Secret Gardeners Spruce Up Whitestile Road Planters

Brentford West councillor Guy Lambert reports back

Cllr Guy Lambert
Cllr Guy Lambert

December 1, 2023


Take Care on the High Street and More Morrisons Annoyance

Attending a Demo in Support of Something Beginning with 'P'

Foodbox, Next Year's J2 Festival and Reducing Methane Output

Working with Lara and Keeping an Eye on Ealing Road

An Unpleasant Surprise in the Post After Morrisons Shop

Avoiding Parking Scams and Remembering Eileen Sheridan

Why There are Definitely Not Too Many Flats in Brentford

The Ham Proves To Be Recurring Theme of the Week

Matching the Achievement of Brian Lara

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On Friday I had a little excursion to meet someone who is a trustee of a charity which looks to help Refugees who are without a home. This has been an issue for a long time but we discussed the challenges faced by refugees. I was given further flavour of this from the public health report – which was presented to us at the Council meeting on Tuesday.

But I have also recently heard of various hotel ‘guests’ who have been kicked out at short notice, sometimes with a few days’ notice, at the behest of the Home Office. These are people with usually no money, little in the way of local contacts, perhaps little English trying to find a way through the hostile environment once invented by Teresa May. Even Ms May now regrets the phrase but that doesn’t help the people who seek help from churches but too often end up living (I hope temporarily) on the street because they have no option. Lara is heavily engaged with these problems as are some people I know locally, but my original interest in this was more related to local people who are seeking support from the council. Too often we have nothing really acceptable to offer them because there is such a shortage of affordable (or unaffordable, for that matter) accommodation locally and around the country seeing what I see in the press .

Anyway, I’m exploring with some experts what I can do, as an individual rather than as a councillor. Haven’t got anywhere yet but I’m working on it.

Well, that was my main thing on Friday and Saturday I was up to Boston Manor Park for the latest version of BAM – the local art market. Was a good event even if the weather was not what it used to be and I failed to take a single picture. It was well attended and inevitably there were plenty of visitors from the ward who it was lovely to see, but I’m campaigning with the organisers to get the exhibitors feeling more Brentford – easily said than done but we’ll carry on working at it.

Sunday was the second of the Chiswick food markets I’ve attended (it may be the second ever, not sure) and despite being a touch on the brass monkeys side it was again very well attended. The selection of food was amazing but I resisted participating because (you’ll find this very surprising) I find myself a little on the oversized side and am trying to resists such temptations. I thought I would go in the George IV to have a calorie-free mineral water (or perhaps something stronger) but it was so packed I gave up and went home. How Chiswick will survive with all this competition. Oh. They seem to be surviving!

Monday evening I was off to our friendly local Hilton for a Christmas dinner with colleagues from the cabinet and other chums. I am old enough to remember when the Hilton started in Park Lane and it was fantastically exotic. A friend of mine of the German persuasion, lived with his scouse girlfriend in a flat above the Kentucky Chicken (also quite exotic back then) next to the Earl Haig pub in Hounslow West. Slightly less exotic, but where I first found Hounslow, at a time when I was a student on the other side of London. Ah, time flows and I don’t know what became of Clemens and his partner.

An intimate portrait of various sophisticated councillors (you can tell by the headwear) filling their faces.

On Tuesday morning, I had a meeting via Teams with some colleagues and discussed for the umpteenth time the Pavement Pledge. This is a bit tricky because we want to spread it across the borough, engage local councillors and also make sure we focus on the roads which will make the biggest difference to people. Fixing pavements is an expensive business so we will be sure to spend our budget carefully in these challenging times.

In the evening it was the Council, with a very full agenda. Public Health (including the impact of housing – see the first paragraph), Youth Justice, Treasury management and developments in how we govern our companies in Lampton. Then some technical stuff then questions from members, including someone wanting an update on Lampton’s business recycling business which I was more than eager to respond to. I’ve been keen to see that starting for a long time. It did in July 2022 and in a year and a half it now has nearly 150 customers and is turning a profit.

There was usually a bit of political pantomime from our Conservative chums which mainly involved Ron Mushiso with a motion which urged us to do something we had already announced we were doing. They have to think of something to say and they are struggling, poor lambs. Be warned, the lovely Ron is running for the Conservatives to be our local member of the Greater London Assembly. I suppose if he wins he will have to resign from the borough so if he wins it will be a mixed blessing. Either way.

Wednesday evening it was the Constituency Labour Party meeting. All exotic this week and we were in a rather chilly Isleworth Public Hall. I took my car because I thought I should help the Melvinator who struggles with his sight when it’s so dark and cold.

I confess, I find these meetings a bit of a bore (I’m sure in some countries I would be excommunicated for saying that) but I stayed through. These things have to happen, I know, I’m just not really a natural for a life as a politician.

Meanwhile I had had two messages this week about Whitestile Road and the planters that mark the restriction on movement. I hear a lot from the people who live there and really enjoy the calm environment. If you follow social media you’ll think it’s all a great disaster but I warn you, social media is not a very accurate reflection of opinion! The first message this week was about an improvement, brought to the area by locals (I don’t know who) who improved the planting on these planters and left a message.

Whitestile Road planters sign

That made my day, but today I got another message: some joker had moved the planters to the side, so that he/she/it could drive their car/truck/tank between them. The previous attempt had been to push them together so the jokers could go round the side. I really don’t wish to imitate the Berlin Wall in Whitestile Road but we’ll have to put more bollards there to stop this happening, which is a real waste of our money, just because some people don’t like the changes which other people welcome.

Today, Thursday, was more positive, starting with a cycle ride to Charing Cross Hospital because they want now to give me a new treatment for my not properly healed collar bone using some thing called Exogen which sounds to me a bit like a dodgy cult but is apparently an ultrasound gizmo. I thought they were starting me today but they were just explaining and I have to go back in a couple of weeks to get the training (I will then treat myself, apparently). Nice trip down to Hammersmith and back, though it infuriates me that they have closed a big chunk of the cycle lane in King Street to a) put out notices saying it is closed, in various places and b) store some materials there, the only thing that justifies a closure and is only about 5M long. Traffic engineers, eh?

In the afternoon I was out at Heathland School in Hounslow, for a lovely meeting with the Crane Valley Forum. Lots of school students and various people from the outfits that worry about the River Crane and the mainly lovely parks that flank it. I would love to have shared some pictures of the students who were a pleasure to see, for their commitment and enthusiasm, but I had to confine myself to some of the thoughts they were sharing.

A nice way to end a blog week. Tomorrow it’s out to Harrow for the West London Waste Authority – a lot more serious and less fun!


Councillor Guy Lambert


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