26 June - 30 June
Monday 26 June
I have had a short break away and my thanks goes to Councillor Amrit Mann, Deputy Leader, for holding the fort. During that time, however, I have been in constant touch with everyone and picked up work that needed to be done as we deal with issues raised following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower.
Today, we celebrated the annual Armed Forces Day with an event at the Holy Trinity Church in the High Street, Hounslow.
I wasn’t able to attend, but the Mayor of Hounslow, Councillor Sue Sampson led this on behalf of the Council. Cllr Mann attended along with guests and dignitaries including Richard Kornicki CBE, Deputy Lieutenant and Major Malira, Officer Commanding Support Company 1st Battalion Irish Guards.
Also in attendance was Chief Superintendent Raj Kohli, Hounslow Police Borough Commander and the Rev Stu Wright led the prayers and blessing.
This is an event that we are very proud to hold every year in Hounslow as we pay special tribute to all those men and women who sacrifice their lives to keep us safe.
Tuesday 27 June
This morning I was invited on to the Vanessa Feltz show on BBC Radio London, to discuss what we are doing to reassure our residents and tenants in high-rise properties, following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower.
I explained what we are doing in regards to Clements Court and the ongoing work that is being carried out by our housing staff who are working closely with and taking advice from the London Fire Brigade, government organisations, the Mayor of London’s office as well as our MPs, Ruth Cadbury and Seema Malhotra.
Information for tenants and leaseholders on the safety of the council’s housing stock, in particular, of our high-rise properties and an update on all that is being done.
I want to take the opportunity to thank all our housing staff who are working above and beyond to ensure that we are communicating as we should with residents and doing what is needed in accordance with testing and safety, so that tenants and all those who live in high-rise buildings are reassured at every step.
I then attended a briefing with our director of housing on all things concerning the Grenfell Tower fire including how we continue to support Kensington and Chelsea Council as part of the London-wide initiative, Hounslow and other London boroughs are contributing resources to ensure a comprehensive humanitarian assistance is available. This includes support in managing and staffing the Community Assistance Centre; running a helpline; providing mental health and wellbeing support; providing help and guidance on housing and temporary accommodation; co-ordinating donations and help in kind.
Later I met with senior directors and staff from the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. This was to discuss how we can strengthen further the working relationship we have with Kew and how this as a heritage site can be even more accessible for Hounslow residents.
This was followed with a meeting with Councillor Candice Atterton, ward member for Hanworth. Cllr Atterton has recently become a Cabinet Member here for Jobs, Skills and Opportunities.
She has hit the ground running with many of the areas she is looking after, which includes our work on eradicating domestic violence and on HR [Human Resources].
Wednesday 28 June
Health matters took me out of the office for a bit today as I had pre-op tests ahead of having my hip replacement surgery, in the second week of July.
As ever, thanks to the NHS staff who provided a top-class service.
Being able to use my mobile phone in areas of a hospital now, I was able to reply to messages, calls and emails in between my appointments.
Later I attended the Brentford and Isleworth General Committee meeting of the Labour Party, as always, an enjoyable meeting.
Thursday 29 June
This morning, along with Cllr Amrit Mann, Deputy Leader and the Mayor of Hounslow, Councillor Sue Sampson, I attended a rehearsal for the upcoming Outstanding Achievement Awards for council staff.
The actual event is next week and this is where we hear about and reward staff, for the incredible efforts they out in to carry out their roles.
I then met our Head of Planning to discuss current matters.
We said goodbye to a member of staff today, Marianne Boyle, who was our Major Projects Manager for Sport and Physical Activity.
We never like to lose good staff but we wish Marianne well for the future and thank her for all the hard work she did in her time here.
The latter part of the day saw me meet with housing staff for a catch-up meeting concerning update on information on the Grenfell Tower fire.
Friday 30 June
This morning I met with Paul Doe, Chief Executive of Shepherds Bush Housing Group, who is retiring.
We have a very strong relationship with Shepherds Bush Housing Group and we have been working alongside them in setting about providing much-needed housing and affordable housing in our borough.
I wish Paul every happiness in his retirement which is well deserved.
Later, our new Cabinet Members, Councillor Hanif Khan, ward councillor for Hanworth Park who is member for Community Protection and Enforcement, Councillor Samia Chaudhary, ward councillor for Hanworth, who is member for Green Policy and Leisure, along with Cllr Atterton, joined the rest of the cabinet for a day-long
Tomorrow evening [Saturday] I will be attending the Mayor of Hounslow, Councillor Sue Sampson’s inaugural dinner, where she will be raising money for her two charities, the Pink Ribbon Foundation and Refuge
These are two fantastic charities the Mayor will be supporting for her year and she is kicking off her fundraising with a skydive on Monday 28 August. I am sure she will recruiting more people to do this on Saturday night! Anyone who would like to join her on this will be more than welcome to.
Finally, I would like to congratulate Chiswick Cricket Club who have successfully obtained funding to upgrade their changing room facilities. They’re a great club, anyone who likes cricket, should pay them a visit.
Have a great weekend.