5 - 11 November
It’s with great sadness that we learned that Hounslow’s former Deputy Lieutenant, Maria Pedro has died after a short illness. Maria’s commitment to the borough was tremendous, she will be greatly missed and remembered for her advocacy in bettering the lives of so many especially young people. I had the pleasure of attending Maria and Philip’s wedding in September this year and it was clear that they were intensely happy, my thoughts are with Philip and their family and friends. You can read more about Maria’s contributions to the borough in my statement here.
Maria Pedro, Former Deputy Lieutenant at the Remembrance Service at Holy Trinity Church, Hounslow Town Centre, November 2017
The recent announcement by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan of the new Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) will lead an urgent review of homicide and serious violent incidents in the capital. There have been lots of dreadful stories of violent crimes in the news recently, so this review couldn’t have come at a better time. We take the safety of our residents very seriously and welcome this initiative to investigate the root cause of rising acts of violence whilst exploring ways to prevent such crimes. Cllr Katherine Dunne, Cabinet Member for Communities and Workforce, is leading on this matter, you can read her statement here.
The London Living Wage (LLW) was another hot topic recently, with the Mayor of London announcing an increase from £10.20 to £10.55 per hour. Hounslow Council are proud to have been an accredited LLW employer since 2012 and ensure through our procurement processes that all our new providers are LLW accredited. We will continue to champion the LLW for businesses across the borough so that we can make a positive difference to the lives of people who live and work here.
I worked from home again on Monday, which meant I could spend the morning catching up on emails and, in the afternoon, I was able to get out and about in the borough picking up on local issues particularly in Syon Ward.
I started Tuesday morning with getting my flu jab in our occupational health suite at the Civic Centre. It’s really important that you get your flu jab, especially if you are in a vulnerable group. I had back to back meetings with officers for the rest of the day, and later in the evening I met with Cllr Katherine Dunne, and Peter Matthew, Strategic Director of Housing to discuss the London Crime Prevention Fund. We look forward to working together with Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor for Crime and Prevention to make the borough safer for everyone.
On Wednesday, Cllr Tom Bruce, Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Youth Services and I were invited to visit Sky at their headquarters in Isleworth. The purpose of the visit was to bring us up to speed on the relationship between Sky and the new Bolder Academy. We visited the school and were given a grand tour by two Year 7 pupils. Both Cllr Bruce and I were really impressed with the school, not only with what they have already achieved, but also all the bright young people we met, who are a credit to themselves, the school and the borough. We also met Andrew Dodge, Chair of Governors, and the Headteacher Heidi Swidenbank.
On Thursday, I attended the Hounslow Leadership Group (HLG) meeting along with senior managers to take stock of important news across the council, with a particular focus on budget, and how this impacts services and the work of the council. As far as the council is concerned and for many of our residents, austerity has not ended! I also shared an interview clip from BBC Radio’s Saturday Live with Asim Chaudhry, better known as ‘ChaBuddy G’, one of the main stars of the BAFTA award-winning mockumentary ‘People Just Do Nothing’ based in Brentford. Chabuddy G talks about his personal views of living in Hounslow and spending time in the High Street – have a listen here - I hope you find this as enjoyable as we did.
In the afternoon, I caught up with three of my Cabinet Members; Cllr Pritam Grewal, Cabinet Member for Customer Services and Corporate Performance, Cllr Candice Atterton, Cabinet Member for Adults, Social Care and Health, and finally Cllr Katherine Dunne, to discuss their portfolios and the progress we are making.
In the evening I was delighted to attend the City Bridge Trust Committee Dinner at the Old Bailey in London. It was an enjoyable evening and great to meet other guests. We had some interesting conversations and I will be looking at ways to encourage investment through the charity sector in Hounslow.
Today, I met with a developer who is keen to help revitalise the Thames-side location in Dukes Meadow and shared his ideas for improvements. We are already doing a lot of work to enhance many of the facilities on the site and it will be interesting to explore how we can make further improvements to Dukes Meadow as it is such a wonderful location.
I also met with Robin Goodlet, Deputy Managing Director of Eco World International, joined by Peter Matthew, our Strategic Director of Housing, to learn about their award-winning company and the work they are doing across London with the environment at the forefront of their development projects. We were also updated on our joint venture and our housing development scheme.
In the afternoon, I will be joining Hounslow Mayor, Cllr Samia Chaudhary and other Mayors from across London for tea and then a tour of Syon House, followed by a visit to the Enchanted Woodland. The visit is in aid of the Mayor’s chosen charities this year; CW Plus Sun and Stars Appeal, West Middlesex University Hospital and Mind, Ealing & Hounslow.
On Sunday, there will be many Services of Remembrance to mark Armistice Day held right across the borough. The day commemorates the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 when peace terms were signed ending the Great War in 1918. This year will also mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, remembering the servicemen and women who helped shape our world today. The Hounslow Mayor, Cllr Samia Chaudhary and fellow councillors will be attending the borough’s eleven war memorials and the Mayor has asked me to represent her at the Chiswick Remembrance Services. Please be aware there are likely to be local road closures around the sites for the duration of the events.
Well done to England cricketers who triumphed against Sri Lanka by 211 runs today! Brentford FC is playing away to rival’s Queens Park Rangers tomorrow, this will be an intense, nail-biting game I’m sure - good luck to the Bees! England RFU will also be playing the world champions New Zealand, which is bound to be a very tough match. England, with their new side, will be up against the formidable All Blacks – good luck to them!
Have a great weekend all.