27 November - 1 December
Monday 27 November
On Saturday, I was pleased to see England beat Samoa 48-14 in the rugby international at Twickenham.
Today, I attended a meeting as part of the West London Alliance, at Ealing Council. The Alliance consists of the five London boroughs working together in partnership to provide services across west London.
Later I had a conference call with Jan Lennox, Chief Executive of Watermans Art Centre. We are working with them to find additional money as part of the redevelopment of the arts centre.
The afternoon was spent in a number of one-to-one meetings.
In the evening, I met with group of residents from Hounslow west who we are working with to enhance and improve the area. These residents recently joined us for a joint action day of enforcement. They are impressed with the work we are doing to combat anti-social behaviour such as fly tipping and littering. We have agreed to meet again to discuss further.
My final event of tonight was the Labour Group meeting, which we always hold ahead of the next Borough Council meeting.
Tuesday 28 November
In the morning, myself and Cllr John Todd joined senior representatives from Thames Water to discuss the Dukes Meadows masterplan and how they can work with us on the project.
I then joined our Chief Executive Mary Harpley and Cllr Amrit Mann, Deputy Leader, to host the weekly Leader’s meeting with service team leaders from across the Council. This was followed by my regular one-to-one meeting with Mary.
Early evening saw me attend my first Christmas event, a reception hosted by the Mayor of Hounslow, Cllr Sue Sampson, ahead of the Borough Council meeting, the last in the calendar for this year. It was a festive and jolly event.
The Borough Council meeting followed and you can read about it here
Wednesday 29 November
I attended another meeting regarding Dukes Meadows, with senior council officers and representatives of Barnes Hockey Club. The Club want to have a second pitch at Dukes Meadows and are focusing on getting more young people, especially girls into playing hockey. We of course, give our full support to them and actively encourage local sports clubs to get children and young people into playing more sport.
Later I met with representatives of the DCLG [Department for Communities and Local Government] in my office. They had been to look at Clements Court tower block in Hounslow. Recently, I spoke about the completion of major fire safety improvement works there. The 12-storey tower block has had its cladding removed, firebreaks upgraded, mineral wool insulation reinstalled, new fire doors fitted throughout the block, and the building completely re-clad with solid aluminium panels. All residents of the building were invited to attend an event two weeks ago organised by the contractors to mark the completion of the works. You can read about it all here. The DCLG praised us on the speed with which we have carried out these measures and completed of the works.
Thursday 30 November
My second meeting of the week in Ealing. Today, our Chief Executive Mary Harpley and I joined Cllr Julian Bell, Leader of Ealing Council and Cllr Douglas Mills, Cabinet Member, Hillingdon Council and their CEOs to meet with Deputy Assistant Commissioner Mark Simmons, of the Metropolitan Police, to discuss a future structure of the borough command unit for our areas.
In the afternoon, myself and senior council directors of services met with Karl Munslow-Ung, the Deputy Chief Executive of the Chelsea and Westminster NHS Hospital Foundation Trust.
We discussed the matter of possible provision of affordable housing for hospital staff. We are working closely with the Trust and our other health partners, including the Hounslow NHS CCG [Clinical Commissioning Group] to enhance health care outcomes for residents, whether through community services or acute services [West Middlesex University Hospital].
Later, myself and council officers met with possible sponsors for our attendance at MIPIM in March next year. MIPIM is an international property fair that investors from across the world attend, and it provides an opportunity for Hounslow, other London boroughs and councils across the country, to seek business that will boost investment in their communities.
Next year’s event will be more competitive than ever, and we will be alongside other local authorities to attract investment in housing and commercial areas that will enable us to provide employment and training opportunities for our residents.
The sponsors would fully fund our trip to MIPIM at no cost to residents.
This evening myself and fellow cabinet members held our regular cabinet question time event, where our residents can quiz us on local matters and council services. I want to thank those residents who attended, for giving up their time on a cold Thursday evening and for the questions asked. I also want to thank Chief Superintendent Raj Kohli, Borough Commander for Hounslow Police, for chairing the event.
Friday 1 December
A day working out of the office, catching up on outstanding messages and calls.
Don’t forget, this Saturday [2 December] is Small Business Saturday, - we encourage our residents to shop locally and support our local businesses.
This week, I expressed my pride that the borough’s residents of different cultures and faiths exist peacefully alongside each other in a community that is safe, and great place to live, work, go to school and to visit. It followed the re-tweeting of videos from a British far-right account that contained anti-Muslim content by US President, Donald Trump. The Council, local police, local organisations and borough communities in Hounslow all work together to prevent hate related crime.
Hounslow is also proud to be a White Ribbon Borough. Around the world from 25 November to 10 December people are taking part in 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence and taking a stand against such abuses in all their forms.
We are an accredited White Ribbon borough and we’re committed to ending violence towards women and girls. We’re encouraging everyone to take the White Ribbon Pledge “never to excuse, commit or remain silent about male violence against women”. You can pick up a White Ribbon at reception here in the Civic Centre, wear it with pride and sign the white ribbon pledge here.
The weather has got colder this week, so remember to keep warm and well and check on vulnerable relatives and neighbours. Keep Warm Keep Well
Finally, good luck to Brentford FC this weekend. The Bees are at home to London neighbours Fulham.
Have a great weekend.