15 – 19 January 2018
We’re really back into the swing of things now, and I have just had a very busy, but productive week.
On Monday, I worked from home, and then attended council meetings in the evening including the meeting at 8pm with fellow Labour councillors to discuss the forthcoming election. Don’t forget to register to vote by Tuesday 17 April if you haven’t done so already and also to vote on 3 May!
On Tuesday, I met with our new Acting Director for Public Health, Laura MacLehose, and Martin Waddington, Director, Joint Commissioning, to discuss the agenda for the next Health and Wellbeing Board meeting (which will be held on 12 March 2018). In addition to some key health commissioning items, we will also include an item on the work of the board itself. We are coming to the end of the first five years of the statutory operation of Health and Wellbeing Boards. We agreed that the next meeting would be a good opportunity for the board to take stock of achievements over the past five years, and to look at opportunities for further strengthening the work of the board in the coming years.
I then had a series of meetings including my regular Leader’s Meeting with Deputy Leader Cllr Amrit Mann, the Chief Executive and other senior officers, where we discussed the forthcoming events and activities of the council. I followed this with a series of one to one meetings including one with Cllr Bruce, Cabinet Member for Education, Children’s and Youth.
Tonight’s Cabinet meeting was a very short session as the agenda was brief, but we still had business to complete and we agreed the reports on the proposal for a new school led School Improvement Partnership; Housing Revenue Account Rent and Service Charge changes for 2018/19 and; 2018/19 Council Tax and NNDR Base report.
On Wednesday I worked in the office, responding to emails and other correspondence.
I also visited, along with Cllr Dunne, Cabinet Member for Housing, and Andrew Smith, Head of Housing Development, Supply and Initiatives, two new developments. Firstly, we visited the New Heston Road shared ownership scheme where we were also joined by Cllr Surinder Purewal, ward councillor for Heston Central. We were shown around by shared owner, Joao Filho, who works at Heathrow Airport. He told us that initially he didn’t believe the development would be built, but he is very glad the council kept its word and he is very happy with his new property.
We then went on to visit Rectory Court in Hanworth, which is a sheltered block for older people. It is a 37-unit scheme with a warden, replacing an older scheme which, as it was no longer fit for purpose, we knocked down to make way for the new block. We were shown around by Mr Harris, who previously lived in the old block, and had come back to live in the new one. He is really delighted with his new home.
On Thursday, I attended two events in the morning. Firstly, I was delighted, along with Cllr Samia Chaudhary, Cabinet Member for Green Policy and Leisure, to put the first spade in the ground at Redlees Park, where we are building a new children’s playground as part of the Playground Improvement Programme.
I also went to the ground-breaking event at Hounslow High Street Quarter along with Stephen Day, Managing Director for Barratt London, a number of fellow Cabinet members and ward councillors, and representatives from L&Q, who are our affordable housing partners in the scheme. I was delighted to be there, and people should now be able to really see how committed we are to the regeneration of Hounslow town centre.
Later, I Chaired the Housing Advisory Board, which is responsible for managing two Housing Zones – Hounslow and Feltham. These zones will go a long way in helping us achieve our commitment to provide more housing for our residents.
Finally, I am delighted to announce that at the London Planning Awards on Thursday night, the London Borough of Hounslow was awarded the Mayor’s Award for Innovation in Planning. This was for the Rectory Farm scheme, which proposes an innovative way of extracting sand and gravel below the surface of the land and creating parkland on top. Well done to our Planning team.
I wish you all a happy and healthy weekend