Weekly Update From Councillor Guy Lambert

A long series of meetings fill the week


Guy Lambertguy.lambert@hounslow.gov.uk

tel 07804 284948

twitter logo @guylambert

Facebook /BrentfordCouncillors

Sign up for our Brentford newsletter

Comment on this story on the

The meeting with Hounslow Highways was positive, though thinking back the positivity was mainly about good things said in a meeting between H Highways and officers which I did not attend! Sometimes as a councillor you have to take things on trust (and actually I do trust this set of officers) which can be uncomfortable! We have meetings coming up with other council members and members of the public shortly where we will discuss the outcomes of our recent external review and that will provide me with an update on the changes we are beginning to implement.

Down to IBAF, at the Blue School in Isleworth. One of the main agenda items was an update from Ballymore and some people were hatching conspiracy theories that the fact that the “Isleworth and Brentford Area Forum” (note the name) was being held on a cold night on the other side of the planet to prevent people from Brentford attending. In the previous regime it was always held in Brentford and people from Isleworth and Osterley were always complaining that it was too Brentford-centric. Anyway, I heroically donned my parka and crampons and made the 8 minute bike ride through Syon Park and managed to attend, as did many Brentfordians. We had a presentation from a Muslim group who have bought the former George pub and want to turn it into an Islamic centre. I thought they were strikingly nice people and eager to do the right things with locals, but there is clearly work to be done to quell concerns. The police gave a really good presentation about crime trends. It was good – and frankly a surprise - to see most of the indicators in Brentford and Syon going the right direction compared to a year ago, though Osterley appears to be rapidly heading towards being IBAF’s answer to the South Bronx (I jest, but their figures were up, against the trend). Our local cops are doing a very decent job despite constant resource cuts, and I salute them.

Ballymore managed to tell us a lot and not much, at the same time.  In the main, things will start in April/May and they are promising to communicate much more actively as things move forward. I took them aside at the end and gave them plenty about starting the demolition of the building opposite Morrisons without telling anybody. The first I knew about it was when someone mentioned it on the TW8 forum, and aside from being a councillor I live 100 metres away and they have thus far permanently blocked off the pedestrian access to my estate from Morrisons without notice. We will continue to work on them!

We had updates from the Parks – I think they are noticeably improving since GreenSpace360 took over from Carillion – recycling (houses are going largely OK but we are starting a major push on flats recycling) – and the budget. We are looking to increase Council Tax by 4.99% - the maximum – to try and protect services as much as possible as the relentless cuts in funding from central government continue.

That was a late one, but I then had no meetings until Sunday, when Ruth Cadbury, Sharidin and I were out on the other side of Whitestile Road, bringing alarm and despondency to all on a crisp but sunny afternoon!

On Monday morning I go out to Hanworth to look at a number of recycling and rubbish issues with local Councillor Richard Foote. The main issue is back alleys, still in this case owned by Persimmon Homes who built the housing estate decades ago. We have worked with residents to fit barriers to these alleys but they are piled high with rubbish which can only have been delivered by people who live there, or people with a key to the barriers. We can only conclude that it’s residents themselves doing it but how to fix it is anybody’s guess. It’s not really the council’s responsibility, any more than you expect us to clean up your back garden, but because it impacts on the wider public we are trying to broker solutions.

In the afternoon I cycle to the Holiday Inn to meet the head of planning, council leader and various members of the planning committee to have a walk about and a discussion about the final phase of the Brentford Lock West development. This involves a number of private flats for sale, plus a council block and some other affordable homes. There are also plans for a footbridge across the canal to improve access to and from Brentford Station. There are always concerns with these significant developments and we will consider these at the committee. I am particularly keen that we ensure the public realm at canalside is improved and consideration is given to ensuring it stays that way. Our waterways are a precious asset in Brentford, long neglected and often hidden, and with this and the Ballymore and other waterside schemes it’s vital we embrace and respect them.

Afterwards Corinna, Melvinator and I converge on the Brentford Towers estate, where there are problems with lighting (amongst other things). We are joined by the chair of the residents association and by a lesser-spotted electrical engineer from the council. He is armed with an enormous spray can of white paint so he can mark locations where there needs to be light. However his nozzle clogs after about 4 blasts and I sadly inform him that he’ll never make it as a tagger. When you go out looking for things, it’s amazing what you find – in this case a whole line of what appear perfectly serviceable lights that don’t shine. Whether they are faulty or simply somebody forgot to switch them on, no doubt we will discover shortly!

Tuesday morning we have a meeting about arrangements for the Junction 2 festival which is coming to Boston Manor Park on 7/8/9 June. I am joined by one of the councillors from Ealing Northfields, together with various council officers, the organisers, and two very youthful music students who take the notes! They confidently expect a sell out of the Saturday show (15000, as last year) and it looks like they will definitely run Friday too, with rather less attendees: they expect the Friday crowd to be somewhat older and they describe them as beard-strokers – ones who contemplate the music whilst caressing their hirsute chins :-). Keep the Sunday free, because this will be a different event entirely, free for locals and plugging in to the local community, university etc. Details to follow but they are keen to talk to local community arts people and food providers – let me know if you’re interested.


On Wednesday I’m in the Civic Centre for a meeting with Ruth Cadbury’s team, much of the management of Hounslow Housing, and the Housing Association A2Dominion. This has been organised by Tony Louki, who has a lot of problems with an A2D-run estate in his ward. Ruth’s team have various issues too, and we have our share in this ward so we’re trying to improve communications (and performance!). For me this is a wider issue, because some of these housing associations have large portfolios of properties across the borough, which range from large blocks to individual flats in streets of predominantly privately-owned Victorian etc houses. We never quite know who to talk to, other than the tenant can often give us the name of their housing officer: but if the tenant is talking to us, there is by definition a real or imagined shortcoming in what the housing officer is doing, so they may not be the best contact :-). Feels like a useful meeting.

Wednesday concludes with a bike ride up to the Clayton Hotel in Chiswick, where TfL are holding an event to introduce the proposed changes to Cycle Superhighway 9 (shortly to get a name change to reflect what it’s really for) in Brentford and Chiswick. There’s a further event coming to a Museum of Water and Steam near you on Saturday 16th 11.00 to 15.00. There’s some impact on Brentford so do take a look and feedback. As a cyclist who has already been disbikulated by a Transit van on Kew Bridge Road, and one with a preference to remain as a living organism for a while yet, I may be biased. Details here https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/kew-duke/?cid=kew-duke

Thursday is packed with meetings starting at the ungodly hour of 10.30am and finishing probably about 11pm as we have a packed planning committee agenda. As a result I started this on Wednesday and am finishing in the early hours of Thursday. More next week.

Cllr Guy Lambert

February 7, 2019

Bookmark and Share