17 – 23 December
So, it’s a wrap for 2018! As we come to the end of the year, unfortunately the country is still divided about Brexit, however life goes on and many of our residents are still struggling with austerity and we will continue to do everything we can to help them through this difficult time.
As you may recall we were re-elected earlier this year in May and set ourselves some very challenging targets, some of which are our ambitious Housing Pledge to build 5,000 new homes for local people. We also pledged to improve air quality in the borough - looking at ways to protect those who live, work and visit the borough from the damaging effects of pollution. There are many more pledges we will be fulfilling - watch this space!
This week, Brentford FC announced that they have signed a contract with the London Irish Rugby Football Club to share the new Brentford Community Stadium that is currently being developed. This is great news for the borough. Both clubs have the local community at their heart and provide excellent community services for local residents, particularly encouraging young people to take part in sport. I’m sure their involvement in the borough will go from strength to strength when the new stadium opens in 2020.
On to the highlights of my last working week of the year!
We welcomed our new Chief Executive Niall Bolger this week to Hounslow and we had our first one-to-one meeting, which unsurprisingly took a couple of hours. As you can imagine, there’s lots to brief Niall on to bring him up to speed. I also introduced Niall to senior officers and we all look forward to working with him in the new year.
As you know we work closely with the boroughs small to medium sized enterprises (SME’s). We already work closely with the Chamber of Commerce in both Brentford and Hounslow but we want to strengthen our relationship with the Federation of Small Businesses. We’ve agreed that we need to do some joint work together which we are now putting in the diary for next year.
I’m here with Michael Lassman, London Regional Chair, FSB
Each year, we have a tradition here at the civic centre where we invite all staff across the council to share mince pies and tea with myself, the Deputy Leader Cllr Lily Bath and Hounslow Mayor Cllr Samia Chaudhary. The Mayor and her team organised a raffle with the money going towards her chosen charities CW+ Sun and Stars Appeal at West Middlesex University Hospital and Mind. I invested heavily in the raffle but came away empty handed!
Announcing the lucky raffle winners!
We also celebrated a member of staff’s retirement after a long 38 years in the borough as a teacher - I’d like to offer my personal thanks to Lesley Chatralia for her commitment to the many young students she has taught over the years. We also celebrated another long serving member of staff’s birthday, Alison Woodworth, but as a gentleman I will not reveal her age!
I had a very positive meeting with Mark Hopwood, Managing Director of Great Western Railway where we discussed opportunities to deliver a new rail station in Brentford and better links Heathrow with Feltham. We’re continuously looking at ways to encourage a channel shift from cars to rail for the benefit of all.
I’m here with Mark Hopwood, Managing Director of Great Western Railway
Very early this morning I joined the Hounslow Mayor Cllr Samia Chaudhary to meet the posties at the Hounslow sorting office – it’s always good fun! As you know, posties can be very outspoken and tell you how it is, which I personally like. They’re a great barometer for the borough.
Later today I will be out and about in the borough meeting with residents who are concerned about security in their council housing block in Brentford, for obvious reasons I won’t tell you which one, but what I can say is that we will be looking at this urgently to ensure the safety of our residents. We’re committed to keeping residents safe in the borough and our Estate Police Officers and our Wardens are working hard to reassure our residents and to tackle anti-social behaviour and other crime.
I’d like to thank our council staff and volunteers who play a huge role to deliver council services day in day out. I hope you all enjoy a well-deserved, relaxing break over Christmas! I’d also like to thank our emergency services and our council staff who will continue to work over Christmas through to the New Year, as well thank all those unpaid carers including young people who do a great job in supporting their family and friends.
Finally, I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.