2 - 6 July
Monday was my first day back at the office after my hip replacement. I’m still on crutches and can’t use the car just yet!
My first meeting of the day was an all staff briefing with the Chief Executive Mary Harpley. There was a very good turnout with around 70 staff in attendance. We talked about the election results, developing the new corporate plan, our move to the new Hounslow House, and of course Mary’s departure in September to go to City Hall. We have started recruitment for Mary’s position and will keep you posted on the outcome.
Later that morning I had a series of one to one meetings and caught up with council officers. I had another hospital appointment in the afternoon and finally, I met with cabinet colleagues in the evening.
On Tuesday, I went on a visit to Do & Co Ltd, a company that supplies food to the airline industry in Feltham. We were welcomed by Amar Shokar, who heads up the UK operation of this Austrian business. They employ over 400 Hounslow residents and have an expansion plan that could see their workforce rise to over 2,000 staff.
In the afternoon, I attended former Cllr Peter Carey’s funeral at St Mary’s Church in Isleworth. Peter Carey was held in very high regard by staff and councillors alike. He had been ill for some time, but even during this period he kept his wicked sense of humour. I had the opportunity to meet his family and they were very appreciative of the large turnout of councillors from both sides of the chamber who were in attendance. Peter will be greatly missed by everyone in his local community.
Later that evening, like many others, I prepared myself for the worst, and joined my friends to watch England vs Colombia. Although the game was not a classic in football terms, the stress during the penalty shoot-out was unbearable, but at last we dispelled the myth that we can’t take penalties (apart from Jordan Henderson) and we live to fight another day. Just in case you don’t know, their fight to stay in the running continues on Saturday at 3pm. Come on the Three Lions!
On Wednesday, my first meeting of the day was with Chief Executive Mary Harpley and Deputy Leader Cllr Lily Bath to catch up on matters affecting Hounslow. Later that morning, I joined Cllr Lily Bath and attended the Hounslow Leadership Group. This is a group of senior managers within the council who come together several times a year. We discussed the implementation of our manifesto and pledges, shared how we would deliver them and held a Q&A session.
In the afternoon we had our final All Staff Briefing to keep everyone informed on what’s happening across the council and to allow staff to ask questions to myself and the Chief Executive Mary Harpley.
On Thursday I had my first meeting with the Director of the London branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Neil Sinden, to discuss parks and leisure. We’re absolutely committed to ensuring our parks and open spaces are of the highest quality and to improving air quality in the borough, especially for vulnerable groups.
In the afternoon, I chaired the Dukes Meadows Project Board. You may already know that Dukes Meadows is one of the jewels in the crown of our parks in Hounslow. We have been working very hard to improve facilities through a master plan which has led to regeneration of the park for both sports and leisure.
Of course I must mention the 70th anniversary of the NHS and would like to personally thank all of the staff who support and care for us every day. You can read my full statement here.
I’m not in the office today as I am away celebrating my daughter’s birthday. Looking to the weekend, the Mayor Councillor Samia Chaudhary will host her inaugural ball on Saturday at the Clayton Hotel in Chiswick. We wish her every success for the evening and I am sure she will raise lots of money for her chosen charities CW+ Sun and Stars Appeal and Mind.
Have a good weekend everyone and good luck to England on Saturday.