8 - 12 May
Hello everyone, I hope you’ve had a good week and you’re enjoying the slightly warmer weather.
Saturday/Sunday 6/7 May
This weekend I went to France with some of my old rugby playing mates. It was nice weather and I had the opportunity to realise again not speaking a foreign language is a hindrance, sometimes!
Monday 8 May
Monday morning back in the office. I met with Stephen Day of Barratt Homes West London, who are our developer partners for Hounslow Town Centre. They will be starting on site this summer. It’s all full steam ahead for this exciting project.
In the afternoon, I met with Peter Mas-Mollinedo, CEO of Integrated Neurological Services (INS), who provide services for our residents. They are based in Richmond, but receive direct referrals from West Middlesex Hospital. As a charity they are feeling the financial squeeze, so we want to do anything we can to help them as much as possible.
In the evening I attended the Labour Group AGM part 2. It’s also where I announced my proposed Cabinet forthcoming municipal year. This will go before the next Borough Council on the 23 May for approval.
Tuesday 9 May
This morning I chaired the weekly leader’s meeting with our chief executive, Mary Harpley and deputy leader, Cllr Amrit Mann. I can’t say much about the meeting as most of it is covered by purdah. I explained what purdah is in last week’s diary.
The Feltham Housing Zone Steering Group meeting took place in the evening. I didn’t attend but was briefed beforehand. The councillors in Heston and Feltham are doing a really good job in taking this extremely important project ahead. It is vital we provide more affordable homes for our residents. Thank you to fellow councillors who attended.
I later met with Barbara Richardson, managing director of Lampton 360, the council’s wholly owned company, to discuss the pressing ahead of the first planned major housing development.
Wednesday 10 May
I met with deputy leader Cllr Amrit Mann and our head of communications to discuss our forthcoming visit to Issy-le-Moulineaux in France. We are also going with the mayor, Cllr Ajmer Grewal and her consort Cllr Pritam Grewal. This is a twinning event that has been in the diary for some time. We will have to put aside the General Election for this weekend. Hounslow has been twinned with Issy for over 35 years and over that time we have built up a very strong working relationship and good friendships.
As I mentioned earlier in the diary I think it’s important that young people learn a second language, even though unfortunately I did not. So we are going to look at how we can encourage our schools to exchange more often and to share our cultures. We have a lot in common with Issy, they are a modern and progressive commune. Like us they are in the suburb of their capital city and play an important role in Paris life.
We will be looking at how we can increase visitors to both Issy and Hounslow in the future.
At the weekend we will be signing a new Memorandum of Understanding between us – to both mark the 35 years and looking forward to many more years of partnership working and friendship.
Our twinning is based on values of equality and solidarity, whatever the political, economic, social, cultural or religious differences there may be.
Later in the day I met with senior council officers to discuss ongoing problems with people parking on the old forecourt of the Magistrates Court in Brentford. We’re keen to stop people parking there, particularly to get the fountain back and up and running as soon as possible.
I also had a meeting with the London Marathon Trust to discuss work on the masterplan for Dukes Meadows in Chiswick – a very positive meeting and I look forward to updating on that in a future diary.
Later, I met with representatives from OWGRA, officers from the transport and planning department, as well as Cllr Tony Louki and Cllr Sheila O’Reilly, the local ward councillors. This was also a good meeting to discuss residents’ concerns about transport access to the proposed site for the Bolder Academy. The council shares residents’ concerns and we are going to do everything we can to discourage parents from driving their children to school, both for the Nishkam and Bolder Academy. We have to reduce the number of car journeys which will in turn reduce pollution levels, which I know everyone is in favour of.
Thursday 11 May
Today, our chief executive Mary Harpley and I met with the leader and chief executive of Westminster City Council to discuss development of joint protocols to support residents moving from Westminster to Hounslow. This has been very contentious in the past, but it is something that is effecting all boroughs in London. We will be working with London Councils on this delicate matter.
The rest of the day was filled up with 121 meetings.
Friday 12 May
The rest of the team and I will be travelling to Paris via Heathrow. We have a busy agenda, so will fill you in on what happens next week.
Have a good weekend - Avoir un grand week-end!