13 - 17 February
Monday 13 February
I hope all our young people of the borough have a good half term holiday this week.
Thank you to all parents, those who work for our emergency services and anyone who continue to work during the holidays and don’t get to spend this time with their families.
Today I worked from home following up emails and casework.
This evening, I attended the first of the Feltham Housing Zone Steering Group meetings. We have received an allocation of £32m by Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London’s office, to enable us to build 3,000 new homes in Feltham for social and affordable rent.
This work has been steered by both Feltham and Heston ward councillors and we want to identify quickly where we can build these homes in the area as soon as possible.
A consultation process on the Feltham Masterplan is underway – it runs until 6 March, so we urge all residents who haven’t already, to have their say.
Part of this consultation has seen concerns raised by residents of the Showmen’s site in Feltham and we will be receiving a petition of which we will respond to. I am delighted that residents are taking part in the consultation.
Tuesday 14 February
Although some of us don’t bother about it anymore, I do hope all those who did celebrate Valentine’s Day had a good day and evening!
Today I had a round of meetings with council staff throughout the day.
Later I had a very positive meeting with representatives of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew regarding planning and development aspirations we have for the future.
This meeting was the first of what will become a regular meeting and members of our planning team here at the council will also be at future meetings so we can keep everyone up to date.
One potential development that both sides support is of a new pedestrian footbridge between Brentford and Kew Gardens.
Following this, I attended the regular meeting I have with Councillor Bob Whatley, chair of the planning committee.
Cllr Whatley informed me that Saadiq Khan, Mayor of London, has decided not to call in our planning committee’s refusal for planning permission for the ‘Chiswick Curve’ development and supports our committee’s decision.
Wednesday 15 February
This morning I met with residents from The Ham, Brentford who have raised concerns over problems with parking and lights and maintenance on the footpath on the Ham Wharf canal.
We were joined by staff from Hounslow Highways – which manages the borough’s roads on behalf of the Council as well as officers from our traffic and transportation team - It was great to meet and speak to the residents who are really enthusiastic about the area in which they live.
I then met with Councillor Surinder Purewal, chair of the audit committee for our regular catch-up.
I was pleased to learn of the appointment of a Head of internal audit, a post we share with Ealing Council and that this person should be in place by the end of March.
Later I met with representatives from Emanuel School in Clapham, who use the boathouse on Dukes Meadows.
We have been meeting stakeholders over several months as we develop an exciting masterplan for Dukes Meadows. You can read all about it in the latest edition of Hounslow Matters, which, if it hasn’t already, will be dropping through letterboxes this week.
Thursday 16 February
I wasn’t able to attend a conference on the future of green belt development hosted by Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, at City Hall in central London today due to being unwell. A council officer did attend and will be reporting back to me.
We’re currently reviewing designated areas across Hounslow of which there will be consultations on. There will be more details on this in due course.
This evening we held our third Question Time event, with myself and fellow cabinet members quizzed by local residents. It was held at the Brentford Free Church and I was pleased to see such a good turn out from residents. Thanks to all who gave up their time to come out and ask the questions on issues that matter to them.
There were some challenging questions, on housing, adult social care, Heathrow and the Watermans development amongst others. It was a good event once again and we do like holding these. We hope that residents who come along got as much out of it as we do. We be holding more of these and this will be again in another part of the borough.
I just want to say thank you also to Hounslow Police Borough Commander Raj Kohli who MCd the event this evening superbly and to the staff of the Brentford Free Church who allowed us to take over their premises for the event and were extremely helpful in ensuring we had all we needed.
Friday 17 February
Today and tomorrow [Saturday], I was at Warwick University for a Labour Council Leaders summit. The event which is attended by Labour Council leaders from across the country, includes a dinner this evening. Earlier today I listen to a fighting speech by Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell about having a united front against the government's decision to end the DUBS amendment.
Tomorrow, there is a full day of conference looking at local government from a Labour perspective.
As I am in Warwick, Councillor Theo Dennison, Cabinet Member for Finance and Citizen Engagement, has very kindly agreed to step in and cover my surgery on Saturday. It will be still be held in the Residents' Clubroom, 1 Augustus Close, Brentford Dock, TW8 8QE but please note a change of time just on this occasion, from 11.30am – 12.30pm.
This week, you would have seen lots of media coverage on the problem of fly tipping which is blighting the country.
Here at Hounslow, our enforcement team is working hard to combat this and we recently issued again a £400 fine to a council tenant who hired someone for a fee, to take away rubbish which was later fly-tipped.
We need the help of residents to report these fly tipping incidents, if you see someone fly tipping, tell us straight away. You can report it here.
Encouraging more people to walk or cycle then use their cars if something we heartily support in Hounslow and we also back this initiative from Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London’s office, about doing this across the capital.
Brentford FC don’t play this weekend, but have a game coming up next Tuesday, 21 February, away at Sheffield Wednesday, so hopefully in my diary next week, I can talk about a good result for them!
Have a great weekend.