure as the government continues their policy of outsourcing the heavy lifting and blame for their austerity measures onto local authorities but exiting these expensive and poorly performing contracts will provide some savings and help us protect services. You won’t be surprised to hear that we mention the Boston Manor Park gates and the necessity to get them back up or at least somewhere we can see them in case Carillion fail to conclude arrangements with their funders, a risk which is all over the business pages.
Wednesday morning it’s back to the Civic to prepare for this evening’s Planning Committee which I will have to chair as Cllr Whatley has the good sense to be in Spain. It will potentially be a contentious meeting as there are three applications with speakers from both sides. As luck would have it, these are all in Chiswick so we will be expecting a virtuoso performance from Genghis Todd, who is never backward in coming forward at Planning Committee (usually, I must say, talking good sense).
During the day I’ll be spending a bit of time at Hounslow Community Foodbox: the treasurer has to go in for surgery later in the month and I’ve agreed to provide some cover whilst he’s out of action.
Last night we had a Labour Party meeting with an extensive fact-finding session in the Swan in Isleworth. After wobbling home on Pegasus, my non-winged iron horse (bicycle) I open an email with pictures showing travellers have taken over the site on the corner of Ealing Road and the GWR which we recently approved for an office development. There was also a fire against the wall of the neighbouring flats, I’m told. This rather spoils my Horlicks and I bang off emails to Steve Curran and the enforcement team at LBH to try and get things moving to resolve this fast.
Councillor Guy Lambert
January 12, 2018