Herding Lime Bikes on the Haverfield Estate

Brentford West councillor Guy Lambert reports back

Cllr Guy Lambert
Cllr Guy Lambert

June 23, 2023


My Planned Nice Weekend was Anything But

Creative Differences on the Set of My Latest Film

Unintelligible Traffic Lights and a Radioactive Cone

Some Changes to My Role But Still the Minister of Mess

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No meetings on Friday apart from a session with my cranial osteopath up by Baker Street. Given what is happening with my shoulder (more later) he can’t do a lot but when I come out of his room my arm is greatly better – no real idea why, but who cares about why?

On Saturday morning I had a call to form a posse with colleagues Marina and Katherine. Marina had spotted a couple of Lime bikes that had been relocated within one of the Walks buildings on the Haverfield estate. We went in with our lassos, caught them and herded them out into the open area outside and reported them to the people at Lime. One of them was OK (low battery aside) but another had been modified by some local genius who had removed the carrier and disconnected various wires. I didn’t try to ride it but my guess is it would not have been working very well!

It will be interesting to see how these rent bikes work out. In the first few days they were parked all over the place (hardly unsurprising because that had always been the system until now) but there were a lot on their sides and few looking useable and in the designated bays. People tell me it’s a fiasco and a plague for ever more but when I cycled back through Chiswick and Brentford this morning, everything was perfect – a number of them in the pens, all upright and none I saw anywhere else, except one that had fallen (or been pushed) over. We’ll be following them closely and one of the traffic officers wrote to me to say “ While these measures are being implemented [modifications to overcome the recent hacks] we fully understand the concerns raised by such antisocial behaviour / vandalism. We are in close contact with Lime to address the situation”. In the meantime, please report problems on FixMyStreet (there’s a category under Traffic Parking/Signals called Abandoned Vehicle) which Hounslow Highways will report on to the operator, whether it is Lime or another provider. Oh and if you fancy it, tell me too, always listening.

Lime Bike in Brentford

Later on Saturday I did my traditional (ie I did something vaguely similar last year) June post-birthday get together. This was in the outside area outside the Brewery Tap, aka Catherine Wheel Road/the Blue Road. It was all fantastically sophisticated - a couple of dozen of my pals from around and about just having a drink or three, and all finishing early evening. Appropriate for an old geezer like me, no dance, music, drugs or fornication (well, none that I saw). This picture was before my pals came. They did come, honest.

al fresco dining at the brewery tap

On Monday I had only a short Teams meeting but decided to fill the early evening with an intrepid sally into Uxbridge. You may have heard that the local MP has had a major flounce and gone off to spend more time with his money and children (if he can remember who they are). I can’t remember what he’s called but the good people of Eastcote had no problem remembering who he was and why they all seemed very pleased that they no longer had him. Even the chap who told me that he wouldn’t vote for my party for a million years (doesn’t worry me greatly after the first few years) was not upset about not having this chap to vote for.

canvassing in uxbridge

The rest of this week is Health Week, starting with a trip to St Mary’s hospital to have what I thought was going to be a MRI on my dodgy shoulder, but turned out to be a CT scan. Looks like the pictures I’ve seen of a MRI machine but this one takes different type of pictures of the relevant bits of my insides. They moved us through very fast, and I was out in 10 mins, which is great!

Back home, and in the afternoon I had a session called ‘Supporting Londoners to get on line”, run by an outfit called the London Office of Technology and Innovation or more easily expressed as LOTI. It was a few councillors and a few techies, talking about supporting people, especially those who are not confident or skilled. When I worked in the IT business 20 years ago we used to say ‘everybody has mobile phones now’ so it’s fixed. What did we know? It was an interesting discussion and I’d like to talk it through more with officers and members: I think there’s still an opportunity to improve things for people even though some people don’t really want to engage with technical stuff. I don’t blame them, with some of the systems we find ourselves having to engage with!

After that it was a cabinet meeting in the evening. Quite a long one, beginning with EDI. This also causes me to double-take because it used to mean Electronic Data Interchange – hot topic in the IT industry 20 years ago. Now it means Equality, Diversity and Inclusion which is an entirely different kettle of fish, but I get there after a minute or two. Lots of more things but I’m too lazy to list them all – you can find it all here.

It will make you a better human.

Wednesday was more health: I signed up with a NHS thing called Our Future Health where you have various tests done. Everyone over 18 is eligible (I just about qualify) and they take blood pressure, blood tests, finger pricks for cholesterol, DNA (Boris probably should avoid it – he may find a few new children – etc). Anyway I was please my cholesterol is good as is my Blood Pressure but they told me I was 3 inches smaller than I used to be – I reckon that’s a dodgy tape measure. That was confirmed as they told me that my waist was large, which must be a mistake, surely. The worst part of it was having to go to Westfield to have it done. I detest that place!

On the way there I checked out some road works that have been going on for too long in Windmill Road, doing what I don’t know, but Cadent is behind it, as are most things that annoy me. There is a rather pointless temporary traffic lights arrangement and people quite rightly are complaining about it. Most of the fenced-off bit appears to be unblemished while at one end there are a couple of kerb stones up and a trench ready for them to be put in. Whilst I was taking pictures, a lorry from Ferns appeared, with lots of scary-looking equipment and the man explained they were planning to take all this away but needed further instructions. They sounded as frustrated as I was. Whatever, nothing happened yesterday, it seems, and my grumpy letter got ‘it will be done on Monday’ I said the correct answer is today, and as of this morning that was what they promised. I’m scared to go and check it out because it may damage my blood pressure, which is highly praised (see last paragraph)

windmill road roadworks

Back from that we had a pre-meeting about Thames Water and their cunning plan to take water out of the Thames and put treated sewage back into it whilst sending water out of the Thames to somewhere in Hertfordshire. There is possibly logic in that but it is beyond me at this stage. We had a more comprehensive meeting on Thursday but I’m still struggling with it.

In the evening, up to Charlton House, where a lot of residents were due to get an update on the plans to rehome them. There’s a lot of detailed work to be done. The spirit was pretty positive though there is concern about the normal Brentford anxiety – parking!

So it’s Thursday, and my second visit in the week to St Mary’s hospital to discuss my bad shoulder. This has always been flummoxing because my left shoulder which was broken and has 3 lovely bolts in it is fine. But my right shoulder, which seems to have nothing wrong with it, has hurt on and off since last October. Anyway, they have now come to the conclusion that I need a new one, which will require a fairly serious operation – a bit like a hip replacement – and I’m now on the waiting list. Slightly scary but I’m keen to get it done and move on!

Back home for the main event about Thames Water, then a short session with the deputy CEO about integration between health and social, and about Lampton.

Finally this evening I have a little meeting about the prospective ‘Friends of the Library’. A couple of people have got ideas and a bit of energy so we will take it from there and see where we get to.


Councillor Guy Lambert

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