A Lack of Provision for Alligators at Boston Manor Park

Brentford West councillor Guy Lambert reports back

Cllr Guy Lambert
Cllr Guy Lambert

July 7, 2023


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Friday was a momentous day, with an update with ‘my’ exec director then my driving lesson in the afternoon.

I sat here and drove a PC very skilfully (though I say it myself) and kept within the limit at all times. I remember having a skirmish with someone on ChiswickW4 forum 100 years ago, or, well, at least 15, when I pointed out that in general speed limits actually made minimal difference to my commuting time. Even then that kind of comment produced impressive frothing at the mouth amongst driving enthusiasts and I suppose I began to learn my prejudices were mellowing! All of us on the course shared our strategies to avoid further sin, mainly involving use of cruise control. I have started using 40 in a 40 limit etc rather than allowing for an ‘optimistic’ speedometer and police latitude, so going at 40 rather than 47 along the A4 to Hounslow will cost me 40 seconds if the flow travels without delays (don’t giggle). You might think I can’t afford it but it will save emissions, petrol, potential fines and makes it less likely that I’ll run anyone over. Sounds a decent deal to me.

Well, having done all that, how could I top the excitement of Friday with what I did on Saturday. I started with a gentle hour and a bit of knocking doors in New Road with Lara, Ruth and one of Lara’s chums. Spoke to a few – it’s amazing how few people generally are in, or at any rate answering doors to councillors, but it’s nearly always pleasant and you learn things. My next appointment was at the Labour Hounslow office in Chiswick, which is likely – well, now certain - to move into a new constituency when the new parliamentary borders are changed. Delighted we will still (voters allowing) will have Ruth but it doesn’t half make life more complicated.

Labour meeting in Chiswick

Andy Slaughter – currently Mr Hammersmith – will be our candidate (I think) for the new Hammersmith and Chiswick constituency. Where us Brentonians (and Brentfordians etc) remain misnamed Brentford and Isleworth, despite including the majority of Hounslow and now a chunk of Heston. Suits me. Greater Brentford would be even better. You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you'll find you get what you need.

Anyway a pleasant afternoon but I had to run – well, cycle - off quickly because I was determined to catch some of the first Watermans Park concerts of the summer.

Watermans park concert

Good fun too, and a decent turnout. They were trying to get Elton John but I hear he has retired after Glastonbury.

Nothing too demanding on Sunday so I made a quick pilgrimage to Chiswick for the Flower Market which is always fun. Loads of people looking at (and I hope buying) flowers and I was struck how busy Chiswick High Road was, with all the cafes brimming with people. There was a sizeable queue for both the ice cream parlours I saw but I consider it my civic duty to buy a small cornet to support the economy. It was quite nice to eat too. Cool band too.

Band at Chiswick Flower Market

On Monday I had an early meeting (well, 9am) with the Health Accountability Board. First time I had been to this (or even heard of it!) so with all these health things at the moment I listen a lot and keep my head down. There is a bit of discussion going on about the Better Care Fund which will (I think!) provide some £££ or more likely in this age £p to support health and care integration.

Nothing set for the rest of the day so I took a trip up to Boston Manor Park to take a look at the new bridge and check out the café – decent coffee, nicely served by pleasant people. They cater for four footed friends too but I was disappointed there was nothing at all for alligators, so people need to take care with their legs.

Ice cream for dogs

On Tuesday it was a trip on the District Line to Embankment. I had a session at the Royal Society of Arts to do with Unlocking Social Value. This is run by one of my favourite outfits called the Future of London and they put on lots of events which get the old brain thinking in new ways. I prefer the ones that involve walking around but the RSA is a really splendid location. This rather coquettish chap is the first president and the whole building is fabulous.

Viscount Folkestone

Happy to share a bit of stimulation I had at the meeting.

Citizen Prosperity Index

Unfortunately, after a bit of stimulation I had to move on, as one of my old fellow-directors of the Ferry Quays estate had passed on to the estate in the sky. It was a lovely funeral at Mortlake Crem and it was one of those occasions when I think I should have worked a lot harder on getting to know her better when I had the chance. A remarkable person with a remarkable story.

On Wednesday morning I had a quick update with the MD of Lampton Homes. They have more than 500 homes – mainly flats around the borough – all rented very fairly and mainly for the rentals people on benefits or low incomes can afford. It’s very difficult now to add to the estate because of interest rates, and the amount the government will pay to support people who need affordable rents will pay – been frozen for years as market rates go through the sky. But they are still finding a few that are viable, and of course building where they can, including nearly 200 new homes in the centre of Feltham.

Then my GP, who helped me with a few little problems and makes me think of opening a pharmacist with all the stock I have. He tried to take my blood pressure but his machine didn’t work. The one I bought for a few quid from Morrisons works fine and my blood pressure is excellent given all the abuse I’ve given my body over the years (and the number of the years, of course).

Firkling homewards I had a small tour of the ward and was shocked to see a new sign sitting in the middle of the A4 by Boston Manor Road.

new sign sitting in the middle of the A4 by Boston Manor Road

I knew the ruddy National Highways would be back at some point (they stopped for what seemed to me a ridiculous reason which was the coronation) but at the time I thought they had more or less finished because they were supposed to finish in May, when they actually packed up at the end of April.

When I got home I had an awful letter, claiming they had sent a letter to local residents (it turned out they hadn’t but did a bit later) but the letter they attached was dated May and talked only about June. They now say they will be at it until DECEMBER and this involves closing Windmill crossing again. We are trying to get an urgent meeting but as they say they are starting on the 17 th I’m not very hopeful. This could be a real disaster.

Back to Thursday and I went out to Cranford (the plane noise always astonishes me, but the locals are pretty well oblivious) to look at a pavement which they had petitioned to be replaced. We will consider it as part of the Pavement Pledge, the details of which we will announce shortly.

Then Hounslow House for 3 small meetings then home for an afternoon of creating a literary masterpiece, aka my Blog 389.


Councillor Guy Lambert

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