Weekly Update From Councillor Guy Lambert

Enjoys the Festival of the Environment and Speak Out in Hounslow

Speak out in Hounslow and Tony Louki
Members of Speak Out in Hounslow with Cllr Tony Louki, Mayor of Hounslow (photo Jeff Munday)


Guy Lambertguy.lambert@hounslow.gov.uk

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In the unlikely event that anybody is simultaneously daft enough to read this regularly and compos mentis enough to remember what happened yesterday, they might recall that last Friday I had 174 unread emails. I don’t know what the ‘correct’ approach to an email backlog is but I start from the newest and work backwards. This avoids you answering chapter one when other correspondents are already on to chapter 7 but also means you do a days work and the 137 oldest ones have still not been read. This was a situation that persisted well into this week but I finally got on top of it. For a bit. The inbox is like a pint glass amongst a set of generous drunks on a round. No sooner is the glass empty than you look around, and when you look again somebody has refilled it.

Saturday morning, whilst Surgeon Melvinator tended to some victims at the Library I was instructed by my house guest to provide a Full English. The bonds of companionship run deep, especially when bacon and eggs are on the menu for good Jewish boys from Bethnal Green, exiled in Austria these 30 years where they don’t understand bacon. Well not necessarily good Jewish boys in the eyes of the Rabbi. Then again, I claim to be half Welsh but I can’t speak the lingo. Iechyd Da.

Zero Carbon

Saturday afternoon I looked in at the Festival for the Environment in the Brentford Market Place, organised by the indefatigable Rin Roche. I get exhausted just talking to her, and she’s a massive asset for these parts because she gets so much done in about 107 different directions. Anyway, just caught the very end of a performance by ‘Speak Out’ (immortalised on Facebook video here)

Speak Out
Sea creatures dying from plastic, as interpreted by Speak Out in Hounslow

Sunday was litter pick day so I was up to Carville Hall park. Arrived in shorts and tee shirt and the only one other person there was doing an impression of Captain Scott.  A lot better idea than mine. Anyway we waited a few minutes to see if anyone else appeared and since they didn’t, we made a joint executive decision that the litter would be too soggy and probably disintegrate so to protect the environment we’d go and have a cup of coffee instead.

Some of you might know that I have a dodgy past, being chair of a major financial institution. Well, it is a bit smaller than Barclays to be fair and my ‘package’ was a bit less than the 5 zillion you would get for Barclays. Exactly 5 zillion less in fact, plus I had to buy the tea sometimes. So when the cabinet looked at the 140 pledges we are supposed to deliver and it came to the one about supporting credit unions I felt eyes boring into me as I looked out the window. They stayed on me, so I said OK then, I’ll do it. I am no longer involved with the CU but a new council officer who is concerned with financial Inclusion has joined the board and she is cooking up ways to work with the CU to help the financially precarious. It is they whom are routinely ripped off by doorstep and payday lenders and High Street rental shops (folks - STEER CLEAR). So on Monday I hear about her ‘6 point plan’. It’s encouraging to have an officer actually trying to make things happen with CUs (New members welcome at www.thamesbank.org)

On the way back I stopped off at Boston Manor park to have a look at progress with restoration of the grass areas (and a splendid sausage bun in the Friends' café accompanied by a good chat with the redoubtable Linda Massey who runs the café and does a good impression of running the park under the Friends). Progress Report: Could Do Better. Then a couple of errands/inspections around the ward.

In the evening, a relatively lengthy meeting of the Watermans’ trustees. Going quite well financially though uncertainties ahead – even more so now the Secretary of State (probably better to say ‘a’ SoS as it will likely be a new one by Tuesday) has called in the planning application. We heard about the work they are doing with the Polish community: recently started but they have a Polish national working there who seems to be very successful at getting engaged with the community.

Tuesday morning there is a narrow boat traffic jam in the Brent coinciding with a large tree heading in the other direction. Plenty of drama as the first narrow boat approaches the tree with the distaff side  of the family at the bow jumping up and down and screaming at dad, manning the helm ¼ mile behind. He sucks on his pipe oblivious and ploughs straight into the tree. But like Irn-Bru these narrow boats are made from girders (maybe not in Scotland though) so it sails serenely on between what is now 2 half trees. I watch agog but forget to film it. The next one through was more circumspect and the timber now looked far less threatening.

I go off to Brighton for the horse racing and to meet my house guest’s cousin (who is also a very old friend). Personally I’d as soon watch ants going in and out of their nest as horses running around but usually I win a bit of money. Usually. Sadly I had to run off before the end because we had a cabinet meeting looking at various issues which will be debated and decided at the formal meeting on 3 September – a heavy agenda including Cycleway 9, Heathrow Consultation, some Lampton 360 business plans etc – then an early look at how we will find the additional £24M of savings we need to make. The latter debate will run until winter but we are gathering ideas to see which are the least unpalatable.

Wednesday and today (blog aside) are relatively free so a bit of cycling (long one Wednesday), a visit to the Doctor (nothing serious, sorry) and an inspection of the Black Dog and the Brook with a touch of light lubrication.

Cllr Guy Lambert

August 23, 2019

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