16 - 20 January
Monday 16 January
On Sunday, I spent time canvassing with Ruth Cadbury MP for Brentford & Isleworth and fellow ward councillors around Brentford Dock.
It was wet and cold but great to meet and see many residents and we picked up casework to look at as we always do when canvassing.
Today, I met with Robert Hlava, Estate Manager for Brentford Lock West developers, to discuss concerns raised by residents on parking and especially the parking of cars on pavements in this area.
In the afternoon, I joined Councillor Julian Bell, Leader of Ealing Council and Peter John, Vice Chancellor of University of West London, to discuss collaborating further on the regeneration of Gunnersbury Park. It was a very positive meeting.
I then went straight to a Members Constitution Working Party meeting, but as I was unfortunately five minutes late, Councillor Mukesh Malhotra very kindly chaired the meeting so it could start on time, so I thank Cllr Malhotra for that. At this meeting we went through a report that will go to the next forthcoming Borough meeting.
Last meeting of the night was the Labour Group Officers meeting. We have 49 Labour councillors in Hounslow that need managing!
Tuesday 17 January
This morning I attended my regular weekly meeting with our Chief Executive, Mary Harpley.
We both then hosted the regular weekly Leaders meeting, with several heads of services from across the council.
I had a series of one to one meeting with various council staff throughout the day.
In the afternoon I attended a briefing on the update of proposals to move the Grasshoppers Rugby Club to another site, with the current site to be possibly the home for a new school, Bolders Academy. It was to speak with those working on this project and seeing where we are on this.
This evening, we had our Cabinet meeting before I went straight to a public meeting to discuss environment issues and pollution in the borough.
Ruth Cadbury MP for Brentford and Isleworth also attended this and it was great see around 200 people attend, with some great speakers on issues around the environment and pollution.
We as a council support the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan in looking to reduce the pollution levels across London and our priority is of course, our borough. We want to make sure we are protecting the most vulnerable who are affected, especially the elderly and young children.
We have already looked at what actions we can take to improve areas such as this and this work will continue so we can make a difference to our residents. Thank you to all those who attended the meeting.
Wednesday 18 January
This morning I had back to back meetings.
I then held my regular meeting with Stephen Fry, Chief Executive of Hounslow Chamber of Commerce.
We discussed the forthcoming Hounslow Festival of Business and the changes that will be made to business rates and how this will affect our local businesses in Hounslow.
I then attended a meeting with our planning service team to discuss issues such as people who have not had planning permission but have acted outside of the rules and gone ahead anyway. The action we have to take against those who flout the regulations does cost the council and residents as tax payers a lot of money and we are working hard to see how we can combat this.
In the evening there was a public event around planning developments and allotments at Syon Park. I was not able to get there, but Councillor Ed Mayne who is Cabinet Member for Corporate Performance and Customer Care did attend and spoke about these items, amongst other topics. I heard it was a well-attended meeting and very useful.
Thursday 19 January
Today I met with Feltham North ward councillors John Chatt and Khulique Malik to talk about the proposals for new affordable housing on site and the re-development of the Sparrow Farm Community Centre.
Later I was interviewed by Professor Ann Hodgson, from the University College London to speak about the work I have been involved with on the Area Review of Further Education for west London, which has now concluded. Ann is a professor of post compulsory education.
Later I met with the council’s enforcement team to discuss a number of issues, including targets to stamp out anti-social behaviour in the borough, focusing on repeat offenders and also how we work in conjunction with Hounslow Highways who manage the streets on behalf of the council.
A big majority of our residents do the right thing and care about the communities they live in, it just the small minority who spoil it and it is those people we are targeting.
Just recently, we have successfully prosecuted those who have been caught littering or spitting in our borough and we won’t stop there.
In the evening, I attended a reception event for the PSU [Personal Support Unit] which do a great deal of work in our borough. It is a charitable organisation that provides non-legal support to people representing themselves in court, accompanying them through the court process and helping them where needed.
It is a very worthwhile organisation and it was great to go along and show support for the work they do.
Friday 20 January
I attended a meeting along with Brendon Walsh, Executive Director Regeneration, Economic Development and Environment here at the Council, to discuss the new Watermans Art Centre and police station development in Brentford.
I also attended a Resident Association Forum [G15] which was hosted by Councillor Theo Dennison, Cabinet Member for Finance and Citizen Engagement. As always, a challenging but very positive meeting.
I finished off the day with a meeting to discuss Labour Party matters.
Tomorrow, Saturday, I will hold my regular surgery at the Residents’ Clubroom, 1 Augustus Close, Brentford Dock, TW8 8QE, 11am-to 12noon. No appointment needed but it is on a first come first served basis.
Later I attended a meeting at Brentford Football Club to discuss how the re-development plans are going.
In the afternoon, I will be attending a Labour Party Policy Forum.
I saw information this week regarding public transport that our residents may be interested in. Tunnelling work on the Northern Line extension, visit the London Assembly website and for those of our residents who commute across London and beyond, the Mayor of London’s pledge on rail services, read the rail pledge
The cold weather is still here, so make sure you wrap up over the weekend if you are out and about. Also please check on elderly relatives, neighbours and friends and ensure young children are kept warm.
We are just under two weeks’ away from unveiling our new council website. Keep up to date with what’s going by reading the latest blog
Good luck to Brentford FC this weekend, they face an away trip to Wigan Athletic.