Weekly Update From Councillor Guy Lambert

Considers what he's supposed to be doing for the next few years


Guy Lambertguy.lambert@hounslow.gov.uk

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I met a posse from Tfl on the A4 Thursday morning, and we walked along from Windmill Road. Not convinced by their new junction design – they say there are less accidents, definitely more congestion.

Then by Ealing Road roundabout (cycle path disappears, no pedestrian crossing, bent cycle stands, no maintenance because they have had a plan to fix the junction for the last 43 years. Well, 43 different annual plans. And I lied about 43).

To Clayponds Avenue (where I show them the video I took last week of the Lionel schoolkids literally running across the central bit to catch the 5 second green man on the other side. Man says he will change the timings).
It was good that they turned out, and they are genuinely trying to improve things, but they ran into a catalogue of grumbles from me. Apart from the above we discuss the severe outbreak of tagging and graffiti on the M4 – they say they will harass Highways England – all the rusting skeletons of old roadworks signs and the sandbags that stopped them blowing away, the dodgy practice of locating pedestrian crossings 20 yards from junctions and not linking them to the traffic lights, and the dubious value of improving the bike lane from Boston Manor Road to Syon Lane when there is no provision for bikes whatsoever at the scary Gillette Corner or the busy Ealing Road. Mental note, don’t forget to follow up.

In the evening, the first of two compulsory trainings for the planning committee. An excellent turnout from those on planning committee and those not. Crowd includes a flock of lesser-spotted Tories. I wonder how long their enthusiasm will last.

On Friday morning, a meeting with the LBH CEO, Mary Harpley, to talk about the Lampton companies for which I have been appointed shareholder lead. She points out that I have a hybrid role, which I hadn’t thought about, being in effect the commissioner of services from the waste and recycling bit of Lampton, whereas for the housing maintenance, parks and development bits I’m only the shareholder. A useful preparation, and it’s helpful to get a deeper understanding of the background and some of the issues.

Then a long weekend of mainly blissful relaxation, with bits of gym and this and that and one thing and another including a splendid Indian Feast in central Hounslow to celebrate the birthday of Councillor Raj Bath – a lovely comrade and like me, 38 and sticking. Though I have a feeling he may be a touch more sticky than me. On Saturday night the ecstasy and eventual agony of the Champions League final on the box. I considered going out but the tension gets to me and I prefer to stay home. Ah, well, at least we made the final and the team is getting better all the time. Oh, and I reckon I would have saved two of the three goals Liverpool conceded. Those who observe that I would have let in 36 others can shut your faces.


Over the weekend I hear that a sinkhole has developed in the Wicksteed House Car Park. Having seen the ones in Florida I had to go and have a gander. I’m not sure whether to be relieved or disappointed. I think it’s under that yellow thing. I wonder if it clanks.

Speaking of clanks, I forgot to mention a bit more clanker-hunting. Someone pointed out on the forum that one of the ones that they’d tarmacked (Tarmacked? Tarmacked? TarMacadamed) had started clanking again. Harrumph, and I thought I had achieved an all too rare success.

Also during my phantasmagoric weekend I cycled through local beauty spot, Lionel Road South, and what did I espy?

Pile drivers
Either it’s stage 1 of our post-Brexit defences against our arch enemy, previously North Korea but soon to be Belgium, or someone’s driving piles into the ground to build flocks of bats and a stootball fadium. It’s late, and the ghost of the Rev Spooner is on the prowl.

So round to Tuesday morning and I meet with what is supposed to be the Lampton 360 board. Unfortunately the head of Recycling has been stuck on a plane until 4am so we don’t see him, plus Mary Harpley goes off to do something mysterious, but it’s good for me because we concentrate on the property and development side about which I don’t know much. They are keen to ramp up communication, both to councillors and the wider public, which is music to my ears. We commence to hatch a few plots, and they are eager to meet the challenges we set them in our manifesto.

Mary returns at the end and has a private talk with one of the directors and I emerge to find out why – she has been appointed Chief Officer of the Greater London Assembly so in effect she will become Sadiq Khan’s right-hand woman, which is some accolade. By general agreement, she has done an excellent job in Hounslow and we’ll be hoping she puts in a good word at City Hall. We’ll miss her when she departs, September I think.

In the evening, Ferry Quays estate business, and more of that on Wednesday evening with a day of casework and phone calls and emails in between.

Thursday will be busy though: meeting the Heston Action Group at the Civic centre early on. They are a group who volunteer to improve their neighbourhood and we’re keen to encourage and support this so I’m eager to find out what they want from the council. Then up to exotic Southall Lane depot to be an observer at the formal Lampton360 board meeting.

I bet the Barclays board don’t meet in a place as glamorous as this.

More Ferry Quays during the day then part 2 of the compulsory planning training in the evening so I’m writing this on Wednesday night.

A kind of uneventful week – perhaps not a bad thing as I need a fair bit of thinking time to try and work out and prioritise how to deliver all those manifesto promises which seemed a good idea when I thought someone else was going to be delivering them. With no money. Actually they still seem like good ideas and one of the heartening things is to hear what senior council officers are already planning for. I think this could be quite a ride and I sincerely hope and intend that people will be seeing a marked improvement in various services before too long. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Councillor Guy Lambert

June 1, 2018

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