Hounslow Foodbox, Ferry Quays and Coveting Barbie's Bike

Brentford West councillor Guy Lambert reports back

Cllr Guy Lambert
Cllr Guy Lambert

August 18, 2023


Don't Blame Me, I'm Supposed to Be in Greece

Dr Finlay's Casebook and Making A4 Golden Again

The Councillor Who Cried Wolf on the Junction 2 Festival

Why Does Bill Gates Insist That I Live in Bradford?

Herding Lime Bikes on the Haverfield Estate

Sign up for our Brentford newsletter

Comment on this story on the

Well this one is likely to be small but perfectly formed, like its author. Isn’t.

It’s not that I’m not doing anything – even if less than normal – but I’m rarely called to meetings involving humans, mostly with council Teams film stars. OK not stars.

Thursday evening I had a couple of human events. A trustee meeting of Hounslow Community FoodBox – urgent because we will soon lose our most active trustee/volunteer who has been an absolute stalwart for several years but very sensibly decided it’s time to do something different such as have some holidays and will leave us during September. We’re busy recruiting a paid person to take on some of the burden of this, and we also need several new trustees, both to replace those who have moved on and are likely to do so soon. Fortunately the FoodBox is healthy – with a decent financial buffer and a great set of volunteers and there seems to be enthusiasm to take a paid job and also to bolster the trustee team. I’ve been worried about this for a while, but Thursday helped my anxieties.

Later we had the AGM of the complicated set of companies which oversee Ferry Quays. I was a director several years ago but gave it up and we have been a bit short of volunteers to help the few who have carried on as directors. It was good to see a few people volunteering which will spread the load.

On Friday I had a catch up with the council officer who is in charge of events, including Junction 2 in Boston Manor Park. I have had no complaints this time (until yesterday!) and my conclusion for this year was that in general it had played out pretty well. The main concern was the impact of the availability of the park and it’s good to see conversations (including me!) commencing a year before any repeat event could take place. I have been grumping noisily about lack of engagement this year and it feels like for once in my life my grumping has actually led to a more inclusive approach. Of course, there's more to do but early engagement is promising.

Later on Friday I decided to spend an hour down at the Brewery Tap And the other attractions on Catherine Wheel Road and was very tempted to add an addition to my stable of wheeled transport. This would fit my image perfectly, but unfortunately I have nowhere to store it.

barbie bike

I had a call from a lady who lives in Brockshot Close. She was complaining about a number of old trees being all felled in a little green area outside her house. This was completely news to me and caused a certain amount of steam appearing out of my ears. I knew nothing of it and I didn't even know who owned the land. Various other people called foul but when I went up there various locals were in favour of the change, mainly because the tree area was providing seclusion for various forms of ASB. It turns out the area is owned by council housing and it is they who gave instructions to Greenspace to fell the trees and replace them with something more appropriate, likely to be fruit trees. This may be the right thing to do although I'm not completely convinced, but I do think there should be some kind of warning given not least to ward councillors who can perhaps spread discussion a bit wider. Whatever, that's done now and our job is to make the best of it.

We had our joint Brentford councillor surgery at the digital dock on Sunday and is often the case we've got very little attendance by residents. There's part of me that thinks surgery may be a rather outdated idea because most people contact us by phone or e-mail or WhatsApp or some other obscure technology like the Facebook messenger which I detest. We do need to keep surgeries because not everybody can use modern communications, anyway it's always good to meet face to face when we can.

Over the weekend I went out to Osterley park where there was some kind of festival running. I could say safely that it was not overrun with visitors but it was a pleasant event and an opportunity to chat with a few council people I haven't met before, people involved in social services who are always interesting to meet.

On Tuesday I had a teams meeting with the deputy CEO to whom I talk about my new task which is our efforts to find a better way for social services to work together with the NHS. This is not the work of a moment, though of course I have to bear in mind that Boris Johnson fixed all this and all the other things that he fixed a few years ago. Unfortunately people who work in this sector do not seem to believe that it's been fixed, so they obviously have not been paying attention. We also talk about Lampton 360 where most things are going well albeit dealing with some really difficult financial challenges mainly related to inflation.

On Wednesday I had a teams meet was my executive director and we ran through some slides which we were then presenting to the leader on Thursday.

On Thursday morning I had a meet with the people from Team Keane. They are the people who are running rowing classes etc based in Ferry Quays, very near where I live. When they first turned up a couple of years ago I was quite hostile because they appeared one day without notice and some of my neighbours were upset about what was going on. Anyway I changed my opinion as I saw the life that they have brought to Brentford, and in particular the large number of young people who are inspired by this new activity. They are working hard to engage with local schools and are gradually having success with this, such as with Green School for Boys and Brentford School for Girls. It is quite difficult to fit rowing with a state school curriculum because putting on a rowing session takes longer than schools normally have available for that and the financials are challenging too. I am looking at how we can support them and I salute their achievements despite a lot of barriers.

Whenever I go out, whatever type of transport I use, I am challenged by various works on the local roads. I've probably moaned sufficiently in this context about the traffic lights at the A4 and Ealing Road and the work on the A4/M4 itself taken in a manner that I find quite offensive by National Highways. I write or engage with people most days about these things as does Ruth Cadbury but it doesn't seem to be getting us very far. We keep trying.

In the last few days we've had a new infuriating development in terms of Thames Water digging up the High Street opposite Albany Parade was a three-way traffic light arrangement which causes big delays on the High Street and Ealing Road. Yesterday they seemed to have filled in the hole so I'm hoping , not very confidently, that the traffic lights will disappear. I'll check it out shortly

Now then, having cancelled my summer holiday in Greece, I have now booked a few days with my friends in Vienna so I will not be here next week and there will be no masterpiece written by me. I shall see if any of my Brentford colleagues want to take a shift. Otherwise, see you in a fortnight.

Councillor Guy Lambert

Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More

This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.

Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.

We’ve always done that and won’t be changing, in fact we’d like to do more.

However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.

We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact info@neighbournet.com and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.

One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.

If you do support us in this way we’d be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you’d like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.

Bookmark and Share