10 - 14 July
Monday 10 July
I hope everyone had a good weekend.
On Saturday, I attended the opening ceremony for the refurbished Augustus Close Bridge, at Brentford Dock, with the Mayor of Hounslow, Councillor Sue Sampson and Councillor Theo Dennison, Cabinet Member for Finance and Citizen Engagement.
We are extremely proud to have funded this and I would like to thank our Hounslow Highways engineers for their hard work. We were joined at the ceremony by Veronica Wray, Chair of Brentford Dock Ltd and Rob Gillespie, Service Director of Ringway, Hounslow Highways.
The refurbishment of the bridge was commissioned as part of a contract between the Council and Hounslow Highways. The £1.76m scheme started in August 2016 and was completed in May this year.
Situated on the backwater of the River Brent by the River Thames, the bridge was originally designed by the great Isambard Kingdom Brunel, so it is a fantastic piece of history we are keeping in the borough not only now but for generations of residents to enjoy.
Also at the weekend, I was delighted to attend the West London Turkish Summer Festival in Feltham.
I would like to thank the members of the Turkish community here for the invitation and it was great to meet so many of you. I tried some traditional Turkish food [not kebabs before you ask!] and it was a fantastic event that saw a community come together in celebration.
Today, I attended a meeting with representatives from the Department of Transport with Hounslow Highways to review the PFIs [private finance initiative] and look at the innovative ideas Hounslow Highways has brought to the borough as part of managing our roads.
It was a positive meeting and I will be writing to Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport asking him to visit.
I had a series of one-to-one meetings for the rest of the day, before attending the Labour Group meeting in the evening.
Tuesday 11 July
I had a series of general meetings in the morning before attending the West of Borough Members Working Group meet, to discuss the regeneration of the west of the borough.
In the evening, we had the cabinet meeting, where on the agenda, we agreed recommendations for the e youth service review and an action plan for improving air quality and cutting pollution. Read report here
This was followed by the meeting of Borough Council. Before proceedings began, we paid tribute to two former councillors who had died recently, Dennis Tippins and Shivcharan Singh Gill. Our sincere condolences are with the family and friends of both men, who served the Council and the Borough very well.
The Mayor of Hounslow, Cllr Sampson presented an award to Mr Gill’s family, for his services to the community in Heston East at the meeting.
We also held a minutes silence to remember the victims of the recent London and Manchester terror attacks and Grenfell Tower fire.
The meeting saw us discuss a number of items on the agenda, including updating everyone on the role Hounslow Council is doing for the relief effort for Grenfell residents and on the fire safety work that is taking place in our borough following the fire in Kensington. Read statement
The Mayor reminded us she is taking the skies – literally for her next fundraiser, she will ding a skydive to raise funds for her two chosen charities, Pink Ribbon Foundation - Find out here about those charities, the skydive event and how you can donate
Wednesday 12 July
Today I chaired the West London Skills & Employment Board, where we had representatives from higher education and those from business and commerce.
We looked at skills and training opportunities we have and want to enhance for the young people in our borough and across west London.
Later I attended the HACC [Heathrow Airport Consultative Committee] meeting on behalf of London Councils, before ending the day with a series of one-to-one meetings with council staff.
Thursday 13 July
This morning I attended the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association, which was led by Dr Nooralhaq Nasimi. We have a large Afghan community in Hounslow and lots of volunteers work of offices the Association who work out of offices in Staines Road.
I then followed this up with a meeting with senior management at Sky, one of our biggest employers in the borough. Amongst the topics we discussed was security on site in conjunction with the forthcoming Bolder Academy.
Later, our Chief Executive, Mary Harpley, and I hosted the weekly Leader’s meeting along with Councillor Amrit Mann, Deputy Leader, with heads of services from across the council.
I then joined Councillor Theo Dennison briefly for the launch of the CIL [Community Infrastructure Levy] which will enable the Council to provide £300,000 to hundreds of local community projects, charities and voluntary groups.
It was a good event and around 150 people attended. Stephen Fry, Chief Executive of the Hounslow Chamber of Commerce was also there.
I went straight from that event to attend the Housing and Environmental Scrutiny Panel meeting to look at the latest issues, including discussing the ramifications on how we manage our tower blocks in the borough, following the Grenfell Tower fire.
Friday 14 July
We are continuing to liaise with residents in all our high-rise tower blocks, so they are kept up to date every step of the way, in view of any fire safety actions. Please visit our website on all advice given in conjunction with the London Fire Brigade.
For the record, I have been in many of our tower blocks and will be joining our housing staff on visits to more of them as we continue the fire safety actions we are required to take.
Today, I have been catching up on messages, emails and calls.
On Monday [17 July] the fortnightly collection of black wheelie bins begins for residents in Zone B [Last week, it started for residents in Zone A].
This is all part of the recycling refresh and helping our residents to be able to recycle more as part of our commitment to providing a cleaner, greener borough for all.
To find out all you need to know visit our Recycle Refresh page
Finally, congratulations to all our young athletes from Hounslow who achieved the borough’s best ever position at the London Youth Games – read about it here