Weekly Update From Councillor Guy Lambert

Bad tenants, elusive landlords and an overwhelming amount of Green Dragon art

Green Dragon Primary School
Candice Atterton with Green Dragon School pupils


Guy Lambertguy.lambert@hounslow.gov.uk

tel 07804 284948

Brentford folk like transport changes or at worst not bovvered

Sign up for our Brentford newsletter

Comment on this story on the

On Friday morning, interspersed with writing last week’s Pulitzer Prize candidate, we had a Teams meeting of all the people engaged with managing anti-social behaviour which we have been experiencing in some Houses in Multiple Occupation on the Clayponds estate. There have been particular problems in these over the last year, because some of the people housed there don’t have very organised lives and there has been the added stress of lockdown.

Some HMO landlords are fine but others are, cough, less than perfect and they also tend to change rapidly. In one of the houses we’ve been trying to improve the landlords seem to switch at will between several different companies at the same address which doesn’t exactly help regulation, which is complicated enough without that. Landlords’ tool of last resort is eviction. That was prohibited for a while and, whilst it is now permitted where there is persistent ASB there is now a long backlog in the courts. Sigh. Of course eviction isn’t really a cure because people have to live somewhere, but the neighbours deserve some respite – in some cases their life has been made appalling. Not sure we actually solved anything but at least we have police, estate enforcement, housing, councillors and Uncle Tom Cobbley sharing the problem and looking for solutions.

Later we had a meeting with traffic officers about the major interim reviews of Streetspace schemes which were due to come out Monday (and duly did).

In summary, most of the schemes will continue into the summer, having ‘passed’ the interim review but the changes in Turnham Green Terrace have been largely reversed and a few parking spaces outside the Chiswick police station restored. We will be working with the community and independent experts over the next few weeks to consider the best way forward in Devonshire Road Chiswick and the Hounslow West shops. The review doesn’t cover Cycleway9 which is a TfL scheme. Like all these schemes it was introduced in a hurry and we have made various representations to TfL about potential improvements.

Over the weekend I should have been at Goodwood for the Members Meeting, postponed from a year ago and then from March but… well, you know the rest. This picture from April 2019 reminds me what I’m missing.

Goodwood meeting

Sunday was the Chiswick Cheese Market, and for the third week running Chiswick High Road was vibrant. I’m not much of a cheeser myself but I went along to show a bit of solidarity and see how things were going – superbly, I thought.

Chiswick cheese market

Councillor Ron Mushiso was there as he often is, on his bike – pleased to see at least one Turnham Green councillor supporting the High Street and I know Cllr Gill also supports the Flower Market -and he introduced me to the woman who organises it. She had a couple of gripes which I’ll relay to the council but all in all everything seems to be working well – just hope these things can carry on. Ron and I continued to have a bit of a political discussion: he didn’t like me pointing out that if you lived in England and Wales you are 9 and a half times more likely to have died of COVID than if you had lived in India, nor that the UK recession had been more than three times as severe as that in the Eurozone, telling me I had my facts all wrong. Well, me and the House of Commons library. Strange you don’t hear about any of this in the press.

GDP Chart

Monday morning The Melv and I are at Green Dragon School, which is always a pleasure. We have been putting smart new bin housings around the Haverfield and Towers estates and Mel had the bright idea that it would be good to have art from the children affixed to them. Well, the school really stepped up to the plate and I think every student has contributed a picture, so a forklift might have been handy to take them away. It’s never a burden to spend a bit of time with schoolchildren and this was an exceptionally enthusiastic and smiley bunch so this was one of the nicest interludes I’ve had for a while. Mel and I, with our lockdown haircuts, are considering starting a 1960s revival boy band. Mel can do the singing and I – well, I am a multi-instrumentalist – triangle or tambourine.

Later I cycled to Ladbroke Grove to meet a friend for lunch. On the way I had to take my coat off because it was too warm and it stayed that way on the way back until I was wobbling along Thames Road.


