19 - 25 March
What a fantastic weekend for the Irish! Congratulations for their well-deserved Grand Slam title. Although it was a bitterly cold day on Saturday, that didn’t stop the celebrations, made all the better for being on St Patrick’s Day!
Saturday also saw the official opening of Hounslow Mens’ Shed Charity in North Chapel, Isleworth Cemetery, the very chapel which this hard-working group of volunteers has worked tirelessly over the past five months to restore. A group of over 60 friends and locals attended the opening by Ven Shephan Welch, Archdeacon of Middlesex. This charity is one which I wholeheartedly support as it fulfils a vital role in providing a community workshop for members to meet new friends and take on practical projects to avoid issues of social isolation and depression. I was unfortunately unable to attend the opening but was honoured to have been given special thanks for helping the charity group move into the site.
On Sunday I was out canvassing on Brentford Dock. I had some really good discussions with several residents on local issues they are passionate about.
On Monday, after a morning spent in the office, I was delighted to be invited by Brentford FC to witness the ground-breaking ceremony at their new stadium site at Lionel Road. When I moved into Brentford 20 odd years ago, I brought my house on the back of being told Brentford FC would be moving in a few years. 20 years later this has finally come true. The club and the fans must be absolutely delighted that they now can see the light at the end of the tunnel. As well as the new stadium, there will also be nearly a thousand new homes. It’s also great to hear that negotiations are ongoing for London Irish Rugby FC to move to the new stadium. This will bring additional jobs and benefits for Brentford, and help with our regeneration plans that are now well underway. Come on you Bees!
On Tuesday I attended the London Councils Leaders Committee (WLA Leaders Board). I then chaired the West London Alliance meeting.
I returned to Hounslow in the afternoon for a series of one-to-one meetings. Later that evening I attended the Cabinet Meeting at the Civic Centre. As this was to be the last Cabinet meeting before the Local Elections, it was a strange feeling coming to the end of this term of office. I’d like to thank the Cabinet members and officers for their hard work and commitment over this past four years.
On Wednesday afternoon, I chaired a meeting of the West London Employment Skills Board. During the meeting a number of presentations were given on a Draft Skills, Employment and Productivity Delivery Plan and also an update on a number of supported learning programmes underway.
Thursday was another office bound day with quite a few meetings. In the afternoon, I had a conference call with Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor for Policing about policing intentions for the Borough of Hounslow. We also discussed the setting up of the basic command unit which will see Hounslow, Hillingdon and Ealing coming together under a single management team. This is part of the Mayor’s efficiency drive to meet the cuts in the policing budget. Later I attended a Gala Dinner with Ruth Cadbury MP at the Indian Gymkhana Club in Osterley. A jolly time was had by all!
As per usual, Friday is a day spent meeting constituents in the borough.
Tomorrow I will be attending the Open Day for the Mogden Sewage Works. Later, I’ll be joining Ruth Cadbury MP for the President’s Lunch at Grasshoppers Rugby Club. This will be the last one before they move to their new ground.
On Sunday I’ll be out canvassing again in Syon Ward.
As the Local Elections approach, we are now entering into a period of ‘Purdah’. This is the pre-election period between the announcement of an election and the final election results when specific restrictions on communications activity are in place. As a result, I will be suspending my weekly blog for now. Don’t miss your opportunity to vote on Thursday 3 May. Registration is open until Tuesday 17 April.
I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy Easter.