Weekly Update From Councillor Guy Lambert

Triffids, eye-level spikes and a fashion icon mark a normal week

Boat trailer


Guy Lambertguy.lambert@hounslow.gov.uk

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Thursday morning is spent a la blog leaving the afternoon for some R&R on a bicycle. I am puzzled how this thing (above), apparently permanently lodged in Hartington Road Chiswick avoids the attention of people in peaked hats. I have pointed out to those in charge that not only does it take up half the road but it has spikes strategically placed to gouge out the eyes of  a dumb cyclist in a moment of inattention.

In the evening it’s a meeting of theBrentford Towers Residents Association. The major renovations of the towers are coming steadily towards their close. There is little doubt the environment there has had a major improvement – not before time – and the estate is much more pleasant, though still more to be done. The BTRA have a grumble about the maintenance of the little park on the other side of Green Dragon Lane, some of which is a wilderness, which they say attracts bad behaviour and which I can confirm attracts litter. Also, where once there were two elegant trees in one of the ‘Courts’ off the Lane, earlier this year they became stumps (who knows why) and now they have become triffids which threaten to eat Brentford. Hounslow Highways tell me they’ve cut them back (and taken away the major flytip which lurked beneath) but I suspect they will be back. At the end of the meeting the Residents Association coyly announce that they have become a registered charity. It’s really heart-warming to hear – congratulations to the small band of volunteers who made this happen and may they go from strength to strength.

On Friday I catch up with her former worshipfulness Myra Savin and the Honourable Pooch down at Rye by the Water. Lovely day, lovely company, ducks and damsel flies.

In the afternoon I go and check out the fashion show in the market place. Given that I’ve just come off a long bike ride in my scruffy shorts and T-shirt I am even more of a fashion icon than usual so I lurk on the Verdict terrace nursing an Americano watching the set up and slip away before the real action begins. Good to see innovation in the High Street and there’s a decent attendance building even before the event begins.

Fashion show

Saturday I’m off to Goodwood in my silly old car to watch silly old men in silly old cars. This picture takes me back to 1960. Paul Frère and Olivier Gendebien. 12 inch black and white TV. Is that the voice of Raymond Baxter I hear? When Ferraris were for heroes and 8 year olds drove their Ferrari beds round Le Mans as they fell to sleep.

Le Mans

Back to earth with a bang on Monday morning. I have been haranguing Hounslow Highways about the state of the central bits of the A4 for months. No, for years. It’s tricky for them because they need lane closures to deal with a lot of it but I’ve persuaded them to put a crew on to deal at least with the bits where people cross and here they are on Monday morning, grumbling a bit (especially about the amateur who’s trying to sweep but probably getting in their way more than helping) but working away and making quite a difference.

A4 cleaning

In the evening a special pleasure. I go up to the Kings Arms to have a pint or two with Denis. I may have mentioned him before and he celebrated his 100th birthday in July. We were supposed to have a drink earlier but he had a couple of problems and it was a real pleasure to see him. He was a desert rat and gave up his tennis club membership when he was 80 – probably to avoid showing up the youngsters - and his niece, who was accompanying him, is in the process of writing his memoirs with him. He’s sharp as a pin and if his pub stories are anything to go by his memoirs will be fascinating. He actually lives in Syon ward but I’m claiming him for Brentford (naturally, he lives in Brentford like most people in Syon ward :-)

Tuesday I meet the Melvinator with the head of estate caretaking outside Castle Collins – reviewing rubbish collection arrangements on the Haverfield estate where the changes are causing him some troubles. Afterwards I go down to Kew Gardens station: somebody wrote to me with a proposition about supporting young people to start businesses, which sounded interesting so I agreed to meet him. Must discuss with colleagues.

In the evening, up to Gunnersbury Park to meet the team and residents reviewing the recent Gunnersville event. I was not around when Gunnersville took place and after being very grumpy about the consultation arrangements I find myself chewing a small slice of humble pie. I didn’t get a single complaint or comment about Gunnersville and the public meeting, normally a place where you have to step carefully to avoid the blood on the floor, actually had more people complimenting than complaining. Not perfect, of course, but people are getting a sense that they are listened to and the events are getting better managed.

Wednesday morning another park – Osterley – for the launch of Beat the Street. I’m there as a councillor but also as a representative for Hounslow Community FoodBox, which is one of the nominated charities. This is an excellent initiative aimed at getting people on their feet (and bicycles) and had quite a big impact when it ran before a few years ago. Various councillors including his Excellency the Mayor who was getting down wiv da kids from Marlborough School. Pick up a card from Brentford Library (etc) and play along https://beatthestreet.me/hounslow/home

Beat the Street

In the evening, doorknocking with Ruth and some others in Braemar and New Roads. It’s always a particular pleasure to meet people who you feel you know from social media but have never met in person and I ran into two yesterday, one of whom I’ve had tussles with on the forum here. We shake hands and agree to disagree about cycle lanes!

Blogging early today as I’m off to the Steam Museum shortly and then into the City for something called the World Car Free Day Summit. According to Google Maps it will take 1 hour 8 mins to cycle, 1 hour 4 mins on public transport or 1 hour 6 mins by car. Then you have to park. I think I’ll cycle!
In the evening I have a Planning presentation, the mayor’s quiz, or Brentford Voice meeting at The Brook. I’ll go for the planning presentation, though I may be late.

For anybody who wants a bit of a change of scene on Sunday morning, we’ll be doing our regular litter pick from 10am. Somebody suggested we should do the canal towpath in the heart of Brentford so we’ll meet on Brentford Bridge. Hope to have a good turnout (small litter pickers available for your apprentices!)


Cllr Guy Lambert

September 19, 2019

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