Weekly Update From Councillor Guy Lambert

Food features prominently in a busy schedule

Crossing the A4


Guy Lambertguy.lambert@hounslow.gov.uk

tel 07804 284948

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Thursday afternoon I was up at the new Oaklands School for SEN pupils just by the A4 in Osterley. We met the head, a governor, a parent and teacher and her son who is a pupil there, together with various worthies from TfL and the LBH traffic department. Oh, and the ever self-effacing Cllr T. Louki. Crossing the A4 by the school is very problematic and involves a long hike in either direction or a scary expedition across 6 lanes of traffic with a minuscule central reservation. It seems there’s plenty of support for a formal crossing here, plus a reduction of the speed limit to 30mph. Great, but I point out that there are more schools and pedestrian traffic in Brentford, plus bends and the M4 obstructing visibility (oh and towering air pollution): we need a 30mph limit in Brentford too.

On Thursday evening we have a planning presentation meeting which is about proposals to add extra storeys to the top of a row of shops in Hounslow High Street. We saw a different version of this a while ago but that was rejected by the planners. I am not complimentary about the new idea – “dog’s breakfast” was in my mind but I think what emerged from my lips was “horrible”.

On Friday I had a convivial lunch at the Black Dog with my parking guru from Chiswick who helps out when people (including me on occasion) query a parking ticket. He is ever-helpful and objective, more than happy to dole out unwelcome truths where appropriate and he’s also very good company. In the evening it’s a leaving do at the Clayton Hotel for our political assistant Rob Neville, who is off to join the Met Police as DC Neville. Criminals be afraid, be very afraid. I go to buy a drink at the bar and discover I am without wallet. Visions of my wallet having fallen out of my pocket on the South Circular cause a rapid exit and of course the discovery of said wallet on the kitchen table.

Clementina Day Centre

Saturday is a busy day. Starts with an urgent text from Ruth Cadbury. Someone broke into her car so can I give her and her other half and all the coffee morning gubbins a lift to Clayponds Community Centre. The coffee morning is well attended and there is a positive queue of people wanting to award me casework. Also meet someone who is starting off a day centre for people with dementia etc. in the summer – a welcome addition to the scene.

Overshadowing all this is the awful news of the murder in Union Lane Isleworth of a teenager from Brentford. Ruth is on the phone to various senior police officers wondering whether there’s anything she could do. Eventually I drop her home and we proceed later to go off to join the People’s Vote march together with a bunch of worthies who I bump into at Brentford station. I’m not one of nature’s marchers (or shufflers, to be more realistic) but I need at the very least to register frustration at the current fiasco.

People's Vote

In the evening it is the much advertised 645th birthday party for Mrs Jackie Melvinator at the Free Church. I failed to get a picture of Jackie cutting the cake so you’ll have to make do with a picture of the nosh. The cake-cutting was accompanied by a lively rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ led by the Melvinator’s baritone (I think) including an excursion into what I suppose you’d call a descant. Very tasteful.

Birthday spread
Round to Monday and after my family reunion (I meet my sisters for lunch in Kimbolton, Cambridgeshire held to be equidistant for the three of us) it’s back to Gunnersbury Park for a quick councillor update on planned events (notably Lovebox/Citadel) – I’m still concerned about marshalling people off site, amongst other things – then to the Watermans for a trustee meeting.

On Tuesday it’s back to Gunnersbury for an ‘awayday’ for the Lampton360 board. When I arrive and try to lock my bike I discover my keys have fallen out of my pocket somewhere (do you see a pattern here?) and whizz back home where to my eternal relief and gratitude somebody has spotted them and placed them prominently on a ledge. So somewhat more slowly back up the hill to Gunnersbury. Niall Bolger is in attendance and we’re able to give the board a clearer steer on what we are expecting from them over the coming months.

On Wednesday a quick update with our new environmental services head on plans to address flytipping, followed by a session with an officer in charge of Financial Inclusion, about Credit Unions and how they could work together with the council. Very useful, and she has experience of working with CUs in her native Wales.

On the way back I stop for a brunch of the Gods at the Boston Snack Bar (formerly Boston Café) – is there a better purveyor of dog and bacon rolls in West London? I go back far enough with this place to remember when the then head man Ron introduced bacon rolls as a huge innovation to complement the traditional sausages. I am then accosted by a lady in the street who tells me she is the daughter of the 99 year old I met a couple of weeks ago and that I should wear a helmet on my bike. She tells me she reads this rubbish, which makes that two this week, a record!

In the afternoon, latest in our series of meetings about libraries and parks. Lots of positive stuff going on and I urge some more active communication about it. Then back to Brentford for the launch of the ‘new’ (ie rebranded) Adagio ApartHotel in the Kew Eye building in Great West Quarter. A lot of French blokes tell us how wonderful it’s all going to be and I partake of a touch of free fizzy wine and some very tasty lager from Windsor and Eton. Good conversations with various locals about various matters, then I repair to Albany Spice to  put back any pounds I have lost by cycling today in company of Tony Louki. We then meet former councillor Sam Christie for a nightcap in the ever-popular Black Dog. Sam attracts the attention of a fan, who applauds her National Grid T shirt, though I’m not sure whether that was the real attraction.

Cllr Guy Lambert

March 28, 2019

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