6 - 10 February
Monday 6 February
It was my birthday on Friday but after coming down with a heavy cold and a touch of flu like so many people have at the moment, I didn’t end up going out as planned!
What did cheer me up though at the weekend was watching England on the television at home, beat France 19-16 at Twickenham in the Rugby Six Nations, a narrow win but a win none the less! Today I had casework to look at and this was then followed by a meeting with some local residents who were friends and neighbours of a resident from Brentford that I also knew, who had recently died.
With the resident, who I also knew personally, having no relatives, his friends and neighbours were concerned as to how a funeral could be arranged for him. We as a council have stepped in as we would on these occasions and I would like to thank our staff who have worked hard to ensure the gentleman will get the send-off he deserves.
Tuesday 7 February
This morning I attended the London Council’s Leaders’ Committee meeting in Central London. Amongst the issues on the agenda up for discussion was the National Funding Formula for Schools [NFF] and Police Funding in London, including talking about proposed cuts to police budgets.
Later I attended the West London Alliance [WLA] Leaders Board meeting. We discussed a number of things including growth, employment and skills plans and business matters
Much of my day as you can see was spent in central London with these meetings but I headed back to Hounslow for this evening’s Cabinet meeting at the Civic Centre. See here for report
Wednesday 8 February
This morning I had a meeting with our head of finance here at the Council and we discussed the issue of residents who default in paying their council tax and how we can ensure everyone pays as it is not fair to those residents who make their payments regularly.
I then had my weekly one-to-one meeting with our Chief Executive Mary Harpley and this was followed by the weekly Leaders meeting which we both hosted along with Councillor Amrit Mann, Deputy Leader, with several heads of services from across the council.
In the evening, I attended a meeting of the Brentford and Isleworth branch of the Labour Party.
Thursday 9 February
First meeting of today was a housing meeting with Councillor Katherine Dunne, Cabinet Member for Housing and Peter Matthew, Director of Housing. The meeting was to discuss the transfer of the DLO [Direct Labour Organisation] housing capital works to Lampton 360, the Council’s wholly-owned trading company.
This week, Cllr Dunne also responded to the government’s Housing white paper. See her statement HERE
I then co-hosted the Council’s Corporate Induction event with our Chief Executive Mary Harpley, where we meet and welcome those staff who have recently joined us here at Hounslow. We tell them about the Council’s targets and what is happening now and of course what is set to take place ahead, including the move to the new smaller and more efficient civic centre in Bath Road in 2019.
Later I attended the Depot Rationalisation Project Board meeting discussing housing issues. We spoke about the rationalisation of our depots to see if they would be suitable for new council housing.
This evening I attended the Hounslow Neighbourhood Watch Committee meeting.
Friday 10 February
Today, I am out of the office as I am attending the funeral of my late aunt, from my mother’s side of the family, who passed away recently. My aunt was one of 11 children.
A wake was held afterwards at the St Raphael’s Hospice, North Cheam. It is not until situations like this, that you really do appreciate and see what wonderful work these hospices do.
A reminder that we host our next Question Time event next Thursday, 16 February, at the Brentford Free Church, Boston Manor Road, Brentford, TW8 8DW, from 7pm to 9pm.
MCing the event, will be Chief Superintendent Raj Kohli, Borough Commander for Hounslow.
Make sure and get your question in beforehand, email the communications team
Also, the government recently launched its public consultation on a draft National Policy Statement [NPS] following the announcement it supports Heathrow Airport as its preferred scheme for a new runway in the southeast
This NPS sets out the policy that applies to decisions on whether major infrastructure projects can go ahead.
The consultation will take place over 16 weeks. It includes a number of local events for people to find out more about the proposals and importantly, to have their say.
This week Councillor Tom Bruce spoke out about the impact further cuts from central government could have on our local schools.
We as a Council were disappointed to hear the government is also ending the DUBS Amendment scheme, which is an amendment to the Immigration Act 2016 allowing unaccompanied children to be transferred from another country within the EU. I have added my support to a letter.
Good luck to Brentford FC who are away to Preston North End on Saturday.
Finally, good luck to England and all our home nations in the Rugby Six Nations this weekend!
Have a great weekend.