Weekly Update From Councillor Guy Lambert

A varied week with Hostile Streets, Heathrow expansion and Hounslow Foodbox

London Sydney Marathon


Guy Lambertguy.lambert@hounslow.gov.uk

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So I hear my crack team of Knocker-uppers – candidate Corinna and a pal – annoyed residents of Clayton Crescent whilst some of us were serenely cruising to the Midlands and back in our ridiculous car. Not quite so ridiculous on the motorway until you stop at a car restaurant and spend £98 filling the ruddy thing with unleaded. Anyway this car was a bit ridiculous as a winner of the London-Sydney Marathon (I don’t think the kangaroo was real) so ridiculous cars rule OK.

One way and another I had a pretty lazy weekend: I was up for canvassing on Sunday despite it being freezing but it turned out nobody else was so I went straight home again.

Monday, by contrast, was a bit hectic with the morning in the Labour party office doing proof reading and the like then down to the University for a session with ‘Future London’ who had come to look at our ‘Hostile Street’, namely the A4/M4 corridor. Future London brings together interested people from across the capital – academics, planners, TfL people to work on ideas to improve the place. The focus of the day was the physical and psychological barrier presented by the exceptionally polluted, noisy, unattractive pair of roads that split my ward in 2 – even going straight through the middle of Carville Hall Park (though to be fair, we end up with two parks of distinct character, each with their attractions). We had the Air Quality Brentford team plus some parents who brave the A4 daily taking children to Lionel School. Nothing directly achieved but increasing the focus does no harm at all.

During the course of this we paid a visit to the foot of Lionel Road and this was my opportunity to try a Mobike along the A4 cycle lane, picking it up from the Coop. I found it almost unrideable, and discovered that the A4 which I had previously thought of as flat is seriously uphill between Boston Manor and Ealing roads. I took one look at the (super-hostile for cyclists and pedestrians) Ealing Road junction and decided I’d walk from there, parking the Mobike in a cycle bay. The council officer with us remarked that the bikes were designed for the Chinese market and are not really suitable if you’re above 5’9” – I heartily concur! Apparently bigger bikes are coming.

Then it was the Hounslow Community FoodBox AGM in our little hut behind Pets at Home. Corinna and I and another director got the time wrong so were obliged to while away half an hour in the Northumberland Arms – very convivial. The FoodBox has developed quite astonishingly in the last few months and to continue development to meet unprecedented demand we decided to investigate more premises to the West of the Borough and also that as Trustees we should start meeting monthly. Many other London boroughs are impressed with the concept and we are talking of replicating it elsewhere. I was supposed to be going to hear Ruth Cadbury at ‘Democracy for the Many, not the few’ – about electoral reform – but I ran out of time.

On Tuesday, Ruth had invited me to Portcullis House to meet the people behind the Lovebox and Citadel events which are taking place in Gunnersbury Park in the summer. I spent 40 freezing minutes (they say allow 20 for security…) on the Embankment in the queue to get in before Ruth managed to sneak us in via a different route. Interesting meeting – these events are going to be a challenge but will bring a lot of much needed income to the park plus, we’re hoping, income for local charities.

Sesame Street cyclists

In the evening I hear that TfL have published the results of the CS9 consultation, with a clear majority in favour (naturally opponents say it’s a fix). Someone has helpfully read some of the comments and discovered that our beloved and learned Turnham Green councillors have issued a stark warning to Chiswick’s jewellers that the cycle path will encourage cycle psychopaths (psychlos?) to carry out daring raids on their shops. I tweeted a picture of one of these evil outfits. They could target sweet shops too, so be warned.

On the way home I looked in to the Holiday Inn for the Heathrow presentation. Had a discussion with a chap about the ludicrous claim that there will be no increase in road traffic with the third runway. He was sticking to the story that 40000 (or whatever) extra car park spaces will actually reduce traffic because people will come and go only once rather than getting their mum or a taxi to drop them off and pick them up. He seemed to be slightly Australian so he can be forgiven for getting things upside down.

I observed that the grey area of increased land taken by Heathrow for the third runway looks remarkably like a gun (or is it a hand-held rocket launcher?) pointed at Brentford and Chiswick (and Ealing but Boris Johnson seems to think that’s a foreign country, so why would I care?)

Wednesday morning I had a meeting arranged with a council officer looking at some parking issues but given that my balcony had a new look (it had gone all white in the night) we jointly decided to postpone. In the afternoon us three Brentfordites had a meeting with the council leader and people from ‘Secret Cinema’ who are looking to run an event in the summer in (you’ve guessed it) Gunnersbury Park. I hadn’t come across this before but it sounds really good and if it happens will be welcomed by most, I’m sure.

We were supposed to be going to the Hock Cellar in Fuller’s brewery in the evening for an event with the Deputy Lord Lieutenant but this was postponed because of the weather – mainly concerns for the staff – so a free evening.

Nothing on today (Thursday) until the evening where we have the Mayor’s Question Time. Should be a bundle of fun.

Councillor Guy Lambert

March 2, 2018

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