30 January - 3 February
Monday 30 January
This morning I attended the Council’s Holocaust Memorial event here at the Civic Centre, along with Councillor Ajmer Grewal, Mayor of Hounslow, and Maria Pedro, Deputy Lieutenant for Hounslow and council directors and staff.
It is always a moving occasion every year and today we heard from a special guest, Susie Barnett, who told of the price she and her family paid from the experience they endured during this horrendous time.
Candles were lit to remember the lives lost and the price paid by so many from the Holocaust and other genocides across the world. It reminds us that discrimination of any kind, whether it be against race, religion or faith or values in life, should have no place in our society.
I believe Hounslow has been enriched over the years with people from all parts of the world, visiting or making their home here and they are and will remain an integral part of our community.
Later I joined Councillor Sam Christie and Councillor Keith Anderson, both ward councillors for Bedfont, to discuss opportunities in developing green space in Bedfont.
It was a very constructive meeting and I thank both councillors for their input.
I then attended the quarterly Safeguarding Children’s members meeting, chaired by Councillor Tom Bruce.
This is always an important meeting where we discuss all aspects of safeguarding children and young people across our borough and it is and will also be a top priority for us.
Last meeting of the day was the Labour Group meeting to discuss issues ahead of tomorrow’s Borough Council meeting.
Tuesday 31 January
This morning I had my regular one to one meeting with our Chief Executive, Mary Harpley.
Later, we both hosted the regular weekly Leaders meeting, with several heads of services from across the council.
I then met with Tracy Aust, Principal of West Thames College, and John Bolt, Chair of Governors at the college. The college is a major part of our community and provides education and learning for skills and opportunities leading to jobs and careers for our young people.
Early evening I attended a thirtieth celebration for the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust [CST].
Unfortunately I couldn’t stay long as had to get back to the Civic Centre for tonight’s Borough Council meeting.
Congratulations to the Brentford FC CST who do an absolutely fantastic job in the heart of the community, especially with young people and they deserve a lot of credit for the work they do.
I would like to thank Lee Doyle, CEO of the CST and his team for the invite and wish them well as they continue what they do in the community.
I had to rush back not only for the Borough Council meeting, but for the annual photograph of councillors, not helped by the terrible traffic! But I got there eventually.
Borough Council was a tame affair this week with a short agenda. One area discussed and led superbly by Councillor Tom Bruce, Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services, was on central government’s cuts to education funding, which we are totally against.
Wednesday 1 February
My first meeting of the day was with the Veronica Wray, Chair, and Mike Edwards, Deputy Chair of Brentford Dock LTD.
We discussed a CPO [Compulsory Purchase Order] and A CPZ [Controlled Parking Zone] in areas in and around the dock, looking at the possible impact on these areas.
Later I joined representatives from the Council’s planning team and London Playing Fields Association, which is a charity for the provision, protection and promotion of playing fields in Greater London.
In the afternoon, I attended the Area Review Chairs meeting for London Councils. This includes the chairs of sub-regional groups. We talked about the implementation of reviews on special education and reports will shortly be going to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan’s office.
Thursday 2 February
I attended a meeting with Kathleen Healy, Chair of the Dukes Meadows Trust. We are currently developing the masterplan for the site in Chiswick and we discussed all aspects of this.
Later I met with Councillor Paul Lynch, ward councillor for Chiswick Riverside, to discuss a permanent memorial for Pocahontas, the Native American notable for her association with the colonial settlement at Jamestown, Virginia and later immortalised through the popular Disney films, who lived in Brentford for a short time before her death. More on that soon.
I followed that with a series of meetings with staff from across the council during the afternoon.
I then met with a group of local residents keen to have a footbridge between Brentford and Kew. The group are made up of architects and designers who are putting plans together for a new footbridge. It is an exciting project and one the Council fully support, however at this time, we are unable to support financially.
Friday 3 February
We announced this week that Hounslow Library will be moving into the Council’s current Civic Centre from the Treaty Centre later this year. Job Centre Plus will taking over the vacated place at the Treaty Centre.
Also, with the government recently announcing Heathrow Airport as its preferred scheme for a new runway in the southeast, it has now launched its public consultation on a draft National Policy Statement (NPS). This NPS sets out the policy that applies to decisions on whether major infrastructure projects can go ahead. Read the press release here.
Good luck to Brentford FC who have Brighton and Hove Albion as their visitors to Griffin Park this Sunday. It comes on the back of a fantastic 3-0 win for them over Aston Villa earlier this week.
Finally, I have the rest of the day off, as it is my birthday!
I can honestly say it is no fun getting older but I will be looking to enjoy a meal with this family this evening to celebrate!
Have a great weekend.