11 - 15 March
Hello everyone Cllr Lily Bath here, Cllr Steve Curran is away at MIPIM this week, so I will be stepping in to write this week’s entry.
We are exactly two weeks away from the Brexit deadline, and based on the events this week, we don’t know yet whether the deadline will be extended or we will have a no deal situation. So I just wanted to take this opportunity to reassure staff, residents and local businesses that you will have our full support and assistance where needed. Our Citizenship and Nationalities team at the Registrar’s Office will aid those who wish to apply for settlement status in the UK through the Government EU Settlement Scheme. I’d encourage any residents or staff who are EU citizens to find out more about the Settlement Scheme – More on the EU Settlement Scheme
We have also updated our website with guidance for residents and businesses around Brexit. Please visit www.hounslow.gov.uk/brexit for more information.
I would like to touch on the very successful International Women’s Day event on Friday 8 March. The council hosted a film screening of Made in Dagenham, a film based on a true story of sex discrimination in job grading which led to the passing of the Equal Pay Act 1970. Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend the film screening due to other commitments I had that evening but I understand it was a great success.
Looking to the present times, I am very proud of the twenty-three women councillors in Hounslow and the achievements of women in the borough. I would like to thank Celia Golden and her team for organising this event.
As I work a day job, majority of my meetings take place in the evening. On Monday evening, I met with the Traffic team to discuss local traffic calming measures in my ward, Heston West. I’ve received a large amount of resident feedback around traffic in Heston and will be working with the Traffic team to address it. Later that evening I attended the Labour Group Meeting.
Tuesday was an important day for the council, we had our monthly full Borough Council meeting, this is where all 60 ward councillors come together and debate on local topics and to vote on key decisions for the borough.
I must highlight two key topics which were discussed on Tuesday night. The first being the approval of our Formal Submission to the Local Government Boundary Commission. This is the second stage of the borough’s boundary review and residents will be more than welcome to submit any feedback they have on this consultation.
The second being the approval of the Corporate Plan. The corporate plan is a key document that will run from 2019 to 2024 and sets out the council’s ambitions and high-level priorities. A new corporate plan has been developed as the current one will expire this year! The new corporate plan will focus on eight outcomes:
- Residents at the heart of what the council does.
- People live in good homes and pleasant neighbourhoods
- People feel proud to live and work in the borough
- Businesses flourish, and local people enjoy good-quality local jobs
- Keeping residents safe
- Children reaching their potential
- Residents are health, active and socially connected.
- Residents receive the right support
Keeping to the topic of Borough Council, I also made two announcements related to my portfolio (Housing and Social Inclusion). If you’re a council tenant, I am pleased to announce that you will now receive a quarterly newsletter with your rent statement called Rent Sense. This newsletter aims to keep tenants informed about benefits and managing money but, most importantly, it’s giving advice to tenants who may be struggling with their rent.
I also announced the introduction of electronic display screens in to some of our housing estates. These screens are being used to communicate important information to residents such as cleaning schedules and fire safety information. So far, we have installed 60 in our high-rise blocks and if successful it will be rolled out to the other estates in the borough. We are committed to engaging better with our tenants and hopefully this will be a step forward in the right direction.
Wednesday, I had a few one-to-one meetings in the morning. I also chaired the Hounslow Together Board meeting, where we discussed Brexit and how it may affect our borough and what we are doing as a council to assist our residents and local businesses.
Thursday, I spent my day at work, and only popped in to the Civic for an evening meeting with the Director of Customer Relations, Environment and Culture, Victoria Lawson to discuss how we improve our communications.
Friday, I woke to hearing about the tragic terror attack which took place in Christchurch, New Zealand, I would like to send my condolences to the families and friends of all those affected by this cowardly action and my thoughts are with the people of New Zealand. Read the full statement from the Leader and Mayor of Hounslow.
I caught up with my emails, responded to phone calls and worked on various pieces of casework. It was a quiet Friday which meant I was able to spend time with my family after covering Cllr Steve Curran’s duties during the week.
Tomorrow, Saturday 16 March I will be doing my weekly walkabout with my ward colleagues, Cllr Shantanu Rajawat and Cllr Rajinder Bath. We will be reporting any issues or concerns we find when on the walkabout.
Cllr Curran will be back next week and will have a lot of news to share from MIPIM.
Hope you all have a great weekend!
Cllr. Lily Bath