Gets excited over spreadsheets with 100 day plan

Weekly Update From Councillor Guy Lambert



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I had a brief meeting with the Hounslow CEO about his early(ish) impressions of our trading companies – the various Lampton360 entities – followed by an update with senior officers in my environment brief.

We have a new head of environment who has only been with us a few weeks and he’s sent me an Excel spreadsheet showing his plans for the first 100 days and the first year. I was quite impressed by this when I studied it. I asked him whether, with a first 100 days plan, he thought he was Donald Trump, but I told him there was no budget for a wall between Hounslow and Ealing. I think he was bigly disappointed.

When he and his boss met with me I realised (but didn’t admit, obviously) that I hadn’t noticed that this Excel workbook actually has 8 different sheets, each with about 20 different tasks for the first 100 days so they’re going to be busy! Topics include flytipping, waste and recycling, culture, performance management, data and enforcement. I come out of the meeting most encouraged that we will make a real difference over the coming months. Having cycled there along the A4 I was pleased to see there is already an improvement in levels of litter, particularly on the grassy bits which had been rather neglected, though whether this is Hounslow Highways stepping up or the work of the Great British Spring Clean I’m unsure.

Then the CEO, head of governance and Finance director for more discussions about Lampton360: we’ll conclude a comprehensive review of governance and business plans over the next 2 months.

The Hounslow’s Promise event I had in my diary turned out to be imaginary, so I was able to poke my head around the door of the room where elections for the Youth Parliament were being held. Lots of people and excitement but I didn’t stay as I needed to prepare for planning. This was Corinna’s swansong (appropriate enough given her predilection for our feathered friends) as chair of planning so we gave her a bit of a send off. For once, we approved everything. I complained that the people doing the storage place opposite Gillette had not taken up my suggestion of a green wall and they pointed at the picture of one wall which featured… a green wall. And that was AFTER I prepared.

On Friday morning back to Hounslow House. I have a grumble about the public bike racks which seem to have been designed solely for the use of contortionists with permanently attached helmets and am told they are being replaced with something better next week, and why don’t I use the council officers’ bike shed round the back (because I didn’t know it existed). I meet with the head of the development/investment bit of Lampton360 and give him my feedback on his draft business plan.

In the afternoon we have a FoodBox trustees meeting in the Holiday Inn, most convivial particularly as somebody buys me a pint of nectar, but it was quite a tough meeting. The service itself continues to run superbly thanks to a wonderful team of volunteers and the fact that us trustees keep out of the way. Our financial management is obviously flawless as I have been treasurer but we have a couple of issues to sort out amongst the trustee group.

Saturday morning I’m up with the lark (lot of birds this week) and off to indulge myself at Donington Park, for my favourite Historic motor racing meeting. During the week I had a call from an old school chum – somebody I got back into contact with a few years ago (he claimed at the time that I was dead, but I was able to demonstrate his error, from the neck down at least) – to the effect that he had an invite to a hospitality box and would I like to join him. Indeed I would, and did. This was not the kind of hospitality with champagne and caviar served by alluring wenches but the kind with a lot of old geysers clustered round a fridge and a box of assorted biscuits, talking of the exploits of old Olly Horswill in his MGB at Cadwell Park in 1973. My friend Alan is apparently known as ‘The Anorak’ but the rest of them qualify at least as duffle coats.

Usually I like the 1960s/70s stuff best but I was taken with this mad thing – a GN cyclecar fitted with an Avro aeroplane engine.

GN cyclecar

It was ridiculously fast too – here dicing for the lead.


Two days at Donington then I arrive back for Monday, having forgotten it’s a bank holiday. Nice day so nothing for it but a ride up to Westminster and back through Knightsbridge, where my favourite Tall Girls (ie for fat blokes) shop is situated opposite Harrods. I needed some new trousers and there is a distinct pleasure in hitching your tatty bike to the railings outside Harrods and strolling across the road to the shop. Really, why use a car when you have to pay an arm and a leg to park half a mile away and have no sense of smug whatsoever?

Prudential Ride LondonSuitably emboldened, I decided to ride to City Hall for a session with the people who run Ride London, led by Walking and Cycling Commissioner Will Norman. Apparently Ride London is the biggest participatory cycle event in the whole wide world. I did the fun cycle thing last year and it was really good fun. Anyway, I hadn’t known a) that it is organised by the London Marathon Charitable Trust, b) that said trust hands out grants to boroughs that are on the route for sporting/activity promoting causes or c) that LBH was the London champion for attracting such grants, topped only by the County of Surrey.

Anybody looking for funding for anything a bit active – from dance to triathlons – be aware! Turns out (as I learn on Wednesday night) that Blondin Park – in Ealing, just, and where the Brentford Festival takes place currently – have a bid in for £150K to help them build a pavilion etc. Anyway, Tuesday was a great day for a longish bike ride and I arrived home in good time to cycle up to Boston Manor for the residents association AGM, held in Hanwell School of Boxing. When I arrived it was full of young chaps knocking 6 bells out of each other and I concluded that this was not in fact the AGM because a) the participants were under 60 and b) whilst residents’ associations are often lively, mass brawls are unusual. When I got home, a diary malfunction was detected. Followed by 3 goals (I had missed the first one on my abortive mission) and further evidence that anyone who follows any other football team than Liverpool is severely misguided.

On Wednesday my main task was to hand over my Treasurer’s box, bank card, bank statements, responsibility and various scruffy bits of paper recording transactions to the FoodBox’s shiny new treasurer. Praise be to the Lord, if there is one. Then the return of the Boston Manor AGM. This time it’s the right day as confirmed by the arrival of a Melvinator. At the end of the meeting Mel asks me for the Tottenham score – Ajax 2, Totts 0, Ajax 3-0 on aggregate. So we’re beating Ajax in the final. As I cycle past Mel I shout out some uncomplimentary remarks about Tottenham, and he grins. Hmm, but it’s another night of drama on the footer field, and it turns out that it will be an all-English final. Well, all English and Scottish and Argentinian and German and Dutch and Egyptian and Brazilian and….. But just remember, as Gary Lineker (nearly) said "Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the German Manager and his team wins”

Cllr Guy Lambert

May 9, 2019

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