Approval on the Ground for New Permanent Road Barriers

Brentford West councillor Guy Lambert reports back

Cllr Guy Lambert
Cllr Guy Lambert

February 10, 2023


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So, Back from Sticksville on Sunday evening. I decided not to drive because, although I’m fine on normal local journeys I’ve always been a little bit vulnerable to sleepiness on long motorway journeys. I went to Wycombe a while ago and found I was getting sleepy to the point it was close to being a problem, and I decided a 3 hour drive was not a particularly good idea!

A friend of mine who lives in Ealing was going to the same event so I cadged a lift. Unfortunately, she has Long Covid and she was a bit nervous about driving. Well, we got there safely but she found it pretty challenging and she thought she would be better on her own coming back, so I cadged with someone else who was heading for Heathrow on the way back to Basel.

This fella was trying to cadge a lift too, but he got his back half stuck in the wall.

I had had a bit of connection out there – virtually nothing on the phone, but there was one room with active Wifi so showing dedication to my reader (and editor) so I sent something very early on Friday morning.

The rest of the weekend was with a bunch of friends, some of them from ‘helping’ occupations, including one who is an ex-footballer, formerly an award winning sport psychologist but now specialising in something called brainspotting (not trainspotting) – a new one on me. When he saw my pathetic right arm he immediately said he would help. I spent about 20 mins looking at a stainless steel wand thing whilst he moved it about before me and told me what to do with my hand. Quite astonishingly, at the end of that I could move my hand up well above shoulder level and allowed me to do a little bit of what I sometimes call ‘dancing’ in the evening. Didn’t help much with the pain that I get at times, but it’s pure joy to be able to wave it around a bit. More on the dreaded arm later…


Ooh, I omitted to mention what happened on Thursday morning. I went down to New Road in Feltham for the event described as ‘Golden Brick’ saying on the development Lampton Housing have started constructing next to Feltham station. They will be building 176 flats there, many to become straightforward council homes (just like the 100% Council homes in Herings Hall Close in Brentford – formerly the Acton Lodge site).

New Road Feltham

Of course, not everyone will like these because they are quite high, but they are in the town centre and have been stringently examined by the (independent architects) in the Hounslow Design Panel. I think people will like them when they are built (especially the people who live in them) which will largely be council tenants and the rest probably to be let to ‘key workers’ for rents that are considerably less than the market. I’ve been with this from the start and delighted to see the actual building on site, though of course a long programme to continue. The best news is that it is ahead of schedule and coming in within budget despite the horrible inflation which is particularly bad in some construction materials. Didn’t see any gold though.

On Monday, to my great surprise, I had 4 days emails to catch up with (council lines don’t go quiet at the weekend) but I was more or less up to date by the evening.

On Tuesday morning I had a Teams meet with people from TfL and other councils. This was about a new website they have created here. You can get to a fascinating map which shows who have been injured or killed, seriously or slightly injured by what, where, between 2017 and last August. There is lot of extra data and the sort of website a proper nerd could make into a full life! I asked them how have been injured and killed by bicycles (as there is so much unhappiness about the behaviour of some cyclists). They showed me a chart about ‘culprits’ but I can’t find it again but I should get his slides later. It won’t actually help about bicycles as they get put in ‘other’ with other things the presenter remarked means they are counted together with cement mixers.

Later on Tuesday, a quick update with all the Lampton MDs. The most obvious numbers that came out is that they have completed 167 homes, with another 176 under construction. They have purchased 500 ‘second hand’ homes in the borough, nearly all for very affordable rent with 600 expected by the end of March and a target to buy 200 per year after that. This complements the ones we (both the council itself as well as Lampton) are building for social or affordable occupation, and can make a big contribution to reducing the homeless and overcrowded. They would like to build a lot more, but Hounslow has little land available and they are looking outside our land. Some of this will be for higher rents, and the occasional sales, because this will help the financial model to work, especially with higher interest rates. Lots of work going on in the other companies – Coalo changing their material provider, Recycling growing their commercial clients quickly, Leisure under a lot of pressure to save costs to contribute to the reductions the council has to achieve across the council. The number of members are increasing again very well, after a blip in the tail of last year, which has been reversed.

Then a Teams meet with Lara and various people about the work soon to start on Charlton House – making sure the council has addressed various issues we found last time we met residents. The officers are sending a new letter updating and stressing the positive options coming and the concerns we have addressed.

Then a meet with the leader and some senior officers about an important decision we will be taking shortly, then a full meeting of the full cabinet clarifying what we will be introducing at formal cabinet on 21 st February – a big agenda.

During the day I’d had a quick whiz (well, slow whiz, my cycling speed is very leisurely these days). Firstly I reported a serious pothole on Boston Manor Road which someone had reported to me. Hounslow Highways have told me they have done a quick fix to make it safe. Just opposite the pothole (and not connected!) I was delighted to see they had started on the permanent barrier at the end of Swyncombe Avenue. It was still pretty busy in the ‘legal’ western direction and whilst I was taking pics 2 cars zoomed into the eastern entrance. They were going fast and I’m relieved the business the other way had a lull or there could have been carnage.

I took a video of the Swyncombe works (top directors need not be concerned by the competition) so you’ll have to live with Challis Road/Eastbourne Road. They have started Whitestile as well but no pics of that, but someone came up to me and I was expecting the insults I get from 3 people on the TW8 forum, which accuse me of being fat (true) a liar (not really though I sometimes pretend I enjoy a host’s food more than is strictly honest) and that I’m riding all over democracy (untrue). Most people that I meet in real life have a different view, and this lady, who came upon the Whitestile works at the same time as me firstly said that everybody will drive over it. Probably not, when it’s finished. She then thanked me for what has been done because 100% of the people who live in Enfield Road were delighted by the change and the reduced traffic. I pointed out that at least one person in Enfield was greatly against it and she said – all right, 99%.

I’m pleased to catch one of the former barriers. It has not been a big success aesthetically but we should be reminded!

Wednesday was the first of 3 doctoring days. I was supposed to be around Baker Street for a 9.30 am private osteopath appointment, but due to relying on ‘Buses Coming’ views of a 237 and 267 that arrived at Morrisons more than half an hour later than predicted (what was going on West of Brentford? – and why was I daft enough not to cycle to Ealing for Elizabeth). I arrived at 10.00 and found (unsurprisingly) I had to rearrange this half-hour date. Leisurely back to Chiswick for my doctor’s nurse to do a blood test and found my blood pressure to be excellent.

Thursday was a new steroid etc injunction at St Mary’s to address my arm/shoulder problem. This turned out to be quite lengthy, as a junior doctor used ultrasound to have a good squint inside my shoulder. It looked a bit like the surface of the moon and he got concerned about the place where it looked like where Apollo 11 landed. He called the consultant lady (apparently the ‘junior’ is only a few months away from it) and she decided it was nothing to worry seriously about it. Well, here I am on Thursday evening: my arm can still be sore but it’s heaps better and I’m due for another dose in a couple of weeks so I may become a proper human again.

Tomorrow life’s back to normal, with just a bit of Physio at Charing Cross.

I cannot leave without linking to the lovely Melvinator and his famous moment at Brentford FC having been a supporter for 70 Years. Respect to Mel, for his support for BFC, his support for the town over so many years, his support for me and being a thoroughly nice man and an effective councillor despite having been more or less blind from birth. Respeck, as he would not say.

Melvin in Bees beanie

Councillor Guy Lambert

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