Collects a load of rubbish and discusses food a lot
Hounslow FoodBox's testing out their new patio
On Thursday I had a day's blogging, emailing and gymming, ending up with what should have been a Hounslow Community FoodBox trustee meeting in the evening. Not for the first time, we didn’t manage a quorum but nevertheless had a good chat about various issues.
Friday morning I was up in Harrow for a West London Waste meeting. These are always interesting because West London Waste themselves deal with a lot of our residual (ie wheelie bin, black bag and street) waste and they also help dispose of some of our recyclate, especially green and food waste. In addition, I get to meet fellow lead members from the 6 boroughs that work together and pick up some ideas and tips.
Then back to that pesky FoodBox again for a celebratory lunch provided by the Novotel. Many volunteers are there, plus various councillors and we formally open the new outside decking and kitchen garden area we have just had constructed.
On Saturday morning Hounslow Cycling have organised an official opening ceremony for the Boston Manor Cycle lane. 2 MPs in the shape of Ruth Cadbury and Virendra Sharma from Ealing Southall are there, together with councillors from Hounslow and Ealing and many cyclists, mainly of the user-friendly variety and without many (any?) MAMILs*
*MAMIL – Middle Aged Man In Lycra
We upset a few cyclists by blocking the now much appreciated lane then trundle down to Boston Manor Park for some more photos and some aerial shots from a drone (powered by batteries, not a cyclist).
Then it’s off to Turnham Green for the Food For Thought event, where we’re promoting healthy eating and recycling, particularly of food waste, which saves a lot of money for taxpayers and a lot of greenhouse gas for their children’s future.
On Sunday morning, the ridiculous car loaded with litter pickers, nasty plastic gloves, Green Hounslow Highways bags and the like I’m off to the corner of Windmill Road and the A4 for my first bout of the Great British Spring Clean. There’s a green area next to the A4 here that has nice trees and shrubs and not nice mess. It’s only when you get your litter picker out that you realise just how much mess, going back years I think. Anyway, about 10 of us turn up and make a good dent in it, collecting about 30 bags together with various unsavoury objects. We’ll be back on Easter Sunday morning (if I’d realised it was Easter I may have changed the date but some of you will want to escape your families/church/Peston on Brexit for the 935th time). If that’s you, volunteer here; https://www.keepbritaintidy.org/node/15924
After the exertions of the weekend I am off on Monday to visit the cavalry barracks in Hounslow West, home to the Irish Guards, or some of them. Not for long, as the site is to be vacated and sold next year and the visit is a precursor to planning consideration of the site. It is very extensive and includes a number of grade 2 listed buildings as well as more workaday modern accommodation blocks etc.
The officer questions why I am taking pictures and tells me I am not allowed to take pics of tanks or soldiers but I think I get away with this one as the tank is in fact a Chiswick Tractor.
On Tuesday I get to visit one of my favourite residents down at Wicksteed House amongst the Brentford towers. It’s about parking, specifically disabled parking. My resident is elderly and can’t walk too far and at times the bays near his house get full either because there’s a shortage whilst refurbishment is going on, or because Herr Uber is there picking someone up. It often takes Herr U an hour to accomplish this seemingly simple task, which is a mite vexing.
My later meetings get cancelled so I get to spend the day in Brilliant Brentford, but on Wednesday I’m back in Homely Hounslow for a series of meetings in the Classically Charming Civic Centre before they despatch us in a week or two to the Humongously Handsome Hounslow House.
First of all we talk about improvements to pavements etc. on Windmill Road. The pavements are narrow here and there are a few mature trees that are causing severe problems and blocking the path for wheelchair users and the like. A few will have to go, but given that their replacements will inevitably be much smaller, the Melvinator and I convince the transport people that the 5 that have to go must be replaced with at least 8 new ones. This is out to consultation at present and no doubt some other improvements will be suggested.
Next we talk about the St Paul’s conservation area. They’ve just come through a second consultation on extending it. We’d rather prefer to extend it somewhat further but this is awkward pending the imminent development of Griffin Park. Melvinator wants a new conservation area around the ground which he wants to call the Griffin conservation area.
Later on I meet the MD of Lampton360 and after that the director of their development and investment arm. Lampton in general is making steady progress and I urge steady to become a little less steady, whereas the investment arm is going really quickly – perhaps a bit too much so as they will soon run out of money, but this is great because it is helping people out of overcrowded and sometimes poorly maintained privately rented accommodation and will save the council money to boot, especially in the longer term.
Then it’s our local heroes presentation. We nominated the leaders of the Brentford Towers Residents Association and the indefatigable Virginia who does so much around the ward (including helping with Spring Cleans!) Delighted that the most active volunteers from the FoodBox were also honoured (by Syon Ward councillors) plus so many active citizens from around the borough, many of whom I now know.
Then I have to appear before the overview and scrutiny committee. Genghis Todd (who isn’t even on the committee but is the usual suspect when trouble is being made) fixes me with his gimlet eye and, cackling horribly, tells me he is going to ask me an impossible question later. I made up the cackling bit. As it turns out, we filibuster the other items on the agenda (not deliberately, guv, honest) so he’s gone before it gets to my bit, but there are plenty of questions from Cllrs Mushiso, Biddolph, Chaudri etc to keep us nimble. I find the questions OK to answer because I think we have such a strong team dealing with our cleanliness issues, and such a strong plan – plus the team were on hand to answer the hard ones :D. Lots to do, mind.
Thursday has come, and I will shortly be off to another series of meetings. Pegasus has broken a spoke again and I worry that it will get a puncture so I may decide it’s a good excuse to drive and keep out of the gales/snow/ice/hail.
Cllr Guy Lambert
April 4, 2019