Weekly Update From Councillor Guy Lambert

Finds campfire storytelling riveting and not for the first time


Guy Lambertguy.lambert@hounslow.gov.uk

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It turned out that the ‘dodgy knee’ I referred to last week was an attack of gout. People think gout only attacks toes but sadly this is not true, and an attack to the knee is quite immobilising (and hurts!)

Still, I made it to Hounslow House to meet with the chair of the Lampton companies for our regular update. She’s really got to grips with things and with her influence together with the new interim MD the companies are making progress across all fronts. I had two options for the evening – Hounslow Cycling or the ‘thank you’ dinner with Ruth Cadbury following the election campaign – but I decided the better part of valour was to go home and put my leg up.

This continued over Friday and the weekend with Pegasus decidedly out to grass. I did venture out once or twice  in the ridiculous car and was somewhat amazed when a woman said to me ‘what a beautiful car’. I think it was last washed about October and has a particularly fetching set of footprints – could be a cat but I think it’s a fox – over the bonnet. But I agree with her, and it’s probably why I hang on to the ruddy thing instead of getting a sensible Toyota, or giving up having a car altogether. Mind you, not as beautiful as Pegasus, especially with the Louis Vuitton-style seat cover I deploy to keep my bottom drier (dry would be an overstatement).


On Sunday evening the knee was just about fit for me to drive up to Acton, where a friend of mine had asked me to accompany her to a storytelling evening at a rather stunning pub called The Rocket. These storytelling evenings are really riveting, and people have such complicated lives. I signed up to tell a 50 word story about the time when I was fired from my job at a city solicitors because the senior partner Sir David Wilson thought I looked too ‘windswept’. My (blue, and made in England) passport picture from 1978 gives a clue, though I had shaved off my beard by then.

Windswept Guy

I immediately got a new job working for Honeywell in Brentford and that’s where the whole thing started to go off the rails. Anyway, I’d recommend a storytelling evening to anybody – details here: https://www.campfire-storytelling.co.uk/

Monday was free of meetings so the old leg got a bit more rest, though plenty of emails were pinging around, about Watermans Park, Brentford FC, flytipping, bins, potential skateparks, HMOs, faulty intercoms, child protection, damp, subsidence etc.

Tuesday I had to go into Hounslow House but the knee was still not up to cycling so I drove again. We had a formal board meeting of Lampton Development LLP (I’m just an observer) lasting not long, then a meeting of the cabinet and senior officers to run through a number of matters, many of which will come to the public cabinet meeting on the 17th, lasting long! Main thing for me was  Lampton and Coalo companies where we reviewed their performance reports (all pretty much on track) and their new revised business plans for the coming years, which are now looking very robust. The staff of the companies have done most of the work and the MDs did most of the presenting. Obviously I will be seeking to take the credit except if any difficulties emerge, which will obviously be down to management, not me guv.

On Wednesday I was more or less back to normal in the leg division (as Peter Cook described it here

and it being a pleasant morning I set off to cycle to Hounslow House. Of course by the time I got downstairs it was hissing down. My waterproof anorak kept the top bit fairly dry but I became distinctly soggy in the leg division and with a mild splatter of mud in the backside division. I suppose somebody could have described me as windswept by the time I reached Hounslow House but bedraggled was my adjective of choice. I had a lengthy and informative session with the assistant director of environment and one of his officers, talking about the long list of changes we are busy implementing – some announced, some not quite ready. We are confident these will make a big impact on getting this borough cleaner (and greener, but cleaner is my department). We have to contend with Purdah (aka the Pre Election Period) where we can’t really announce anything for about 6 weeks leading up to 7th May as we might be accused of buying votes with a litter picker.

On the way in I spotted this plaintive message on a flytip by the Lion Gate to Syon Park (where there always seems to be a flytip). I asked for this to be investigated recently and I’m not sure of the outcome. Great message which I’d love to act on, but unfortunately it’s a bit hard without an address :-). And of course there’s no address because an address would likely attract a fine. Catch-22 rules OK.

Dear Hounslow Refuse Team, We do not have a black wheelie bin nor a carboard recycling bos - can you provide?

In the evening I went to see some residents who are unhappy about planning permission granted to their neighbours for modifications to their house. I was advocating dialogue and compromise but that suggestion didn’t seem to hit the spot and we parted on unfriendly terms. These matters are difficult, because any development might cause some upset to neighbours and planners have to balance that against the rights set down in planning law and the local plan documents for an Englishman/woman/Scotsman/Frenchwoman to improve his/her castle.

Today, Thursday, post blog I have to go sit in my daughter’s flat awaiting a surveyor to come and have a look at a problem with one of her windows. Then a Junction 2 meeting at Boston Manor Park in the afternoon, and planning committee this evening. I have a feeling I may get to be bedraggled again.

Cllr Guy Lambert

March 5, 2020

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