26 February - 2 March
I’m happy to report that despite our visit from the Beast from the East, this week’s activities have not been curtailed.
Congratulations to Scotland for beating England at Murrayfield on Sunday for the first time in 10 years!
Monday 26 February
I worked from home on Monday morning taking care of emails and calls. I then attended a lunch at the Institute of Civil Engineering in Westminster hosted by Thames Water, during which the company outlined their Draft water resources management plan for 2019, detailing how they plan to cope with the challenges of the future up to 2100. I took the opportunity to reiterate residents’ concerns about the Mogden Sewage Works.
Tuesday 27 February
On Tuesday morning, the results of the inaugural London Borough of Culture awards were announced at City Hall. The boroughs of Waltham Forest and Brent beat off stiff competition from 2o other London boroughs to take the title for 2019 and 2020 respectively along with £1.3m funding each to put in place their cultural programmes. I would like to congratulate both boroughs for their compelling bids. Sadly, Hounslow was unsuccessful this time but the whole of the Capital will no doubt benefit from this spotlight on culture which will attract visitors from across the UK and beyond.
I had my usual round of 1 to 1 meetings with the Chief Executive and other senior officers before meeting with representatives of Goddard’s, a family-run furniture company in Brentford and Isleworth of long standing. We met to discuss the planning brief for forthcoming developments, including housing and industrial units.
Following this meeting, I attended a staff briefing session for Hounslow Council employees during which the results of the recent staff survey were presented. For the most part the results were favourable, with some areas for improvement identified. The session also included an update on the progress of the new Council Offices.
I then met with Head of Planning, Marilyn Smith to discuss Mayor Khan’s stepping in and using his powers to take over a major mixed used development application at the Citroen garage site at Capital Interchange Way in Brentford. The council refused planning permission for the development as it had concerns on a number of aspects of the application. The Mayor has decided to call this decision in, and we respect his decision to do this. We share Mayor Khan’s commitment to provide more affordable housing across London and we will continue to work with the Mayor to ensure we provide the best possible housing for the residents of the Borough.
Wednesday 28 February
On Wednesday I attended the launch of the Capital West London programme at the Hilton Hotel in Wembley. This new ambitious programme is being led by the West London Alliance - a sub-regional grouping of seven West London Boroughs; Barnet, Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon and Hounslow.
The aim is to unite the area as one huge growth and investment opportunity, promoting its combined £69million economy to a worldwide audience under the brand Capital West London.
To my left: Councillor Julian Bell, Leader of Ealing Borough Council, to my right: Councillor Mohammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council
In the afternoon, I met with representatives from A2 Dominion, one of the borough’s housing associations, who provide high quality social housing to our residents and grant the council 100% nomination rights to the homes they build. It is imperative that we maintain close working relationships with our housing associations who help us to meet the housing targets set by ourselves and the Mayor of London.
Towards the end of the day I met with Alan Adams, Executive Director of Children’s and Adult’s Services and Deputy Chief Executive to discuss measures to safeguard rough sleepers in the borough as temperatures drop. It’s important that we all look out for those vulnerable during this extremely cold spell, due to last for some days to come. Please look in on any elderly or vulnerable neighbours just to check that they’re alright, whether they need anything and are keeping warm. For advice on staying well this winter, please see here.
Thursday 1 March
On Thursday, the Welsh flag was flying outside our Civic Centre in honour of St David’s day, Patron Saint of Wales. Staff previously employed by Carillion to run our parks, allotments and cemeteries officially transferred to our wholly owned company Lampton 360 (Greenspace 360) see here. We have had to postpone our welcoming to the staff as they are busy helping in dealing with the current weather conditions.
We had the pleasure last night of meeting Mayor Sadiq Khan who dropped in to meet with myself and councillors before continuing to his People’s Question Time event which was hosted at our Civic Centre yesterday evening.
Twice a year, Mayor Khan and the London Assembly hold People’s Question Time (PQT) in different parts of London, to talk about their plans for the Capital and take questions from the audience. The event was livecast via the GLA website.
Friday 2 March
Earlier today I met with Mark Devlin, CEO of Brentford Football Club to discuss our Hounslow Community FoodBox, a charity set up by the council to distribute food boxes to those in need in the borough. We are very grateful to Brentford for their support with this very valuable scheme. For more information and to learn how you can make donations, please see here.
I would like to finish this week’s diary by thanking all council staff, the Highways Team and Emergency Services for doing a fantastic job in maintaining services and coping with the increased demands placed on them during this exceptionally cold spell.