9 – 13 July
Leaders blog 9 – 13 July
Like many of you, I was caught up with World Cup fever on Saturday with England’s 2-0 win against Sweden. As a sign of support to the England team we’ve been flying the St George flag.
It was back to reality on Monday, when I worked from home and caught up with emails and phone calls.
Tuesday was a day packed with meetings. We had the London Council’s Committee meeting in the morning, followed by a congress meeting with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan to hear first-hand about the priorities over the coming months, particularly around housing, infrastructure and the policing budget. Sophie Linden, London’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, gave an update on the new structure for policing, now called the Basic Command Unit (BCU). As part of the changes, local officers from Hounslow have joined up with Ealing and Hillingdon.
Later in the day, I chaired the West London Alliance Leader’s Board where we discussed recruitment of the new Director and the work programme for the next 12 months. I then chaired my first meeting of the Capital Ambition Board.
On Wednesday, I had my usual round of meetings with senior officers at the Civic Centre and in the afternoon, I couldn’t wait for the England match against Croatia.
On Thursday, I woke up deflated after England’s exit from the World Cup. The game started so well but sadly, England couldn’t capitalise on their first half dominance and we missed some sitters. In the second half we lost the midfield battle, and ultimately lost the game. Full credit should be given to our young and exciting England side who brought the country together, when we hadn’t anticipated it. I’m already looking forward to the 2020 UEFA European Championship.
In the early part of the evening I met our three councillors from Osterley and Spring Grove, to discuss priorities over the next 12 months. One of my roles as the leader is to support local councillors in helping them meet the needs of residents in their wards.
Later in the evening, all councillors were invited to a tour of the new council offices, Hounslow House, which is being built on the former Bath Road car park in the centre of town. It’s exciting to think we will be moving from the Civic Centre into the heart of Hounslow. I think the design of the Hounslow House building has a ‘Marmite’ effect - some residents will love it and some may not, but personally I like it. Our move to the new building will take place next spring.
Today, I met with Seema Malhotra, Labour MP for Feltham and Heston. We discussed a range of issues including the housing crisis in Hounslow, the need for more council and social housing at local affordable rates, as well as transport issues particularly around new railway lines into Feltham and Heston. As with any area of housing development, there is a need to address the infrastructure in the surrounding area. We will need to have new schools, transport links, and more GPs to meet the needs of our growing population. We also discussed Heathrow and parliament’s decision to approve the new runway.
Some of our residents will have started their summer holidays if they attend private schools, with the majority of our state schools breaking up next week. I hope everyone has a lovely holiday if you’re going way and if you’re staying at home, we have excellent parks and leisure centres across the borough to keep you busy.
As you know, some parents and carers struggle to provide three meals a day for their children during the summer holidays. Any donations to local food banks would be appreciated. I’m the patron of community-run food bank, FoodBox which is based in Brentford. If you’re in the area, please do pop along, your donation would be most welcome.
Finally, the World Cup comes to an end this Sunday but before that England are playing Belgium on Saturday. Best of luck to the team who have the chance to clinch third place!