Weekly Update From Councillor Guy Lambert
Still got it on the dance floor at seventy but Covid-19 lays me low
One thing I couldn’t not do, despite having a house guest, was chair the Cleaner Greener Community Reference Group.
Actually ’Chair’ was a gross overstatement – all I did was run through introductions and then left the agenda to officers who wrestle with this enormous agenda daily.
First of all the familiar Cleaner Greener Hounslow Programme – general cleaning, flytip reduction featuring the Special Waste Service – we have pledged a 25% reduction but our ambitions are much higher – and the pavement pledge – to spend at least £2M improving pavements that residents nominate.
And the ‘greener’ element – chemical free weed management, extended wildflower planting verges and
7500 new trees every year across streets, parks and council land.
Then, how we will develop the Community Reference Groups – we hope to have volunteer chairs,perhaps rotating, of the groups - then how we will approach the idea of low carbon neighbourhoods. I wanted to reproduce the slides here but they are incredibly complicated because the subject is complex and has so many moving parts.
A 12-month forward look is a bit easier to grasp
The slides cover a lot of other things, but there was so much debate we didn’t cover all the ground in the meeting so in brief the other major initiatives are the Heston Village Project – creating a 15 minuteneighbourhood pilot covering the central part of Heston – the Feltham town centre vision – following through important improvements there – and, most excitingly of all for me. The Community Parcel Network. We have been selected as one of four London boroughs to pilot an open access (ie any delivery company can use it) out of home locker network. The idea is to reduce the number of large vans touring residential streets looking to deliver a light bulb, and we’re expecting Brentford and Isleworth to be one (two?) of the first locations to try this.
Whatever, these CRGs are always very inspiring (and a bit mind-boggling) and I’m really excited about what we are looking to achieve over the next few years.
I was still trying to avoid meetings but I had to attend a Zooting © about the appointment of a new Lampton group MD on Friday morning – unanimity quickly secured and the meeting nice and brief, plus a Hounslow’s Promise trustee meeting in the evening.
But after that it was PARTY TIME. First, to Dan Bowring’s house in Isleworth for a BBQ in his garden. This was a ‘thank you’ to the many and various Labour party members who had helped us by canvassing, leafletting etc in the recent campaign. It was good fun (largely thanks to Dan’s two young children) and I think much appreciated. Easy to take people for granted.
An even bigger event for me was my Septuagenarian bash. I don’t think I’ve held a party as such since I came of age, so I thought it was high time to change that and welcome the coming of decrepitude. With a lot of help from my friends – one in particular – I managed to organise a bit of a do in the showroom of Duke of London, with beer from the Brewery Tap, wine from the adjacent wine bar, and pizzas and tacos from the kitchens upstairs. Doc Stenson and his Amazing Hot Shots provided the musical accompaniment and I enjoyed making a fool of myself on the dance floor. It was nice to connect with a load of friends, old and new some from far afield, and I think everybody had a good time. Well I did anyway.
My monthly update with the people from Layton Road at the Novotel was on Monday – this was Lara’s introduction to the ‘team’ of residents. We are slowly chipping away at issues but there are some big ones which will take a while – some perhaps years – to resolve. Our head of traffic was another new visitor and he was well received, so I hope that’s another few issues we can move forward on quite swiftly.
I had agreed on Tuesday to support my ex wife, who is receiving treatment for Hodgkins lymphoma, with a lift to and from Kingston Hospital, however in the afternoon I had developed a serious sniffle and decided it would be wise to do the old lateral flow routine. Well, I had avoided the dreaded lurgy thus far, and had been congratulating myself on my good management the previous day so inevitably I had a black line in the dreaded T slot. Trips to hospital were off the agenda for a while and I busily cancelled any remaining council appointments for a while, though I left in a few things I might have done from home.
In the evening I had a quick Zooting© with the council leader and CEO about a couple of issues around Lampton, which went well, but come Tuesday I was in much more trouble and basically spent the day in bed, dozing, a pattern repeated on Wednesday.
By this morning I was feeling a little more chipper so managed a couple of Zootings © including quite a lengthy and lively political cabinet meeting.
Hoping I’ll be free of the lurgy by Saturday because that’s the day of the Canal Festival. I am down to be a marshal , but more to the point I don’t want to miss the fun. Meanwhile, because I haven’t even looked at a bicycle for 4 days I have only done 230 of my pledged 300 miles in June so I may have taken money from my sponsors under false pretences. Well, much better this evening so I’m hoping I’ll be saddle-bound again soon.
Cllr Guy Lambert
June 24, 2022