Failure To Evict Dead Pigeons But Success on Other Issues

Brentford West councillor Lara Parizotto reports back on her week

Cllr Guy Lambert with Cllr Lara Parizotto


Committed to Dressing Up as a Sausage Roll for His Constituents

Should the borough's parched parks be getting Brown Flag Awards?

Taking advice on tides from a possibly fake Captain Pugwash

Bhangra dancing on tiles arranged by Nadine Dorries

Trying to stay positive despite continuing to test positive

Still got it on the dance floor at seventy but Covid-19 lays me low

In which I succeed in avoiding both going around and up poles

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This week, the Brentford Councillors blog is being written by me, Lara Parizotto. I represent Brentford West ward with Guy Lambert and I am a first-time councillor so it has been a pleasure to have Guy as a ward colleague and learn so much from him.

August is a bit quieter in the Council without the usual committee meetings so it has given me some time to catch up on some Council reading and even write this blog. My council inbox, however, is still super busy with emails from residents!

The hot and dry weather is making our trees and plants thirsty for some more water. I want to firstly thank all the kind residents who have been watering some of the more desperate saplings. One resident even told me they filled up their wheelie bin to go around watering them! As great as that is, we all know we need a long-term strategy to support them. Guy and I are considering using our £1,000 Neighbourhood Grant to fund a rain water harvesting tank to help in times like these. We are talking to residents, Brentford Voice, and the Heston Action Group (they have a successful rain water tank) about how to make it happen. Of course, there are details that need to be worked out, including, of course, how to take the water to the plants and that’s where the community effort comes in!

Guy and I had a total of £2,000 in our Neighburhood Grant pot (£1,000 per councilllor). The first £1,000 we have chosen to donate to the organisers of the Creative Mile so they can run an energetic and creative event between the 2nd-4th of September. My mum will be visiting me from Brazil that weekend so it will be great to show her around the great attractions of the Brentford creative scene.

A common topic in the inbox is also the rising cost of living. I’ve been supporting residents apply for their energy rebate and find other sources of financial support. In my volunteer time, I also help EU citizens apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. This week, I have been helping a single mum, who is not eligible to Universal Credit because of her pre-settled status, apply for financial support from organisaions like the Red Cross. Many are finding it difficult to cope so it’s useful to know where these extra pots of money are - even if not a long-term solution.

There have also been some frustrations with casework! During the election campaign, Guy and I noticed a few pigeons stuck in nets under the A4 Chiswick Flyover. I have more photos and videos of dead birds on my camera roll than I would like or ever thought I would have. These have all been shared with National Highways who are responsible for the flyover. My first email to them was on the 13th of May - just days after getting elected! The first reply I got from them gave me hope as I was told they would clear the nets by the end of June. Spoiler alert! This never happened. I’ve continued to email the distressing images often with no luck. Recently, however, Hounslow Highways stepped in as they were already planning to do some work on the A4 in October. They will try to combine to do both works at once. Fingers crossed!

I am also happy that I’ve been able to support residents with some really urgent matters. One elderly gentleman was about to be evicted by his housing association. I got to know this only 24 hours before he was going to be evicted. Pausing everything else, I got in touch with the Assistant Director of Homelessness and Sue Sampson, our Cabinet Member for Housing. Fortunately, the council were able to find him temporary accommodation until we can find a better and permanent housing option for him. Similarly, I’ve been advocating for a woman who has been waiting for years for adaptations to her home. I met her when canvassing and have been regularly asking for updates on her housing situation. Unfortunately, due to mobility issues, the family would need to be moved to a specific home while the adaptations are carried out which is difficult to find due to the limited numbers. This kind of casework can be heartbreaking but equally rewarding when we get the right achievement.

Guy and I have also come across a fair bit of anti-social behaviour (ASB) casework. For obvious reasons, I will keep this brief but when it comes to ASB, most often there are no quick solutions so it has been an interesting experience working with various officers and the police in finding ways to resolve the situation and make the lives of residents better.

Finally on casework, we have a couple of roads in our ward having extreme difficulties with traffic and parking. As with most issues, there is no clear and quick solution. This fact, however, does nothing to alleviate the pain this is causing some residents. This week, I asked to set up a strategic meeting with various council officers and cabinet members responsible for transport so we can collectively think of mitigation strategies and even a potential solution. I have also started doing update emails to residents who live on these roads so all get the same information from us about the latest developments. Speaking to other councillors in Hounslow and elsewhere, this is a common issue we all come across in our work as councillors.

There have been many other cases I’ve worked on. So far, I have logged 62 cases on a spreadsheet I am keeping. I even colour-coded it so I know which ones are urgent, which need a follow up, and which have been resolved!

On other council matters, all new councillors had an intense induction process with lots of in-person meetings at Hounslow House. The months of May-July were incredibly busy but also super valuable to meet various officers responsible for services.

I am also very busy with committees. I am on the Planning Committee, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and its three sub-panels. I’ve also been appointed as chair of the Children and Young People panel. This is quite exciting as it gives us the chance to look in detail at a specific issue. The committee does not have the power to come up with new policy but it does have the opportunity to look at a topic and find out whether any issues that come up need policy solutions. I have been in coversations with cabinet members and officers about the topic we will explore in the Children and Young People panel. I am interested in analysing how migrant children in Hounslow’s care are being supported to leave care with a secure immigration status. I work in the immigration sector so I see every day the problems people face without a secure immigration status. I want to make sure that every child will have the right to work, study, and live in the UK once they live our care.

The Planning committee has also been interesting and challenging. It’s been great doing site visits after reading the reports as the development plans only really come to life when you can see the geographical space. Last week, a few councillors visited the old Gillette factory in Isleworth which is now a film studios. This will soon come to planning as well so it was great to get some idea of what the developers have in mind for the future of the site. I have also been enjoying thinking of the environmental and equalities impacts of new developments. Before every planning meeting, I have done lots of reading and have set up meetings with experts to make sure I am asking the right questions at the committee meeting to get the best result. I am looking forward to the next one.

I have also finished writing a speech for the council motion I am proposing at the next borough meeting on the 20th of September. The motion calls on the Government to stop the deportation flights to Rwanda. This is something I am really passionate about so naturally I have had to spend more time cutting the speech so I don’t end up speaking for 20 minutes! It is now at a decent length and I am looking forward to my maiden speech on an issue very close to my heart.

It has also been great to work with all the Brentford Councillors on our joint surgeries at the Digital Dock. The next one is THIS SUNDAY (14th August) from 11am. I had fun designing a pop-up banner we have been using to show the public we are available to meet and discuss anything they would like.

I have also finished a new canvassing plan so Guy and I can go back out to speak to residents. We will also combine canvassing with some litter pick events with the other Brentford wards (Brentford East and Syon and Brentford Lock). We will announce them here so keep checking our blog!

Thank you for reading and as always, get in touch! (


Cllr Lara Parizotto

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August 11, 2022

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