Not Getting to Talk to Camilla nor Name Street After Her Mother-in-law

Brentford West councillor Guy Lambert reports back

Cllr Guy Lambert
Cllr Guy Lambert

February 24, 2023


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Catching Up on My Backlog of Local Photos

Boston Manor Park, Flytipping and the Brentford High Line

Something May Actually Be Happening with the Cop Shop and Watermans

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On Friday morning I was down at the Spire Café with Ruth Cadbury, the assistant Vicar (that’s probably the wrong title) Rev. Chris Curry and various officers involved in the Community Solutions team. I was pleased to see the café very busy, though most people were mainly involved in their food and drink, and their squawkers (my name for little kids) and little time for officers offering support.

Apparently this is very uneven – sometimes they get a real large number of people, either neighbours etc or people from the same country or community. Some people have to summon up some bravery to attend a council officer (or councillor), particularly if you’re from the communities that may need it most. Be brave! Very few council officers bite and the councillors bite never leave a tooth mark! Seriously, interesting to see how it works and it was good to see the cooperation between the council and the church. Also I like what they’ve done with the Spire Café. It’s a very sympatico place to have a coffee and something to nibble on and that dreary old environment has been massively improved.

In the afternoon we have TCSB, the shareholder board for Lampton, when various Hounslow people take the management of the companies to task (as and when needed!).

In the evening, one of my favourite local restaurants with my leader (Shantanu) and deputy leader (Katherine). They arranged it but it was nice to buy them a meal, as both of them were incredible through my period of serious illness. It is great to see Siracusa buzzing with customers, which is a different story that it was when I was a new Brentonian when it wasn’t unusual to be the only client.

On Sunday I was up to Heston West, to help our new candidate Emma Siddhu. Our previous Adriana had to resign for personal reasons. We’ll miss her, but fingers crossed we have an outstanding new councillor in the shape of Emma. One of my colleagues brought a couple of apprentice councillors with him!

On Monday morning I was down on Market Terrace, with the tree man from Hounslow Highways and Nicola from Air Quality Brentford, and a local residents. The idea is to add some planters on the pavement there, which will improve the look greatly.

Later it’s a teams about the progress of Lampton Homes. The new development in Feltham is 2 months ahead of the plan and is on budget – all going well. I queried that they seemed to have more voids amongst the purchased properties than I’d prefer but it turns out that it’s all new buys that they are moving from the tawdry private landlord style (a lot of mould and other problems) to excellent Lampton Homes style. They are nearly up to the 600 purchased homes they had targeted and will be there by the end of March – the vast majority are people previously either homeless or in expensive and insecure (and often substandard) temporary housing.

In the evening we had a Labour councillor meeting as we look forward to next week’s council meeting.

Tuesday is a Teams meeting with ‘my’ executive director and her team. I’m particularly interested in how our review of enforcement teams is going. We think it was all a bit incoherent in the past, but the new organisation should be more focused and more effective.

Soon after that, my friend from Vienna appeared from Heathrow, for a short stay, which brings a bit of colour into my monochrome life.

Then it’s a trustee meeting for the FoodBox. We haven’t met for some time and it was good to see the other trustees and think about we want to develop the service. The wonderful volunteers (including some of the trustees) do a stunning job running the service for thousands of people who need support. We need more food donations and more volunteers, but in general everything is going well. Happy customers and this comment from one of those who refer people in need to the Foodbox “The FoodBox team are amazing, supportive and friendly”. All the comments are similar, including the people who actually get help. Demand looks like it dipped a bit, but is now going up again.

In the evening it was a heavy agenda at Cabinet. Not much directly at my portfolio (though budget affects us all) but I replied to a petition about renaming a road after Queen Elizabeth II. I thought this was a good idea but they had chosen the wrong road. This caused the well-known flood of abuse and misunderstanding which is always orchestrated by the local ‘press’!

Wednesday was mainly medical. My cranial osteopath (it was 2 for the price of one on Wednesday) and a visit to Chiswick Feet in the afternoon for what turned out to be a corn. I had never had one before and apparently I should have gone earlier so he didn’t hack away at my foot for so long with a Stanley knife. I will learn a lesson.

Then a Teams meet with finance to talk about work they are doing to improve how we improve the rather complicated way we organise and oversee Lampton companies.

Thursday was a rather unusual day. We were required to keep a secret, because the person visiting Boston Manor House was no less than HM the Queen Consort, or to your plebs, Camilla. We all hung around the house in our Sunday clothes whilst she was shown over the house, including the stables(?) where Jimmy Choo has started his training place. Our leader made a speech to her, exchanged high fives and a brief hug then Shantanu presented her with a key (I made some of that up). She was clearly delighted with the gift, particularly after she found a flunky to take care of it. I was not selected for any special treatment (like talking to the main guest) but it was a very interesting day.

The key in disguise

The key in disguise

The last person to get a free key

Queen Mother at Boston Manor House

A bunch of idlers waiting for someone to wave at

waiting for camilla

Finally, on the way home there’s not all that Heidelberg left but those meeting chairs ares till there. I advise you to be quick or they’ll be gone.

Councillor Guy Lambert

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