Weekly Update From Councillor Guy Lambert

Suffers a puncture or two and visits a pub or two


Guy Lambertguy.lambert@hounslow.gov.uk

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I duly went into Hounslow House on Thursday afternoon, hunting the Chair of Lampton but when I got there she was nowhere to be seen. Transpired she had changed the date and with my unerring efficiency I had failed to note this.

Anyway, the Melvinator and I then met a posse from TfL who are starting the detailed planning for the western bit of Cycleway 9, from the Beehive to approx. Hounslow bus garage. In reality, none of this touches Brentford ward, as it starts in Brentford, which isn’t in Brentford ward. All this will be sorted by the Boundaries Commission for the 2022 elections and 100 years thereafter, where the eastern part of Brentford will be split into 2 wards Brentford East and Brentford West, and the central and western parts of Brentford will become Syon and Brentford Dock. Genius. Whoever represents Brentford West will have a lot of explaining to do. There, I got that off my chest.

Anyway, I suspect there will be far less controversy about this bit of the cycleway as there are less pinch points – round about the Magpie and Crown is probably the worst bit – and councillors along the route who believe in reducing pollution, congestion and generally making life more pleasant. I am something of an expert on cycling matters along this route as it is my commute.

In the evening I’m at the George IV in Chiswick for the Chiswick Calendar party. Serious discounts on food and drink with the Chiswick Calendar card, some mellow jazzy-type music, some awards to local heroes including the redoubtable Paul Doyle of Active360, good company etc.

Friday morning bright and early (7am!!) I’m supping tea in Marlborough Road with a resident with litter concerns, awaiting Hounslow Highways who turn up shortly afterwards. A little tour of Spur Road, Syon Lane, Marlborough etc and some plans for enhanced litter picking and a bin by the steps. I fear that those who toss copious volumes of cans of lager (empty I presume) in the bushes are not too interested in using bins, but time will tell.

Next sup is some coffee at the Coffee Traveller in Thames Road Chiswick. A resident is planning a blossom festival in Staveley Road when the cherry trees blossom there and wants help from me in mobilising support from Hounslow Highways and the council environment team, which I’m delighted to support.

As luck has it, I’m meeting the boss of Hounslow Highways at lunchtime for – you’ve guessed it – a coffee and a chat. Then I float home to catch up with some emails etc.

Saturday morning Hounslow Cycling put on a builders breakfast down by Kew Bridge to celebrate the start of works on Cycleway 9. I go down to offer support but have to leave before the photo-opp  (and the breakfast, which I think was less than veganuary) because I have surgery at the library. Anyway somebody gets me in my silly hat (which I’ve now managed to lose, some will say thankfully) standing next to Jeremy Vine to prove I was there earlier!

Cycleway breakfast

So then my surgery with only one resident, with a parking problem. Not sure if I can help her but I’ll do my best.

On Sunday, nice day and I decide to head off on a bike ride, taking in Brentford Market on the way.  But as I pass the blue road I am distracted by a lot of activity and cars of the unusual  variety so I head down the hill. Well, it is I suppose very Brentford with the sublime sharing intimately with the ridiculous. A 100E Ford Anglia leads a parade of Lamborghinis but surely the coolest and most unique car on offer was the cut down Allegro Estate in ultra-trendy faded mustard and rust colour. I’ll let you decide which is sublime and which is ridiculous but suffice to say I don’t find Lamborghinis so sublime, especially in these days of climate emergency.

RubbishMonday was meeting-free until the evening when I had a Lovebox public meeting at Gunnersbury Park. On the way out I took my recycling down and retrieved this ugly looking bag from the plastics recycling bin. I had to point out on the Ferry Quays Google group that: a) aluminium is not plastic; b) leftover rice is not plastic; c) soggy kitchen towel is not plastic; d) cardboard boxes are not plastic; e) carrier bags are not recyclable and f) putting this in the plastics recycling bin will likely lead to the whole consignment being rejected for contamination. Folks, if you can’t be bothered to spend 19 seconds separating your recycling, stick it in the residual waste bin so at least you don’t undermine the efforts of those who do take the trouble to recycle.

Unusually I decided to drive to Gunnersbury and parked in the car park. I decided it was quicker to exit to Popes Lane and then nearly slid over on some leaves on the pavement there, leading to an angry FixMyStreet report to Hounslow Highways. They came back to say it was Ealing’s problem and they would notify them and having ranted a bit I had to concede a new learning: the houses on the South side of Popes Lane are in Brentford and we collect their waste, but the road and pavements belong to Ealing. I didn’t know whether to be disappointed because I couldn’t have a go at Hounslow Highways, pleased because I don’t believe there are any leaves as bad as that in Hounslow, or embarrassed not knowing where my ward boundaries are.

The Lovebox people seem to be getting a bit more responsive to the local issues we raise, and I was pleased that they will set a curfew on the use of the metal road which has lorries going very near to the houses in Lionel Road North and in previous years has been used deep into the night. Still issues to be ironed out but it feels like we are getting more of a hearing. And they are creating a sizeable fund to support local community projects. If you have an idea have a look here and apply. https://gpresidents-eventshub.com/community-fund-2020  Let’s have plenty of Brentford flavour to these!


Tuesday evening it’s Cabinet but before that we are booked for a demonstration of electric bikes. Unfortunately my decidedly non-electric bike has a decidedly old fashioned puncture just by Isleworth station so I have to get the bus for the rest of the journey. Fortunately I maker this one in time for the photo-opp.


Leader gives me a lift home and I pick up the bike wheel for repair. I am exceedingly proud of myself because I manage to repair the hole with a patch. On Wednesday I have a climate emergency conference in Westminster so I bus out to Isleworth, fit repaired wheel and cycle in until I get to St James Park where….. I get a puncture :-(.

The conference is good, and gives plenty of food for thought as we get more and more serious about tackling the Climate Emergency. At the end I manage to find a repair shop so I can cycle home, mainly along the river which is shrouded in a light mist in the evening gloaming. Bootiful, as Bernard Matthews might say but unfortunately the picture I took is unusable due to camera shake from my shivering fingers.

The evening is spent in the august environment of Isleworth Public Hall at that riveting event known as the General Committee of the Brentford and Isleworth Labour Party.  The Swan Inn provides some medicine to soothe the aching brain, such as it is.

Thursday it’s Hounslow House and a meeting with the senior officers which look after my cabinet portfolio. Such a lot happening with recycle, Hounslow Highways, Greenspace etc and we will keep on pushing hard for improvement – there’s still plenty of room for that. Rearranged meeting with the Chair of Lampton this afternoon, then Brentford Towers in the evening – to discuss the ‘Hidden Homes’ – 11 new flats we are squeezing into the mezzanine areas of the towers.

Cllr Guy Lambert

January 23, 2020

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