Weekly Update From Councillor Guy Lambert

Sadiq Khan held to account at Hounslow People's Question Time

Councillors et candiates


Guy Lambertguy.lambert@hounslow.gov.uk

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There was an excellent turnout for the People’s Question Time at the Civic Centre. I thought it was about 400 people but her ex-worshipfulness, who was sitting further back and counting heads put it at about 280 – pretty good for a cold and snowy evening (remember the snow?).

I thought Sadiq was excellent – generally answering the questions asked straightforwardly, listening carefully and dealing with people respectfully. I always liked him but he has become much more polished since the days of his campaign. Air Quality Brentford (hooray) asked a question about the ULEZ and asked for it to be extended, and I think they were a bit disappointed with his answer which amounted to ‘keep campaigning’. He is doing a load of things on air quality (not before time not long out of 8 years of hot air from City Hall) and in my opinion can be forgiven for not doing it all at once.

I have to confess that I was impressed by Tony Arbour as ‘compere’ for the evening as well: I have held him in some contempt since his ‘most Londoners don’t use London Transport’ comment from a few years ago (actually it was true as Londoners had defected to TfL some years previously) plus seeming to jump on every passing bandwagon. But he was very composed, even when dealing with a slightly scary-looking man from Malaysia who seemed to want Sadiq to comment on persecution by Muslims in the Philippines. This was not of immediate interest to most of those present to talk about London issues and our friend was ‘escorted’ from the room by a number of burly security guards.

Councillors and candidates had a photo-op in the Mayor’s parlour afterwards.  I stand at the back as I don’t look quite so fat from the neck up.
We decided to cancel our canvassing session on Friday because of elf’n’safety – we figured wrestling with snow and ice in temperatures of -23 with the wind chill factor would be counter-productive. Furthermore, Myra, who was planning to come, told me that the blessed pooch had been subject to a bit of attempted cannibalism by another pooch on its walk Thursday evening so she was either at the vets or at its bedside singing lullabies and feeding it Lucozade.

So my next stop was my Clayponds Surgery on Saturday morning. Shock, Horror, not one participant but two! To be fair, one was somebody who had rung me  previously and who I knew was coming and the other was a resident of Syon ward but I’ll take anybody. Beats staring at the wallpaper.

Sunday morning a large crew of us are down in Twickenham, looking to get some decent councillors into the Tory/Lib Dem stronghold that is Heathfield ward. People were very receptive, and there were nearly 40 people out on this canvass.

Back to familiar territory in the afternoon, with Myra, me and a local member out in Clayponds Avenue, where we hear of much reduced but not entirely resolved conflicts with local employers who tend to park large car transporters blocking people’s driveways. Myra on the case.

Monday afternoon I spend in West Middlesex for ‘tests’ – you really don’t want to know the detail. As usual, I find the staff in West Middlesex friendly, caring and efficient. I can’t say my visit was pleasurable but they don’t half ease the trauma. They find nothing wrong, always a relief!

In the evening I go to Cllr Malhotra’s Rotary Club to talk Credit Unions. Chatting to the lady who is President she tells me they meet every week, and have a speaker 3 weeks out of 4. I find it astonishing that they manage to get about 40 speakers every year but she simply says ‘Mukesh gets them’. There is probably no better networked person in the whole kingdom!

Tuesday I spend much of the day in the Labour office, doing highly skilled tasks like tidying up and putting the rubbish and recycling out. In the evening I make it to the Brentford Recycling Action Group for the second month running – what’s happening to my Mondays, they are freeing up – and afterwards to the Magpie and Crown to assist them in recycling hops, yeast etc. Very convivial and I’m told this is the 150th instance of “Green Drinks”. This is blog 131 so I’m catching them up, as I used to say to my older sisters.

Wednesday afternoon I looked in to West Thames College, where Spark! Had invited me to Youth@Hounslow, where various young persons from local schools – you cannot call them schoolkids because they are so mature – give presentations on a variety of topics, including a couple of musical interludes.

They were very impressive, all I heard, but I had to leave before the end to attend an EGM of the block company at Ferry Quays where I’m a director.

Then to Labour HQ for a brief meeting followed by intense political discussions at the Express Tavern. I nipped into Sainsburys for a pint of milk and noticed when I got back to the bike that my bike bag including council iPad was missing. Just as I was about to call the cops – damn sneak thieves, only takes then 2 minutes - it occurred to me that I had probably left it at the Labour office. Several pints of recycling fluid later, I was able to confirm that theory.

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day as Ole Macbeth puts it and here we are at Thursday again. I’m off to the ’Dilly to meet a man about a credit union: we’re trying to bring in a product offering to combat the rapacious high street rental companies. There is already an excellent offering from Fair For You (why am I promoting the competition?) but it can do no harm for the Credit Union to have one too.

Councillor Guy Lambert

March 9, 2018

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