Rainy street

Ah, doncha just love British weather? Actually I don’t mind getting drenched – it’s wind that I resent more – and I have been really loving the cloud formations. When I was coming in to my block a young girl was coming out, rehoming a snail. We both did a double take, then realised she had been one of the kids at Green Dragon. Small world. Well, small Brentford.

In the evening we had a member development session – ‘Casework – doing it well’. You might think that after 6 years before the mast I’d worked out how to do casework but these refreshers are very handy.

Tuesday it was West London Waste in the morning. We are trialling smart bins for food waste on estates in Hounslow and the results are really impressive. A little skizwostie is attached inside the top of the bin and it creates, and transmits via 4G, a 3D map of the waste beneath, so the software can say ‘Oi, that bin’s getting full’ and then optimise a route for a collection truck. Early days but big improvements in Kg collected per Km driven stats which is good news on all levels. I’m eager to see if we can extend this approach/technology into street/park bins.

Early afternoon an onsite meeting with Steve Curran (who’s a ward councillor amongst other things), planning, and the people from Team Keane who have developed a rowing site on Ferry Point near where I live. I was pretty angry about how this started but we are trying to get it back on track and now have a planning application ( P/2021/1693) for what they have already done and what they plan. There is a degree of local concern about amenity, archaeology, ecology and the planners will be balancing that with the benefits of having a rowing etc facility in Brentford. I am now coming to a more balanced view of this myself, and if it is to stay I will be concentrating on improving the look, preserving access and providing affordable watersports for local people and schools. If you have views on this please do write in to the planning consultation soon – I don’t have a deadline but I think it will not be far off. As it happens somebody called me to make some comments in the middle of this paragraph but it’s best to get your comments to the horse’s mouth in planning rather than to whatever part of the equine anatomy you think I represent.

Later it was a long meeting about operational matters in Lampton Group. Impressive energy being shown and appetite to improve by the people there and I continue to feel very optimistic for the future of the companies. A particular focus will be closer engagement with customers/residents and that can only be for the best.

Wednesday morning I’m confined to barracks waiting for someone coming to fix my oven which makes a lovely fan noise but remains resolutely at room temperature. I am charged mini-megabucks for the call out. He arrives on time, fixes it in about 10 minutes, informs me that head office will send an invoice for more megabucks for the parts. He then tells me that the problem is caused by dodgy hinges. He will have to order them and come again to fit them. Megabuck upon megabuck. I will end up paying nearly as much to revive my 20 year old oven as a new one would cost but especially in these days I hate throwing things away that can be kept going (see: Ridiculous Car).

In the afternoon an update on Streetspace. The news is now out there and there is a variety of feedback, often from people who haven’t read it but I suppose that’s the way of these things.

Then it’s my regular residency on Walnut Tree Road Heston where we continue to seek a solution to conflict between a residential cul-de-sac and a massive builders merchants. It turns out the legal advice we were relying on was nonsense (I have had that experience before with lawyers) so it’s back to the drawing board. This is one of these things that is not really my department – we fixed the deterioration in the road some time ago - but I’m so sympathetic to the residents I continue to attend. It was good to see two other cabinet members and ward councillors now engaged too, and an idea for a possible way forward.

Then the police ward panel. This was quite a long meeting but very useful I think and our Safer Neighbourhood Team has been reinforced – we now have 3 PCs it seems rather than 2 -which is very welcome and are enthusiastic to serve the public in our ward.

Thursday: blog and email then I’ll be out with some residents at lunchtime (not having lunch, looking at bins). Another soaking, I expect. Then I have a really packed afternoon and evening so better go read the papers.


Cllr Guy Lambert

Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More

This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.

Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.

We’ve always done that and won’t be changing, in fact we’d like to do more.

However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.

We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact info@neighbournet.com and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.

One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.

If you do support us in this way we’d be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you’d like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.

May 20, 2021

Bookmark and Share