13 - 17 November
Monday 13 November
On Saturday, I watched England beat Argentina 21-8 at Twickenham.
It was a win, but England will have to do more against Australia on Saturday. At the match, I was delighted to meet a real rugby legend in Bill Beaumont.
Rugby fans especially but many sports fans will know of Bill, who gained 34 caps for his country and his triumphs included being captain of the 1980 Grand Slam England side. He was also well known for being a captain on the Question of Sport TV programme for many years.
We had a good chat about how important it is to get young people into sport and I gave him an update on how we as a Council work closely with local clubs like Grasshoppers RFC and Chiswick Rugby club. I also spoke about the good working relationship we have with the RFU [Rugby Football Union].
Yesterday [Sunday], I attended a Remembrance Sunday service at Heston. It was an honour to be invited by the Heston branch of the Royal British Legion and it was a very moving service as always. I would also like to thank the RBL for their wonderful hospitality.
Today, I met with representatives from a company that provides industrial warehouses in and around Heathrow Airport. They are looking at developing possible sites in Hounslow, which would mean job opportunities for residents.
We discussed the Local Plan Review for the west of the borough and how this investment could impact on development of the area for the future.
Later I joined our Chief Executive Mary Harpley and the Chief Executive of Ealing Council, Paul Najsarek to meet Peter John, Vice-Chancellor of the University of West London.
We discussed how both local authorities and the university can look at collaborating together. More on this at a later date.
Tuesday 14 November
This morning, our Chief Executive Mary Harpley, myself and Councillor Amrit Mann, Deputy leader of the Council hosted the weekly Leaders meeting with service team leaders from across the Council.
I then joined Mark Frost, the Council’s Head of Traffic and Transport, to meet with Will Norman, who is the Walking and Cycling Commissioner, for the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan’s office.
The meeting was to discuss the progress of the consultation on Cycle Superhighway 9, following closure of that consultation at the end of October. It has proved to be controversial and thousands of people have responded.
Later, I met with a development company which provides low-cost business units for SMEs [Small and Medium-sized enterprises].
We are always interested in looking at providing opportunities for small businesses in our borough, they are the bedrock of our communities.
Working closely with the Chambers of Commerce in Hounslow and Brentford, we want to ensure these businesses can grow and also result in jobs for local people.
Late afternoon saw me visit the West London Turkish Community group, which is looking for a permanent base for meeting and holding events.
I attended the summer fair last summer and saw what a very strong and vibrant Turkish community we have in Hounslow.
Wednesday 15 November
This morning I met with the Chairman of Brentford Dock Limited, Veronica Wray, to discuss consultation on a CPZ [Controlled Parking Zone] in Augustus Close.
I then met with Colin Gallagher, our newly-appointed Chief Operating Officer, Lampton FM360. Colin is well experienced in the public and private sector. I welcome him and wish him all the best in his new role when he starts in December.
Later, I was delighted to attend the Hounslow Town Primary School topping out event. This was to mark the achievement of reaching the highest point of the build. This is a key development in our school’s programme.
This afternoon, I met with the Mayor of Hounslow, Councillor Sue Sampson, for our regular budget meeting.
I then met with potential 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 competing with other local authorities including Kingston upon Thames and Ealing Councils, to attract investment in housing and commercial areas amongst others that will enable us to provide opportunities of employment and training for our residents.
The sponsors would fully fund our trip to MIPIM at no cost to residents.
Thursday 16 November
This morning saw our Chief Executive Mary Harpley and myself meet with non-executive directors of Lampton 360, as part of our regular meetings.
Mary and myself then hosted the Corporate Induction. This is where we meet staff who have recently joined us and tell them of the Council’s priorities and targets.
This is always very enjoyable and we have a question and answer session at the end for those staff to ask us questions. I would like to welcome all new staff and wish them well in their new roles.
Later, I was pleased to attend the Lampton Housing topping out event, on the roof of the tallest housing block. This is development will provide much-needed affordable housing for the borough.
Friday 17 November
This morning I met with refugee families who have arrived in our borough from Syria. They are being supported by the Council and also community groups.
I would like to thank all our staff and the community groups who are all doing a wonderful job in helping these families, re-settle here. Many have children, and have been traumatised by war back in their homeland.
This afternoon, I met with residents at Clements Court, Cranford.
This evening I attended our annual foster carers awards evening. This is always a wonderful event where we pay tribute to those
who open up their homes to some of the most vulnerable children and young people in our borough.
More on this in next week’s blog.
Good luck to Brentford this weekend, who face an away trip to Cardiff City.
Tomorrow, Saturday, I will be holding my regular surgery at the Residents' Clubroom, 1 Augustus Close, Brentford Dock, TW8 8QE from 11am – 12noon.
It is just under six weeks to Christmas – the borough is starting to look very festive, with lights and events to mark the countdown to Christmas.
See here for events near you.
Have a great weekend.