12 - 18 March
Arrived safe and sound from MIPIM this afternoon. It’s good to be home.
Last Saturday, I attended the open day at our new Materials Handling Facility at Southall Lane. We had a fantastic response to our invitation with all spaces for the four sessions fully booked. It was great to meet so many residents and to see the high level of interest in what happens to the borough’s recycling materials.
We were sorry that due to health and safety guidelines, we couldn’t accommodate everyone this time. However, we are looking into the possibility of running another open day later in the year.
Commiserations to the England rugby team for their shock defeat against France in Paris last week. Let’s hope they can save some face against the Irish in Twickenham tomorrow.
Sunday was of course Mothering Sunday and in the week that celebrated International Women’s Day, a day when I hope the borough’s mums were thoroughly spoiled!
I had an early start on Monday morning flying to France for the annual MIPIM trade fair. During my four days here, I met up with delegations from many other London boroughs who like Hounslow are trying to attract international investment and development. I also met with Housing Associations like A2Dominion, Nottinghill and Catalyst. We are all trying to find new ways to provide cheaper cost housing.
We must reduce the cost of rent for residents and be much smarter and quicker in building homes, whether that’s through partnerships, with developers, housing associations, and/or the Council itself. There is a housing crisis in Hounslow and we must do everything we can to provide more good quality housing to try to meet the needs of our residents.
Back in Hounslow, I was delighted to hear that the Gunnersbury Regeneration Project Board held their meeting at Gunnersbury Park on Thursday. The project team were able to visit the Large Mansion, currently undergoing a painstaking restoration programme, to bring it back to its former glory and improve access. The group enjoyed lunch at the newly built on-site café, Benugo. Further development will include the addition of a sports hub which will be a great boost to residents of the boroughs of Hounslow and Ealing.
Friday: Being half Irish I have mixed emotions when England play Ireland tomorrow, but I will be celebrating St Patricks Day tomorrow at Twickenham. I am sure it is going to be a very tense and exciting game. Ireland are already crowned champions, deservedly so, it’s now whether they can win the Grand Slam. They have of course been celebrating in Cheltenham already this week.
I have of course been keeping up with events while I have been away, you may have heard we had a few problems with the loos at the Civic Centre for a few days, I hope this didn’t cause too much inconvenience to residents and staff!