1 - 7 October
As I mentioned last week, I took a few days off for a short break. I was pleased to learn when I got back that Brentford held Reading to a 2-2 draw, this was followed by another draw with Birmingham in the week.
You may already be aware that the independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England will be carrying out an electoral review of the borough. Residents are invited to hear about the process and ask any questions at a public meeting in November at the Civic Centre. If you’d like to attend, please register your interest.
I was back in the saddle on Tuesday, where I attended the Hounslow Leadership Group meeting, which is made up of senior managers across all our services. I was delighted to be joined by Niall Bolger, our new Chief Executive, who will take up his post mid-December.
Later in the day I had a positive meeting to discuss our application to the GLA for creating new woodlands in the borough. This is a very exciting opportunity and we hope we are successful as it will help us towards our commitment to a cleaner, greener borough.
On Wednesday, I was delighted to formally open the second Preventing and Managing Sight Loss Conference held at the Civic Centre, chaired by Cllr Mel Collins, Ward Councillor for Brentford. The conference reflected on the work that has been achieved over the previous years and highlighted the importance of eye health and prevention of sight loss, diagnosis and treatment, support for the newly diagnosed, and independent living with sight loss.
Research carried out by the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) found that 50 per cent of cases of blindness and serious sight loss could be prevented if detected and treated in time and by 2020 nearly 6,000 people in Hounslow will be affected by sight loss. Lots of food for thought and a reminder to consider tips for eye health and sight loss prevention. We will continue to work closely with the RNIB, Public Health, Middlesex Association of the Blind and the International Glaucoma Association, as well as our Clinical Commissioning Group.
Later in the day I attended a meeting at Sky headquarters, with Cllr Hanif Khan, Lead Member for Finance and Corporate Property and Mark Frost, our Head of Traffic and Transport. We discussed how we can improve public transport in the area particularly to reduce the number of staff who drive to work. Sky are one of the biggest employers in the borough and already do an enormous amount to ensure they play their part to keep the borough clean and green.
You may know that Sky are spearheading the Sky Ocean Rescue campaign to highlight the harmful effects of plastic in our oceans. Millions of tons of plastic end up in the world's oceans every year and if that’s not an eye opener to cut down on our plastic consumption, I don’t know what is! Read about the small changes you can make to make a big difference.
I was alerted to a group of travellers who had removed the concrete blocks and cut the locks to enter the former Grasshoppers RFC site at MacFarlane Lane, Isleworth. I’m grateful to the Sky security staff who acted promptly by informing the police and working with council officers and bailiffs to ensure the trespassers were removed within a few hours and prevented any further damage.
My last meeting of the day was the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, a vital function in holding the executive cabinet to account, made up of councillors from both the Labour Group and the Conservatives. During the meeting, I put forward suggestions for our Cabinet Member work plans.
On Thursday I had a series of one-to-one meetings with councillors in the morning. Later in the day, I was invited to meet representatives of the Feltham HIRA Association, Dr Omer El-Hamdoon, and Abdelaziz Ait-Rabah. It was great to hear about the new Have a Cuppa, Enjoy a Chat initiative to encourage community cohesion.
My last meeting of the evening was at Mortlake crematorium where, along with Cllr Unsa Chaudri, Ward Member for Osterley and Spring Grove, I’m on the board to oversee the management. The board is made up of councillors from the London Boroughs of Ealing, Richmond Upon Thames and Hammersmith and Fulham.
Today, I’m working from home and will hopefully be interrupted by the gas man who is coming to service my boiler. As winter is fast approaching, it’s one for your list of things to do!
It’s going to be a nail-biting one as Brentford FC have a difficult away game against Leeds United tomorrow, good luck to the team!
Have a great weekend all.