Weekly Update From Councillor Guy Lambert

Seemingly obsessed with potholes in all shapes and sizes


Guy Lambertguy.lambert@hounslow.gov.uk

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I cycled along to Chiswick Pier area on trusty Pegasus on Thursday morning, and spent some time discussing the planning application that will be coming up for the former Pissarro’s restaurant site.

People are not happy with losing this site as an eatery/café: they believe it’s a requirement to keep it that way but the planning officers disagree. We rejected the last application and the refusal was sustained on appeal, but I’m told it was a close thing, and the new application takes account of the reasons for the previous refusal. I need to study this carefully.

I then get ready to go to the Civic centre and discover Pegasus has turned untrusty again, with another puncture, so I take the Lambmousine, to meet the head of Lampton FM360 for our regular update.

In the evening we have a Planning Presentation from Brentford FC on their plans for the Duffy Site, where we were (and are) shooting for lots of affordable housing. The substantial posse from the Bees run into a bit of an ambush in Lampton Creek from Butch Collins and the Osterley Kid (AKA Cllr Louki) with their grizzled henchmen Genghis Todd and Little John Lambert. We really want the Duffy Site to deliver what we need for Brentford – some flats that locals can afford to live in – and the Bees should be in no doubt that we don’t intend to be stung.

On Thursday morning I’m in Chiswick for a regular blood test – it looks fairly red – then off to Woodlands Road in Isleworth for a publicity shoot for the Pothole Pledge. If you haven’t heard about it, you have now. Report any potholes that make you want to grumble, even if they were reported before and rejected as not being pot-holey enough. The pothole pledge is aimed at identifying just those type of problems and fixing them. I’m supposed to have the pictures sent to me, but they haven’t arrived, despite the fact that they took about 917 of them, featuring such things as me grinning inanely and pointing to a pothole with a hard hat on (me, not the pothole, as this rather lame picture from my own lens confirms).

Pot hole

In the afternoon to the Civic for some training on our case management system which is supposed to make us more efficient as councillors (stop laughing) but which some of us haven’t quite got our heads around yet.

On Friday I didn’t make it to the FoodBox to meet the volunteers, various Bees and Brentford’s answer to Marcello Mastroianni, John Dale, who was making a video to celebrate Brentford FC’s increased support for the charity. This short masterpiece is here:

On Saturday, I head to the Salopian Garden in Isleworth. They are having an open day, and whilst I have been aware of it for a while I’ve never actually visited. The redoubtable Karen Liebreich is a trustee and shows me around and introduces me to Olivia Rigg, who is CEO of the Cultivate London charity who run the garden. Very nice all round, and the weather holds.

Salopian Gardens

On Monday morning I’m back in that ole Civic Centre again, this time to meet the head of Libraries and some community outreach people from NatWest Bank and hear about what they are doing in our libraries -scam awareness for everybody and basic money awareness for children, and other initiatives. I asked for the meeting because I figure the Credit Union could get involved in this and everybody is enthusiastic to make that happen. We also talk FoodBox and so I’m able to facilitate two connections in one meeting.

I’m now using my toy bike whilst Pegasus awaits a shiny new wheel and I’m rather pleased with myself because I make two trips to the Civic and back in one day. The Tour de France next. In the evening the fun is Labour Group, where we have a good debate on the Medium Term Financial Strategy to be presented to council the next day. We also get an update on Hounslow House, which we are scheduled to move to in March. Looks exciting, but some comrades are grumpy because there will be no parking. Plenty of buses and cycle parking though :D.

Tuesday is Borough Council, where our Tory chums seem to abstain on everything, apart from the Horror of Homefield – Gerald McGregor – who breaks ranks to vote against something. I respond to a petition (about potholes on a road in Feltham, which I say is likely to be covered by the pothole pledge, but the accountant in me won’t promise anything ) and two questions from our beloved opposition. One is about the pothole pledge (but it appears from subsequent tweets that the opposition weren’t listening to the answer!) and one is about the recycling ‘overspend’. I point out that the cost of recycling and waste has gone up only about 2% over 5 years whilst inflation has added about 8% and we have about 5% more homes to service,. This is a pretty good result against the background of turmoil in the recycling market which has hit the income we get from recycled stuff hard. I’m also proud that all our recycling is recycled in the UK and we send nothing to landfill (and we’ll get the costs down further).

On Wednesday I make my monthly pilgrimage to Hounslow High Street and Bell Square, to find out about progress with improving cleaning. It’s again a little better, but more work needed and the man from Hounslow Highways is working on it. Delighted to find a black bag with an address visible. A certain employment agency can expect a call and a fine to encourage them to obey the law in future, please.

In the evening it’s cabinet question time at Feltham Library. As part of my eco-warrior/keep (?!) fit regime I decide to cycle. It’s spotting with rain as I leave the Civic and a nice downpour by the time I get to the A4. Half an hour later, having negotiated the Feltham road works, a bedraggled councillor takes his seat and shivers through a lively evening, Feltham-style. There’s a decent turnout of residents – I’d guess about 40 – so that makes a pleasant change but we only get through about half the questions people wanted to ask. We’ll have to write responses to the others.

This morning, Thursday, my regular meeting with the head of Hounslow Highways in the Verdict café. For the editor’s information as these matters seem to fascinate I have also visited the Magpie and Crown, Rising Sun and Express Tavern this week, whilst restaurant visits were confined to Café Rouge, and I have visited the gym 3 times to evaporate off the alcohol. We discuss various gripes with Hounslow Highways and in particular ask for the recycling legend on new bins to be covered up. We are not currently recycling from street bins as we find what is placed there is too impure to recycle. We are hoping for a new solution next year, but we really shouldn’t mislead people.

Tonight it’s the IBAF up at West Thames College and if I escape in time I will cycle (obviously) to the Hounslow Cycling Festive Fun at the Gunnersbury (another pub, Ed, not confirmed though).


Cllr Guy Lambert

November 30, 2018

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