Weekly Update From Councillor Guy Lambert

Idiocy not Kryptonite proves to be bike thief's undoing

A lot of effort went into stealing a bike not worth stealing
A lot of effort went into stealing a bike not worth stealing



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Well, my potential TV stardom was a mirage, again. These chilly nights, the guys who fill the potholes have a different task – out overnight with the gritting wagons, so they would likely nod off and fall in one if they did potholes during the day as well. So no potholes being filled and ITV went elsewhere (or nowhere, who knows?).

On Friday, a wander around Ferry Quays with the man from Brentford Voice who is busy creating a Heritage Trail along the Thames. If you see an eccentric gentleman walking around Brentford with a wooden lectern, it will be Jim. He hasn’t taken leave of his senses but he’s parking his mock up heritage board in various locations to see how it will fit in.

After that, I caught a Lime bike to Chiswick to pick up my own bike, left unpedalled following Wednesday’s minor drama. I was a little puzzled when I arrived at my bike, because I could see the lock lying on the floor rather than wrapped round the bike. Methinks: what an idiot, I obviously didn’t fit the lock properly. So I picked up the lock and got a surprise.

Some busy bee had had his angle grinder out and had arranged for removal of the lock, with a view to nicking the bike. It was only when he came to ride it away that he realised it was monopedular and therefore not so easy to nick. I found myself doing quite a bit of laughing as I loaded said bike on the train then scooted it down Boston Manor Road, Half Acre and Catherine Wheel Road to Jim the Bike’s. It’s quite easy and fun to scoot a bike with one pedal (downhill), I discovered. Jim made a speedy repair and I was rebiked for the weekend, which was a result.

Monday I had a Zooting© with the licensing person for Getir. This is the convenience food delivery outfit who have applied for a 24/7 licence for their new premises at Shield Drive – the old Firestone site. I had put in an objection to it being 24/7 but for various reasons I have now withdrawn that objection.

Then a chat with the planners about a house extension in Popes Lane. Corinna and I were concerned that they were turning their front garden into a concrete car park. Actually, not as extreme as many in Popes Lane and elsewhere but it is a conservation area and we wanted to make sure it was in keeping, plus importantly to stress that it should not be approved unless it was water permeable, which is actually council policy, and more important than ever as we live with continuing climate change. That was agreed, so we are not objecting.

In the evening, a FoodBox trustees’ meeting. We welcomed a new trustee (more still needed, especially younger, diverse, let me know if interested) and talked through various matters including the dramatic increase in demand, which we expect to continue to grow as inflation and tax increases bite. Then I had to excuse myself because Watermans Trustees were meeting.

It remains very challenging for enterprises like Watermans, with little or no confidence that they will still be allowed to open, and an inability with social distancing to have a viable audience size. Even when restrictions are lifted, people are very cautious about being out and about in enclosed spaces like cinemas – on one day recently there were only 3 people in the cinema all day. There has been support from the arts council, and of course from the voluntary fundraising a year ago where local people gave very generously, but finances are still precarious and most government support has been turned off. Let’s hope 2022 brings better conditions, but meanwhile the team are working hard (and creatively!) to find ways of getting the arts out there in the world, as well as in the centre.

On Tuesday I was up in Clayponds Gardens discussing various issues there. The main thing is some sheds which have been subject to misuse and which I have been trying to get sealed off for some time, supported by the police. This time we had someone from the council’s asset management team with us so we may get some action. I was curious to hear that in the early days of this estate it was some kind of Ealing/Hounslow joint venture, with some people paying their rent to Ealing and Council Tax to Hounslow. I’m really glad that I have not had to deal with the inevitable chaos which would have resulted from that!

In the afternoon, the Lampton Community Services board. An excellent team of people, gradually working through some historic issues whilst looking confidently to the future. Straight from that to a Labour party session looking to our own priorities for the future.

I looked in via Teams to the Chiswick Area Forum and heard an interesting talk from the head of the RNLI lifeboat station, but was unable to stay for the rest of the session as I had to go to the Griffin and see a member of the houseboat community about various issues they have. One of the downsides of living in a boat is that they have none of the housing protections you get if you live on dry land, so for example a landlord (or waterlord) can evict you with little or no notice without any reason, which makes life precarious. Anyway, a couple of pints on Pride or Neck Oil tend to relegate the importance of these matters.

On Wednesday morning I finally got to see a real doctor about my fractures. All healing OK and I can give up my splint. He remarked it was a long time since the accident. He’s telling me 😊 . Whatever, the system in West Middlesex worked very well and I was in, X-rayed, doctored and out again well within the hour.

In the afternoon Lampton Leisure. They are making good progress signing new members but there’s still some reluctance to go to gyms and there’s a way to go before they get to pre-pandemic levels. They are confident and I believe in the team.

This morning, Thursday, a brief catch up about the financial reports from West London Waste which are a bit labyrinthine, then a Zooting© with police and a number of council officers about some issues which pervade one of the roads in the ward. Felt constructive, and that we might start to get some stuff done to improve matters.

In the afternoon I have a meeting with the creative workspaces group, which I’m looking forward to.

Not many pictures this week, but somebody sent me this lovely winter shot.

The joys of early morning dogging. Oh, I mean taking a dog for a walk

The joys of early morning dogging. Oh, I mean taking a dog for a walk.

Cllr Guy Lambert

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January 20, 2022

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