Unintelligible Traffic Lights and a Radioactive Cone

Brentford West councillor Guy Lambert reports back

Cllr Guy Lambert
Cllr Guy Lambert

June 1, 2023


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Ooh well Thursday last was quite hard work but Friday was even more of a different day for me. Having avoided long cycle days since my illness – 8 months ago. It was 70 th birthday for my good friend and cycling fanatic Ruth, and her son and close friends had cooked up a day out which involved cycling to Walton on Thames and then a trip into darkest Surrey for lunch. Everybody, me included, were a bit worried if I’d make it but in fact it went like a dream, and it was all great fun until we came upon gridlock in Kew.

Brentford has had some traffic challenges recently, with the relatively modest impact of the construction of Cycleway 9 between Kew Bridge and Watermans Park being exacerbated by Cadent making huge holes in the road to update gas stuff, apparently for safety reasons.

Add the temporary traffic lights on Ealing Road/A4 junction but on Friday three other factors added to the fun, with SSE digging up the south circular just up from Kew Bridge with the accompaniment of traffic lights, more traffic lights blocking Windmill Road with nothing on the road except traffic lights for completely unintelligible reasons and a fire or two on the District Line outside Gunnersbury station.

red light sign

I suppose that traffic cone might be radioactive or something.

We ended up having to push bikes half the way back from Richmond and take circuitous routes which made a beer at the Steam Packet essential for restoring mental health. A quick visit to Ruth’s party at the Hogarth Club and then home to bed, feeling a sleep well-earned.

ruth mayorcas 70th

Saturday morning Lara and I started the day with our surgery in the library. It turned out to be quite lively: an elderly lady who had problems with her blue badge was assisted by Lara, while I talked to a couple of people from Boston Park Road who were tired of people parking illegally all over the pavement near the Catholic Primary school. I had dealt with this problem several years ago. I thought I’d fixed it but clearly not! Someone else talked to me about having too many people in their house and is looking for a new home.

Then we were off to Grosvenor and Lateward Roads, with Lara and I accompanied by Ruth Cadbury and Dan Bowring, plus a new Labour person. It was nice to be out talking to local people again – had done very little since my illness and I really enjoyed it. Issues included the inevitable weeds, plus resurgent drug dealing on Lateward and out of control dogs in the park – several bits of casework raised!

Then two days of a peaceful Bank Holiday, though Brentford was not very peaceful on Sunday. After all, our own Bees had polished off the season by polishing off the league winners and the third best team in the world, Manchester City (the best two teams, obviously, Brentford and Liverpool). I have not seen so many people in stripy shirts out in the evening, celebrating a double win against the champions – lovely to see.

Going through Chiswick on a bike ride on Sunday, a celebration was cut short by boys and girls in blue. Going through Chiswick, the little lad in the back of this Rolls Royce apparently got a need to be fulfilled by Boots. His mum was clearly not one to subject the wee lad to tiresome walking so parked in the most convenient place, half on the pavement and half blocking the road outside Boots. I thought there had been an accident (somebody had thoughtfully placed the orange and white street cone on the roof) and stopped to take a look, just as a) little lad exited Boots b) let himself into the back through the back-hinged door c) mum got in to drive on and d) a minibus full of coppers stopped right next to them. I hope they don’t have to sell the car to get the money to pay the fine.

A person standing next to a car  Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Tuesday I was back to normal and was at the Coal Hole off the Strand with some retired accountants – I have very racy chums. I suppose a feature of age which means we spend a lot of our time trying to remember people we worked with 30 years ago whilst sipping bitter beer and chomping through old fashioned pub health food (pie and chips in my case)

Then back for a Lampton Services board on teams. They have picked up a big commercial cleaning contract in Hounslow and has a bigger one on the stocks that they are not ready even to share the client names even with board members. Financial performance has improved greatly, though still working through some long-standing issues in Coalo, but direction is positive both financially and in satisfaction.

In the evening we have a Cabinet briefing, with quite a big agenda covering air quality, parking, youth employment, and asset management, most of which I escape from having responsibility for! But the redevelopment plans for Charlton House are moving forward which will be good news for the people who live there. I’m a bit worried about losing the parking area in Albany Place which will go when Charlton gets emptied.

I have to confess I’m having trouble keeping up at present – there’s a lot going on and a lot of casework of various sorts. I had a fairly free day yesterday, and today and I’m hoping to get out in the afternoon sun. Yesterday I had my regular update with ‘my’ Executive Director and her team, always interesting and informative. Today my morning was at Rye by the Water having a session (and a coffee) with the Director of Environment, talking about the Pavement Pledge, about Hounslow Highways and about one of my favourite senior officers, who’s been poached by Richmond and Wandsworth. I’ll miss her!

So, here’s something for the weekend, as barbers used to say (and may still, I generally avoid them). I’ll be there and I hope to see a few people who lack any taste in the blogs they read.

boston manor park nature festival

Councillor Guy Lambert

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