Various Forms of Torture and the Reanimation of Ferry Quays

Brentford West councillor Guy Lambert reports back

Cllr Guy Lambert
Cllr Guy Lambert

January 27, 2023


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Well, Friday was a red letter day. Well, more like a mouldy and past its sell by date, because it was my long-delayed visit to Space Waye. Booked last summer, then I got COVID, went on holiday then spent most of the autumn enjoying the hospitality of ... hospitals then being too weedy to pick up a car-worth’s of crud. I still am quite weedy so a friend of mine lent me her muscles, her hatchback car, her enthusiasm and energy and it was done in a jiffy. Though she moaned about Space Waye and told me she much preferred the Richmond one in Mortlake. Too posh some of these people.

A lazy weekend punctuated by a session of face filling at Holy Spice (I normally avoid places that are Holy). Good nosh though. Several decent Indian places in Brentford and it seems Anima is coming but it’s not what Poppadums used to be. Apparently (I found their website) which talks of CURATED HOLISTIC WORKSHOPS HOSTED IN THE VIBRANT COMMUNITY OF BRENTFORD. Wow. None of them appear to have been curated yet but very intriguing I’d say! Amazing what you can find on Google.

Mind you, not 100% lazy. I do lurk around the borough and went and found this motorcycle on a pavement in Chiswick, alerted by Cllr John Todd, who is a bit grumpy about it. Trying to work out if there’s anything we can do with it or leave it to the government as it’s not visibly abandoned, just not taxed and with a lovely parking ticket on it.

Monday was quite quiet during the day, too, but we had a lengthy meeting between us Cabinoids and senior officers about plans they are cooking up to improve how we respond to our residents. This is a big piece of work which will take a year or three but good prospects of making real major progress on something which has been challenging for a long time.

Tuesday morning I was off to Charing Cross (someone mentioned to me they went to Charing Cross and spent half an hour walking up and down the Strand looking for a hospital) for a bit of physio. I’m now the proud owner of a huge rubber band (given me for free and hangs off the radiator in my bathroom) and a pulley thing that cost me £4.17 + P&P that hangs off the catch on my balcony door handle. Fortunately the physio advised me to avoid Amazon (something which has come naturally to me for a couple of decades) and save at least £20 and putting it into Jeff Bezos’ grasping hands. I am discovering all the torture equipment of the 21st Century. And of course the minor tortures they facilitate.

In the afternoon another form of torture (not really) the Lampton Community Services board meeting. The centrepiece of this was the commercial waste disposal service we’ve started. The experimental launch has been very successful and the discussion was about expanding it over the next couple of years to cover much more of the businesses in the borough. We’ve had fantastic feedback from customers and we’ve been very successful winning new customers – let’s hope it continues!

In the evening I went up to Chelsea for a very posh Indian meal, way out of my normal range (and budget!) Somebody remarked it was good to do this from time to time but my loyalty to the Boston café and the local pubs and Indians is not threatened.

On our way to Chelsea we came upon all the barriers on the A4, which were completely not announced (at least to me!). I still know not much about it apart from something somebody pointed to an article in MyLondon and then somebody pointed me to a complicated (but not very helpful) message on TW8 (not blaming TW8 but the ineffable National Highways). I still don’t know how long this will go on, details of some of the diversions that will be needed etc. TfL told me yesterday that they knew all about it but they show the E2 going up Windmill Road from the library and across to the other bit of Windmill Road. Good luck with that.

During the week I have been trying to broker someone to replace some lights in Boston Park. A couple have failed and this is stopping people playing tennis on one of the courts when it goes dark. The contractors who had done it in the past was a contractor to Ealing and they are no longer around. It is slightly tricky but I have persuaded Lampton Services to take it on.

It was time to rationalise my stock of bicycles so I decided it would best to move them on to Dr Bikes so they can use them in training (apparently will provide a lot of problems to advance the training!). The excellent Dr Winston appeared in his (naturally electric) bike transporter and the two of them were off to that cycleworks in the sky. He’ll use them to help in training (probably about how not to maintain a bike) .

doctor winston

Wednesday, there was nothing on in terms of meetings until late afternoon. Then I met with ‘my’ directors and the leader to talk about a service change process that is still under development and not ready for us to talk about yet. A useful conversation, and hopefully we’ll get there soon.

Thursday by contrast had a variety of different activities. In the morning I attended a Teams meeting with the ’TEC’ – the lead members for transport from all the boroughs in London (plus TfL and City of London) talking about shared e-bikes and e-scooter services are developed. It is a very popular service but has a variety of problems, particularly in central London when they are more likely to block up pavements etc. This is normally Katherine Dunne’s territory but she was busy doing her day job. Very interesting meeting with a variety of different opinions. We will see how the policy develops over the coming months/years.

In the afternoon, a finance meeting about Lampton companies. The majority of them are performing well and predictably but there has been some extra challenges in a couple of the companies, mostly about the impact of inflation but with a couple of other issues that we need to deal with.

Then I was off to the Isleworth Riviera, also known as the Mogden Sewage works. It’s particularly delightful on a freezing January evening when half the site is disrupted by various road works etc within the surprisingly large site. I went there several years ago on a sunny spring day when somebody showed me around and some lovely spring flowers. I guess it’s all very good soil with plenty of nutrients from the environment. This evening we were in a sort of board room where you could take a Westminster Cabinet meeting (fortunately none of them were there) and the kind of room where you feel like you should be wearing what Thomas Layton might have worn when he was a Councillor.

Wish I could find one of those pictures of the whole brentford Urban Council in 1900 but that one of King Tommy will have to suffice. Apparently I have some responsibility for Mogden but there were 20 odd people (not all of them were odd) all of whom knew a lot about it. There were various presentations, mainly incomprehensible to me and I came away thinking I need to do more homework than I have done on this topic.

OK this picture went with one I sent last week showing a glorious morning. This was a glorious evening from the same day so I’m cheating by posting it on this to help you go into the weekend with a light heart. Love living round here.

Councillor Guy Lambert

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