24 - 30 September
It has been a busy few weeks so as intended, I had a quiet and restful weekend - it was much needed! The weather was terrible on Sunday but it seems to have brightened up this week! Bad luck to the Bees who lost against Derby County at the weekend, and then unfortunately to premiership side Arsenal in the League Cup. I wish them all the luck for this weekend playing against Reading.
I worked from home on Monday, catching up on emails and phone calls first thing, before getting out and about in the borough, in particular the Syon Ward, to pick up on any local issues. I visited Syon Estate in the afternoon, which was looking in good shape generally, but I was disappointed to see some small fly-tips, especially supermarket trollies! As I said a few weeks ago, there are plenty of options to dispose of household materials in the correct way and to help minimise the impact on our environment, we must all change our attitudes if we want to succeed in having cleaner, greener communities.
On Tuesday, I had the usual round of meetings with colleagues across the council. I also caught up with Andrew Dakers, Chief Executive of West London Business. The council has a strong relationship with businesses in Hounslow, as well as the rest of west London.
Continuing with the theme, big congratulations to Hounslow Chamber of Commerce on winning the Enterprising Britain Award for support for exporting and well done to Stephen Fry, their Chief Executive. This award is testament to the outstanding work of the Hounslow Chamber of Commerce and its West London Exporting Club in supporting the businesses of Hounslow and west London to trade overseas. Hounslow is recognised as one of the most entrepreneurial boroughs in London, rich in diversity with unparalleled access to markets all over the world, and the Chamber is providing a vital service in helping small firms realise their growth potential. The council is committed to making Hounslow a thriving business borough through our continued strong partnership with the Chamber of Commerce.
In the afternoon, I had positive meetings with two local community groups.
I had an early start on Wednesday with back to back meetings, firstly with my weekly Leader’s Briefing and then my one-to-one with Alan Adams, Interim Chief Executive. We also discussed the upcoming OFSTED inspection of our children’s services, due to start next Monday (1 October). The inspection takes over two weeks, and this will be a challenging time for our staff. They will all be keen to show what a great job they do for children despite the huge financial pressure the council is under.
I also met with our new Head of Community Enforcement team, Vicki Wallas and our new Neighbourhood Enforcement Manager, Lorien Nash. Both have recently joined the council and I am sure they will do a fantastic job for residents and the borough in helping to keep our streets clean and safe through vigorous enforcement activities.
I then chaired the first Cabinet Question Time event of 2018 at Chiswick Town Hall on Wednesday evening. Unfortunately, the turnout was very low so wewill double our efforts to publicise the next Cabinet Question Time as we are very keen to hear from residents and answer their questions and concerns.
It’s great to have this fantastic weather and clear blue skies at the end of September, I hope you will make the most of it this weekend. Check out some of the wonderful treasures we are lucky to have in our own borough.
As you may already be aware, the tube strike affecting the Piccadilly Line continues until tomorrow (29 September). Please be sure to check for up-to-date information before travelling.
I’m taking a few days off and I will be back in the office on Tuesday 2 October 2018. Whilst I am out of the office, Cllr Lily Bath, Deputy Leader of the Council, will be running the shop.
Have a great weekend all.