8 – 12 January 2018
I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend, and anyone who has suffered from the nasty flu virus that’s going around is getting better.
My cough is lingering, but I’m beginning to get well myself, having worked from home on Monday. I came back to the office on Tuesday and had my usual round of meetings with the Chief Executive and other senior officers.
On Wednesday I met with Cllr Theo Dennison, Cabinet Member for Finance and Citizen Engagement, the Chief Executive and Director of Finance to discuss our budgets for 2018/19 and 2019/20. We continue to face very serious challenges, and there is no good news on the horizon for local government in respect of budgets. Year on year cuts by the Government are expected to continue, and this, coupled with a growing population, is putting more pressure on services. However, we are being bold and innovative in our response to these challenges, finding new ways to operate more efficiently and effectively so that we can offer better services for local people, and make Hounslow an even better and more successful borough.
I met with the new permanent Head of Communications to discuss our communications priorities, and you will shortly see our response to increasing amounts of litter and fly-tipping in the borough – which is unacceptable and expensive to clean up every day. We will be delivering a campaign to help reduce this, whilst increasing our enforcement activity to inform perpetrators they will be fined.
On Thursday I attended a meeting with Keith Williams, Regional Officer for GMB, one of our trade unions. We have a strong relationship with our trade unions who help us look after the interests of our staff. This relationship is very important to us, especially in these challenging times, with the pressure on our services through government budget cuts.
On Thursday afternoon, I met with a group of residents from Chiswick who are concerned about the Cycle Superhighway, CS9. The recent consultation conducted by Transport for London into the initial phase, and supported by us, received 5,000 responses. While there is widespread support for much of CS9, reservations have been raised about some elements, particularly around proposals for Chiswick High Road. You can find out more about the next steps here.
I also met with Andrew Dakers, Chief Executive Officer, West London Business. This organisation promotes business and economic prosperity in the west London area, of which Hounslow is a very important part. The west London economy is worth £50bn, the second largest in the UK, and demonstrates how important we are as the gateway to central London.
On Friday I was invited to lunch at the Wellington Day Centre and I very much enjoyed meeting the residents who attend it.
Brentford FC will be playing Bolton on Saturday. We wish the Bees the best of luck.