17 -21 September
I had a fantastic afternoon last Saturday at the Grasshoppers Rugby Club’s new ground in Osterley. We had a pre-match lunch attended by Ruth Cadbury MP, Cllr Richard Eason, Ward Councillor for Osterley and Spring Grove, and dignitaries from the world of Rugby. The new pitch, ground and stand look magnificent, I should add it also includes new netball pitches. This is a fantastic asset for the borough and I’m sure it will attract new players to rugby and netball alike. Unfortunately, Grasshoppers narrowly lost to a determined Chiswick RFC side, I wish both clubs all the best for the rest of the season.
View from the new club house, in the background you can also see the new Nishkam School
I was unable to attend the official opening of the new Hounslow and Barnes Hockey Club hockey pitch on Saturday, and was represented at the event by Cllr John Todd, Ward Councillor for Chiswick Homefields, and Stefania Horne, Head of Parks and Sport. This development is another example of the exciting improvements being made to Dukes Meadows and forms part of our long-term strategy to encourage more people to play sport, especially the young. Hounslow and Barnes Hockey Club are a shining example of a community-based club, and I wish them every success.
It was great to start the week on a positive note. On Monday I was invited to Grove Park Primary School in Chiswick, one of the schools in the borough we’ve been working with, along with our partners, to deliver a holistic energy reduction programme and make Hounslow’s schools the greenest in the country, whilst saving money.
‘Making Hounslow schools the greenest in the Country’ is shortlisted for the prestigious Energy Institute’s 19th annual awards in the Community Initiative Award category. I’d like to thank all the schools involved, as well as our staff.
Left to right: Ed McGloin, Project Manager, Darren Jones, Grove Park Primary Headteacher, Charles Pipe, LBH Energy Manager, Ritu Kumar, LBH Energy Officer, Paul Burnett, Asset Plus Managing Director, Kiru Balson, Asset Plus School Liaison Officer, LBH Leader of the Council, Steve Curran and Grove Park Primary Business Manager, Vicky Rodriguez.
I then went straight to Chiswick House and Gardens to meet Cllr John Todd, who is a trustee along with Cllr Tony Louki, Ward Councillor for Osterley and Spring Grove, to meet with Claire O’Brien, Director of Chiswick House and Gardens and her team for a tour which was very informative and interesting. I’m ashamed to say, this was my first official visit to Chiswick House, I will certainly go again and I would recommend that you take the opportunity to visit.
Later in the afternoon, I met Angela Parton who is leading the initiative to bring back Feltham Pond to its former splendour. Unfortunately, over time the pond has been neglected. I am working with Angela and local councillors to see how we can improve it. There’s a real problem with people feeding the pigeons (please don’t do it!), anti-social behaviour, drug dealing, street drinking, and so on. If you see anything you are concerned about, please contact the police on 101 or dial 999 if it’s an emergency or report it to the council hounslow.gov.uk/report
I’d like to say thanks again to all our residents and community groups who are keen and work hard to make improvements to the local community and environment for all of us to enjoy.
Feltham Pond 1958
My last meeting of the evening was the Labour Group meeting at the Civic Centre where we prepared for Borough Council the following evening.
On Tuesday I met with Cllr Shantanu Rajawat, Lead Member for Finance and Corporate Services, and Cllr Guy Lambert, Lead Member for Highways, Recycling and Trading Companies to discuss how we reduce our overspend whilst meeting our pledges in these challenging times.
On the evening of Borough Council, the Mayor, Cllr Samia Chaudhury presented David and Vivian Blackett with a plaque of the borough’s crest to commend their hard work and dedication to the local community and mark Heston Residents’ Association’s 90th birthday!
On Wednesday afternoon, I chaired the Duke’s Meadows Project Board, where we received a progress update from Stefania Horne, Head of Parks and Sport on our bids to various grant giving bodies who can help us further improve Dukes Meadows. As mentioned last week, we’ve had a spate of fly-tipping which has been removed. But I’m sad to say when I drove through Dukes Meadows I saw smaller fly-tips which will also have to be removed. These are likely to have come from small vans or cars, so if you see anything, please report it and take down the registration numbers if possible. We are pleased to note, with thanks to the funding from the RFU, the new 3G pitch at Chiswick Rugby Club is nearly complete and the first game will be played in early October. We also had an update on the discussions with Thames Tradesman, we are hopeful we can reach agreement with them in the near future.
On Thursday morning I chaired the Housing Pledge Delivery Board. We have a very ambitious and challenging target and must deliver more homes for Hounslow residents. We have almost three thousand residents on our waiting list, with hundreds more in overcrowded accommodation. Item 5 of the Borough Council papers provides more detail on our key pledges, including our housing pledge.
Next, I met with Colin Gallaugher, Chief Operating Officer of LFM360, it was a very productive meeting. He is on track with his work plan to deliver excellent services to our tenants and leaseholders and has had a very successful recruitment drive and now has some excellent new staff joining the team. Colin brought me up to speed on how well the apprenticeship scheme is running. We must encourage more young people to become apprentices, particularly for skilled maintenance and construction workers. We must get rid of the stigma associated with these jobs as they are vital in the labour market. Find out more about the work of Lampton 360 and if you’re interested, keep an eye out for future career opportunities!
Today, I’ve been to City Hall to attend the first Skills for Londoners Board meeting, co-chaired by Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, GLA and Cllr Georgia Gould, Executive Member for Skills and Employment, London Councils. I will be representing the West London Alliance Skills Board. Other members of this board include nominations from London Councils, provider representative bodies and employer/business representatives. This board has been set up to inform the Mayor of London’s Skills for Londoners strategy and will ensure strategic priorities in relation to skills and employment are being met and are addressing local needs.
I don’t have much planned for this weekend, but it’s been a busy week, so it may be good to have a restful one! The weather is certainly changing too, with some strong winds over the last few days. Whatever you’re doing this weekend check the weather before heading out!
The Bees will be at their away game against Derby County at the Pride Park Stadium on Saturday – as always, good luck to the Brentford team!