6 - 10 November
Monday 6 November
I had a busy weekend which included canvassing in Brentford Market. I was joined by Councillor Theo Dennison, Cabinet Member for Finance and Engagement and Councillor Katherine Dunne, Cabinet Member for Housing.
It was good to have a coffee and catch up with many residents.
Today was a working out of the office day. Frustratingly, I had a very bad back and so was laid out for most of the day, which was very boring. I did, though, manage to catch up with messages, calls and emails, so still got work done!
Tuesday 7 November
This morning I joined Councillor John Todd, ward councillor for Chiswick Homefields at Dukes Meadows.
We discussed the proposals for a new footbridge and talked about Duke’s Hollow – which is a wonderful nature reserve on the site.
It is a fantastic part of Dukes Meadows, it is home to many rare species of snails for instance. We are working closely with the London Wildlife Trust and many local community groups. London Wildlife Trust website
I had a series of meetings this afternoon.
This evening, some of you may have watched the Inside Out programme on BBC1 TV.
Hounslow featured as it looked at unscrupulous developers and how landlords are reaping massive income by sub-dividing houses into multiple flats.
I was interviewed about the problems created by the practise and the difficulties Councils have in responding due to limited powers to act. Hounslow helps highlight landlords problem
Wednesday 8 November
Today I met with Council planning officers to discuss planning applications in Syon ward, Brentford.
I then met with Andrew Dakers, Chief Executive Officer for West London Business. We discussed potential business opportunities.
This afternoon I met our Chief Executive Mary Harpley for our weekly meeting.
Later, Mary, myself and Councillor Amrit Mann, Deputy leader of the Council hosted the weekly Leaders meeting with service team leaders from across the Council.
Early evening saw me meet residents in Brentford who are supporting Syrian refugee families who live in our borough. First of all, I would like to say how proud I am of the work these residents are doing.
The families they are helping are in desperate need and we as a Council will continue to do all we can.
Last appointment of the day was to attend the Isleworth and Brentford Labour Party branch meeting.
Thursday 9 November
It was good to catch up with Stephen Fry, Chief Executive of the Hounslow Chamber of Commerce, today.
Cllr Theo Dennison joined me at this meeting and it was a positive discussion on how we work together to ensure the right support is there for our local businesses. Hounslow Chamber website
I then met with trustees of the Watermans Art Centre to talk about the proposals and development of the current site and the plans for the new centre which will be at the former Brentford Police station. We as a Council support the initiative the trustees are taking forward.
Friday 10 November
This morning I met with Ruth Cadbury MP for Brentford and Isleworth, before we both went on to attend the Council’s Service of Remembrance.
The service was led by the Mayor of Hounslow, Councillor Sue Sampson, in Hounslow High Street, outside Holy Trinity Church. It included a military parade followed by a short service and a minute’s silence.
Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday give us all a chance to honour and remember all who lost their lives in the conflicts and provide an opportunity for all of us to think about the sacrifices made by so many people, including our brave servicemen and women.
On Sunday, I have been invited by the Heston branch of the Royal British Legion to attend the Remembrance Sunday service. It was an honour to be invited by the RBL and to represent the Council at this.
There are services taking place across the borough on Sunday, please visit www.hounslow.gov.uk here where they are taking place.
We also have the wonderful sight of the giant poppies along our High Streets across the borough, creating a poppy path - read more
Today, myself, the Mayor of Hounslow, Cllr Sue Sampson and Cllr Amrit Mann, Deputy Leader, also met with a delegation of local government and businessmen from France who visited Hounslow Highways and heard about how the contract between us both works and the operation behind it.
This week, the Municipal Journal – a magazine that covers all aspects of local government and public sector issues – published an interview by our Chief Executive Mary Harpley and myself.
The article looks at how the Council is responding to the challenges facing local government by utilising a wide range of approaches. These include managing demand and shifting contact channels, moving to smaller and cheaper offices, pulling services in-house where appropriate, and setting-up its own commercial operation, Lampton 360, to generate income.
Tomorrow, Saturday, I will be at Twickenham to watch England v Argentina. Good luck to England.
There are also football international friendlies, so good luck to England and all our home nations.
Have a great weekend