Weekly Update From Councillor Guy Lambert

Uncertain start to my TV career as viewers deprived of flytipping insights



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On Thursday evening a brief chat with colleagues about some work we’re doing together on the manifesto for next May’s council elections.

We are starting this with a research exercise, where we are asking people for feedback on what they would like the council to focus on over the next 4 years and have been cooking up a leaflet which should drop through your letter box in the next week or three.

Ah, my TV career. I was supposed to be told whether and when the footage that the BBC took of flytipping was going to be broadcast. I never heard a thing from them but a Labour party member from way out west in the borough caught me on a news bulletin which got posted on Facebook without useful sound. I couldn’t find anything on i-Player, which was most galling, but here’s a still from the news clip, just to prove I really truly am a TV star.

Sometime in here, MyLondon published a shocking article about the Brentford Towers. I was furious, as was anybody else who knows the estate. I spent some time chatting with the chair of the residents association who said she was more frightened of the wild animals (foxes) than any of the estate’s human inhabitants and we decided we would offer the young man who was so traumatised by walking around the estate a guided tour, with us as his bodyguards. Hounslow sent out a press release here.

On Friday morning, interviews with Seema Malhotra MP and another of the trustees of Hounslow’s Promise for roles we have advertised to lead and administer the Connected Futures Programme – helping young people into work by mentoring. Response has been a bit disappointing but we had one excellent candidate for one of the two part time jobs and she’ll be staring soon.

In the evening I was supposed to be out door-knocking with Ruth, but I had a few personal issues coming up and decided against it. However I did get out later in the evening for a bit of high jinks and excellent music (from Straw Dogs), good company (from Brentfordites and Brentonians alike) and fine beers (from The Griffin).

Not much on at the weekend so I contented myself with various bike escapades which always lift my mood, and some social time.

Monday was pretty free too, until a meeting about finances late in the day. There are quite serious cost pressures in the environment area, mainly in my portfolio because a) there is still much more domestic waste than pre-pandemic b) our recycling rates are up quite strongly but the market for recyclate has been very weak and is still not strong, so we don’t make as much from selling stuff and c) HGV drivers are in very short supply and rates of pay are going up (good – but it causes problems providing a service and keeping costs under contro l.)

Tuesday brought a meeting with The Melvinator and we met at the Watermans for a chat about various ward matters over a cappucino and a fizzy water. For future reference Mel likes his cappucino without chocolate on top whereas I will drink anything I’m offered except Archer’s Peach County Schnapps on the grounds that it sticks my lips together.

We then repaired to Ealing Road where we met someone from Hounslow Highways and a council officer to discuss various minor problems with the footway.

On Wednesday the weather started ‘orrible but improved so I decided on a constitutional down the river to Hammersmith. I needed to get back for a meeting at 3 and had finely honed my timings to fit in a small food shop, but - horror of horrors – I got a wobbly bike by Hammersmith Bridge. Yes you guessed, it was a puncture. Nothing daunted, I set about fixing it and was half way through when somebody I knew (he used to post on ChiswickW4.com 100 years ago) stopped his bike to assist. This was handy because I discovered my pump had fallen to bits and furthermore I couldn’t get the CO2 canister I had bought to work. My friend gallantly lent me his pump and pointed out that the tyre itself was shot. All fixed and off I went.

I arrived home for my meeting in the nick of time having had a new tyre fitted. I had the look of a coal miner with all the dust on me. I wiped my face before the Watermans Park stakeholder meeting that ensued and I don’t think anybody noticed. Budgets are approved for the improvements in the park and they expect a contractor on site next month. Everybody seems delighted at the engagement they’ve had from locals including the Friends and Green Dragon Primary School and excited about the improvements. Still a bit nervous about the progress of the marina though, with some bureaucratic hurdles still not overcome.

In the evening, the first face to face Labour Party General Commmittee for many a long month, followed by some oiling of the neck in the Swan Inn – never knew it had a garden. When my daughter was about 6 we took home a helium-filled flamingo from a work dinner dance. She proudly took it to her youth club in the church in Wellesley Road but lost her grip on it in the excitement of the evening. It was lodged against the church roof for weeks.

flamingo ballon in roof

It seems little changes in this world, though flamingoes become whales or (?) whoopee cushions.

Thursday has been quite packed, what with writing this tripe and various events. I had been invited for a guided tour of the Brentford Community Stadium and some of the new flats which are springing up around it. It was a fascinating morning getting the new angles on the world formed by the development.

Stadium flats by train line

This one is not real, but is how the subway going down to Kew bridge station will look, apparently, I hope without the resident zombies.

And here’s a happy, smiling bunch of councillors and developers emerging from the sacred tunnel towards the hallowed turf (about which I learned quite a lot).

Councillors in Brentford Stadium tunnel

Then it’s the Hounslow Highways ‘network board’ where we discuss issues with their senior management. Then straight into the Lampton Development and Investment board – very positive – and finally some politics with more discussions about what we’d like to do next in Hounslow if the voters give us a chance.

I needed some air and went off round a familiar route, and Dukes Meadows in the (completely) dark was a new experience. A bit of late blogging and here we are. Cars going round in circles at Goodwood this weekend – wicked.

Cllr Guy Lambert

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September 17, 2021

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