Weekly Update From Councillor Guy Lambert

Pays tribute to longstanding Brentford Supporter Phil Clarke


Guy Lambertguy.lambert@hounslow.gov.uk

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As my regular reader will know, I normally only engage with TV shows of the highest intellectual calibre. Perhaps a discussion of the influence of Alexander the Great on the battle tactics deployed by Erwin Rommel; Nils Bohr’s paper on the deficiencies in quantum theory; or perhaps the influence of Shostakovich on the oeuvre of Herman’s Hermits. All very true, but we’re in lockdown, so this evening I found myself watching a back episode of Would I Lie to You on Dave.

Greg Davies told a story (I won’t spoil it by telling you if it was true) about how he devised a secret language called Cushin to allow coded conversations between him and his sister that his parents couldn’t understand. As far as I could tell this involved adding the suffix -shk to eachshk wordshk. This put me in mind of a language my parents used to communicate in front of the children. They called it dog language but I have heard it described (I think, or was I dreaming?) as egg language. Thegis leganguegage cegonsegisteged egof pegutteging egan egeg begefegore eganegy segyllegabegle. I should clarify that the eg is normally pronounced more like ‘ayg’. I have become fluent in this language and can translate the foregoing a ‘this language consisted of putting a eg before any syllable.’ Very cunning, you might think, as did my parents, but a bit like the Nazis with their enigma code my parents had not grasped that the enormous combined IQs of me and my sisters had managed to crack the code, so we always knew exactly what they were on about, especially when they discussed plans for ega begit egof slegap egand tegickegle.

So now you know one of my innermost secrets. My parents have now been dead for over 30 years so I am releasing this under the 30 year rule.

Back to my locked down life story. The Lampton board was fairly uneventful. All services continue to operate pretty much as normal and I was able to thank Recycle360 for their continued excellent performance in very difficult circumstances and Greenspace for their prompt attention to fence problems in Watermans Park (and indeed Dukes Meadows).

Otherwise life goes on. I am getting a few bits of casework which I try to follow through but I also pick up bits and pieces on social media. On Friday I saw a piece where an independent care provider company was bemoaning a shortage of PPE. I alerted Hounslow’s Director of Social Care who responded within minutes and I now believe the problem has been sorted, for now at least. On Saturday I spotted someone complaining on the BrentfordTW8 forum about a skip being placed on her estate blocking the view and opining this was a waste of the money generously doled out by the central government. She thought it was up to me to find out where this problem had occurred so I put my best sleuthing techniques (see above) to work, was tipped off she was a former Tory turned UKIP councillor, discovered she had been a director of the now defunct Hounslow Homes and found her address from the Companies House website. On my Sunday exercise ride I decided to visit this estate and see the abomination for myself and, lo and behold there was indeed a yellow skip in one of the parking places, though I wasn’t sure it was really blocking anyone’s view seriously.


Looking at Google Earth, I discovered that before the skip there was another yellow thing parked there though to be fair, although a convertible it was not (to coin the tired old joke) a Skoda so could not be considered a skip.

Yellow banana

Also on Friday, someone sent me a picture of the new trees Hounslow Highways have planted on what has hitherto been a slightly dull triangle of grass on the junction of Twickenham Road and Crane Avenue in Isleworth. Via a joint venture between locals, the council, Abundance London and Hounslow Highways this will be one of the 20 places across the borough where (here’s hoping) you will shortly see a wildflower meadow bursting into bloom, together with new trees and poppies planted I believe by local residents. You can see the wildflowers growing in a not very wild rectangle and so far looking more like grass that hasn’t been cut but watch this space. I’m hoping this will make a big difference and that this experiment will work so that we can do much more of it next year and thereafter.


On Saturday somebody wrote to me to complain of a Portaloo appearing very near to the war memorial in Brentford Library grounds. We have deployed a few of these around the borough to provide emergency facilities for key workers (such as recycling and waste crews, road sweepers etc) who would previously have been able to access facilities in public buildings that are now closed. I immediately asked for this to be moved – it had upset quite a number of people, quite rightly – and this was done on Monday morning. Turns out that the original loo in Brentford library was one of 4 across the borough that were nicked and the emergency replacement was placed thoughtlessly by the contractor.

On Tuesday we have the ‘Network Board’ with Hounslow Highways, using Microsoft Teams technology. They have performed very well through the crisis, though much of their development work has been suspended. It is mostly now restarting over the next week or two, with social distancing approaches now refined to make it safe to do so. We expect to restart work on the ‘pothole pledge’ in June starting with Grove Park Gardens in Chiswick which was held over from last year because Cadent wanted to mess with the gas main: unless Cadent decide they want to mess with the gas main again.

Tuesday evening we have our regular cabinet briefing with the senior leadership team using Teams technology again. It’s great to hear that the COVID story at West Middlesex is decidedly in positive territory with patient numbers going in the right direction, and care homes are holding up reasonably with far less outbreaks in Hounslow than the norm across London, though sadly we have had some deaths. The council is distributing 43000 pieces of PPE each week to 61 separate services and this no doubt is helping keep things under some kind of control. The scary thing is Heathrow. You have probably seen that British Airways are proposing 12000 redundancies and we think 10000 jobs in LBH are directly linked to Heathrow with a further 32000 in the supply chain. Whatever happens, the economic consequences of COVID will be dramatic and we’re all going to have to pull together.

On Wednesday I have a mainly free day. An elderly person has been asking for help with rubbish but also texted me to say he was dizzy and had pains. He wasn’t answering his phone so I went and knocked on his door and was very relieved when he came to answer it. He is OK but very anxious. I wonder how many more there like that around Brentford – everybody please try and look out for your neighbours. This chap is now on social services radar.

Late afternoon I did the nearest thing that’s possible now to attending a funeral. Phil Clarke of Clifden Road, a long-time Bees supporter and an all round good man has passed away following a long illness. I got to know him as a Labour party member and one who worked hard for us as a volunteer and I’ve never met anyone nicer. I went to stand in Braemar Road to watch his cortege pass by and it was lovely to see so many friends out there, many in Bees outfits, paying silent tribute. A sad occasion, but uplifting also.

Well, I have a busy day tomorrow, Thursday, so this blog is happening late on Wednesday night, so time to sign off for my beauty (stop laughing) sleep.

Just remember: Stegay Egat Hegome. Pregotegect thege egNegHegS. Segave Legives.

Cllr Guy Lambert

April 30, 2020

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