Knocking Over One Sign and Ignoring Another

Brentford West councillor Guy Lambert reports back

Cllr Guy Lambert
Cllr Guy Lambert

July 14, 2023


A Lack of Provision for Alligators at Boston Manor Park

Not Pretty Enough to Be a Canal Festival Volunteer

Herding Lime Bikes on the Haverfield Estate

My Planned Nice Weekend was Anything But

Creative Differences on the Set of My Latest Film

Unintelligible Traffic Lights and a Radioactive Cone

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Thursday afternoon I had a couple of meetings in Hounslow House, one with the head of Communications, one with the deputy CEO. The first was just an update, because one of the key comms people had left and we were discussing how to fill the gap, but also review the service. I think the communications is a bit bland and sometimes in councilese – I prefer colourful English. Sometimes inappropriate because some of it is straightforward info (no bins on the Bank Holiday -everybody a day later than usual) but others have a different purpose – encouraging residents to do food recycling, a matter close to my heart because it reduces greenhouse gases, saves money in disposing with stuff and reduces stink - what’s not to like?

Two matters with the Deputy CEO, partly about Lampton where she has a big role now and partly about the opaque world of the health/ social care interface which I’m still looking to make clearer!

On Friday morning I was on safari with Hounslow Highways out in the East of the borough, which I know less well, checking up what Hounslow Highways were doing sorting out litter, weeds etc. Working at it, and clearly better than last year but the issue is far from resolved. We’ll keep working on it.

In the afternoon it was the Summer fete at Green Dragon Primary school. Not my ward these days but such a lovely school, where my daughter started her life as a teacher. Lots of people, lots of fun.

Green Dragon School fete

On Saturday morning I was in Armenia (the Braemar Road part) with Ruth, councillors, lots of Brentford pals and lots of residents. Very busy and I kept having to go outside to hear what people were saying – too noisy for a deaf old stick like me to hear much inside. It had a lovely spirit and I hope the residents enjoyed it – looked like they did.

I heard via social media that there were misleading signs about our shiny new bridge across the canal at Boston Manor park. I wanted to test out the new bridge anyway and took my bike up to the park and crossed the bridge. All very nice and on its way to 3 Michelin stars but indeed there were misleading signs on both sides of the bridge. I'm a bit clumsy and as I passed these signs my toe knocked them down inadvertently and they ended up face down in the bushes, how sad. I suggested to my chums in Hounslow Highways that they might Like to pick them up and move them somewhere else.

Then I made my second visit to Uxbridge, to contribute to the local people getting a proper MP to replace the previous person who has gone away to count his money and children. The main sense there is relief, as far as I can see! I started at the station and had to walk about 2 miles (maybe I’m exaggerating, but it was uphill) to join a team. Bang doors for an hour and a half and experienced Hyacinth Drive – full of some type of flowers, probably Chrysanthemums I suppose. Forgot to get pictures either of flowers or politicos which may lead to a court martial.

Later that day I decided to have a stroll through Brentford, and wandered over the bridge in Dock Road, bravely defied the signs saying keep out and headed for the bridge by the Brentford Dock community room. I took a picture across the canal towards enemy country. You can see why people are worried about the marauding hordes so near across the canal.

Next thing I knew it was Sunday morning, so I was down at the Digital Dock For our collective surgery. Not a massive amount going on but a couple of people came to comment about the Market Square. They suggested that the damaged stage thing should not be repaired but replaced by benches or something to sit on, also that there used to be lights in some of the trees at Christmas but these seemed to have disappeared. Discussed this with my chums from Syon ward and they took up this matter and talked to the residents. I reckoned it would be good to leave these lights on throughout the year. Like a dog, lights I think are not just for Christmas.

In the afternoon I called into Morrisons, picked up some provisions and headed home but perfectly idiotically I managed to fall heavily from a stationary bike which hurt quite a bit. Nice Brentford people helped me up and I cycled the 100 metres home. But in the evening when I looked at myself in the mirror I realised there was something wrong with my shoulder - it was not in its normal shape - so I went to see my GP on Monday morning and she sent me post haste to the A&E at Middlesex for an X-ray. After quite some time I got my X-ray and was sent through to see the nurse who showed me the picture which was quite alarming. He'd seen it all before, told me I had broken my collarbone and consulted with a doctor. After which I was sent home with a sling and some painkillers and an appointment to talk to the doctor online next Friday. They told me this problem will heal on its own in four weeks. I'm sceptical but they are the experts!

I spent most of Monday in doctor land so what I had planned for Monday which had included a meeting about the Thames at the House of Lords I obviously had to miss together with a meeting with other councils about healthy streets. The one about integrating healthcare and social care was online and I managed to attend that until I had to go to Hounslow house for the cabinet meeting which went off without drama.

I had an online meeting, the regular update with my key council officers, on Wednesday morning but I wasn't up to travelling to central London for a scheduled meeting about transport, nor for the community awards event in the evening.

I did spend some time going up to Boston Manor to check out what happened to the gatepost which a lorry had hit. Nothing to see because our officers had taken this away for safekeeping but I could see the beginnings of preparing for the Junction 2 event which is taking place shortly.

Lots of happy customers and a lovely team in the Potting Shed café, including one especially enthusiastic customer who stayed outside. He seemed very keen on the dog special ice cream!

Thursday morning, an online meeting with director of environment and the exec director about our plans to improve street cleaning and weed control which we will also discuss with the leader and CEO next week.

Then the 235 delivered me safely to Feltham for the topping out celebration for the 170 odd new flats, mainly for council tenants, which have sprung up under Lampton Homes over the last year or so. Topping out means the structure of the building is complete now and for probably another 12 months they will complete fitting out and decorating etc ready for people to start living there. Everybody is proud because despite all the challenges of inflation, supply chain difficulty and what was a very difficult challenge in the first place, they are well ahead of schedule and under budget.

Back for what you might call a feisty meeting with National Highways about the work to be done on the M4 above Brentford’s A4. My technology was weird so I'm not 100% clear what they said but I'm pretty confident but we will not have a Windmill junction closure and they are now mindful of local people and in particular the difficulty for pedestrians crossing the A4, so it feels like good progress.

In the evening a lovely dinner with pleasant residents and a wide ranging discussion about local matters - planning issues, abandoned mopeds, Lime bikes etc.

It will be good in due course be able to get around by other means than buses and pony (Shank’s) but you’ll have to wait to learn what my next cunning plan will be to abuse a bike and a body.


Councillor Guy Lambert

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