4 - 10 February
We’ve just seen the back of the Beast from the East (ok, a baby one, not enough snow for some people!) and now we’re due a visit from Storm Erik – though it looks as though we’re narrowly going to miss the worst of it here in London! The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning so please be mindful on your travels today and over the weekend.
This month we’re proud to support LGBT+ History month by flying the rainbow flag outside the Civic Centre. We’re also hosting a series of free film screenings; Pride, Fifty Years Legal, Beautiful Thing and Stud Life. Hounslow is enriched with diversity and it’s vital that we recognise and celebrate this as much as we can. The screenings are ticketed - you can book your place free online.
It’s that time of the year again to sign up to our garden waste collection service – a quick and convenient way for residents get rid of waste that can sometimes sit piled up in the garden, untouched for weeks. So far, this year alone, we’ve collected around 8,340 tonnes of waste from 18,000 households – we’re not wasting any time! The collection service will run from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 – if you’re interested, sign up now to ensure you get the most out of the service when it kicks off in April.
I was invited join the Leader’s panel at Sitematch London, an innovative way to bring together local authorities, developers and investors by facilitating 15 minutes of ‘speed dating’ style meetings! I was joined by the panel chair, Jamie Ounan, Director of Inner Circle Consulting, Cllr David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council, and Cllr Liz Green, Leader of Kingston upon Thames Council. There was a real buzz in the air around opportunities for development – so watch this space! As you know, Hounslow Council have pledged to secure 5,000 new homes for local people by 2022. These will be a combination of affordable social rent and shared ownership homes. Keep an eye out for further updates and potential upcoming developments in your local area.
Air quality is a top concern for the council and we’re continually looking at ways to improve it. We’re aware that sometimes it’s the small changes that can make a big difference. Our first Air Quality Summit is fast approaching and will be held on Tuesday 26 February in Brentford, where residents can join us and our panel of expert speakers on the health impacts of air pollution and advances in monitoring air quality, while highlighting actions we can all take in the home and across the borough to improve our environment. There’ll also be a Q and A session with senior officers and councillors, giving residents an opportunity to find out more about our air quality action plan. We hope to see you there!
Speaking of air quality, I was interviewed by BBC London News, at the Civic Centre, on our proposal to introduce a workplace parking levy for businesses around the Great West Road in Brentford, the ‘Golden Mile’, providing on-site parking for their staff. A public consultation on the subject closed recently which we are now reviewing. Our proposals are to ring-fence any monies raised by the proposed levy to spend on developing a new station, providing a direct link to Elizabeth Line (Crossrail) services at Southall. People commuting by car into the borough greatly contribute to congestion and poor air quality, especially at peak times. Imposing a levy would be doubly beneficial, as it both discourages car commuting and provides revenue for better alternative transport options.
Watch out for my interview on BBC London News either tonight or next week!
On the weekend we’re holding an unveiling ceremony of Brentford Towers Estate signboards, which will be installed following the start of our programme of repair works - due to be completed later this year. The works will bring one of our borough’s iconic landmarks, Brentford Towers, back into the top-notch condition our residents deserve. I’m looking forward to seeing the end result!
In a weekend of sports, the London Irish will be playing Bedford tomorrow – both teams have lost only one of their last six games so I’m hoping to see a good match, of course with the Exiles coming out on top. Brentford FC won 3-1 in the FA cup fourth round against Barnet, a great win for us! The Bees will be playing against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium in round five next weekend (Saturday 16 Feb) and as always, I’m rooting for them!
It’s an exciting weekend for our French residents, of which there are many, as England are playing France at Twickenham on Sunday, good luck to both teams!
And finally, I’m looking forward to attending the Pakistan Welfare Association Annual Dinner - a Hounslow charity set up to offer support and advice to the local community, particularly those who are unable to speak English - more on this next week.
Have a great weekend all.