23 - 27 September
Hi everyone, we’re certainly feeling the autumnal weather, it was a cold and wet start to the week on Monday!
I met with the Chief Executive, Niall Bolger on Monday morning to catch up and discuss any other business arising whilst I was away on holiday, although my office had the pleasure of me being in contact most days. What can I say, I like to keep on top of emails I receive from residents and officers, and as they say there’s no rest for the wicked! Thanks to Cllr Lily Bath, Deputy Leader of the Council for holding the fort while I was away.
We’re also underway with recruitment for our Assistant Chief Executive role and I had the pleasure to meet one of the candidates on my first day back. It really is a great time to work for Hounslow, we have a lot of exciting and ambitious plans for the future of our borough. One example of course, our bid for Borough of Culture, to win the status for the borough would mean the chance for significant funding from the Mayor of London’s office for our arts and culture offer. We can’t do it without you - take the quiz haveyoursay - boroughofculture. You can also promote the campaign with the materials available to download.
Later on, I chaired the Brentford Bridge Project meeting, with council officers and representatives from our partners; London Wildlife Trust, Brentford School for Boys and Girls, Octink, JC Decaux and a local artist, who are all working on this mini project to enhance the look and feel of the bridge for its many users and improve the environment for local habitat and wildlife. It was a really good meeting, with lots of progress made by the project group, I’m really looking forward to seeing this project develop further.
I then headed back to Hounslow House to Chair the Affordable Housing Committee meeting, with other Members and Officers from our Housing Team in attendance.
I had a series of meetings on Tuesday with Officers, including a meeting to discuss another project I am very exciting about, Feltham Pond. We have been working closely with local community groups and volunteers who are passionate and keen to make improvements to this wonderful community space, I personally feel very proud of the community pride in our borough. Keep an eye out for more information on how the project is progressing and plans to officially launch the pond. Particular thanks to Angela Parton who is leading the charge to make these improvements.
We also held Cabinet Question Time in the evening at Hounslow House, chaired by yours truly! It was a very low turnout unfortunately.
On Wednesday, on my way into the office I took a short detour to Feltham to meet with local resident Tony Day who has lived in Feltham all of his life and has a keen interest in improving the local area as well. We talked about how we can make changes to the boundary of the pond and the main adjacent footway so that the pond is more of an integral part of the town centre and can be better accessed by the community. One thing I would like to mention is, it’s illegal to feed pigeons, please don’t do it or leave food lying around! It really does cause a mess! Our community spaces are so important to everyone, let’s all try to keep the vermin away!
Later in the morning, I was delighted to be invited to the official opening of the new pillars and gates at Isleworth Cemetery. A special thanks to Rosemary Bunce and Christine Diwell for all their hard work and efforts in making this happen. I would also like to thank the Mayor, Cllr Tony Louki and Cllr Theo Dennison who was a keen supporter of the project, as well as council officers involved.
Back to the office for the Dukes Meadows Project Board meeting, as Chair of this project I’m really thrilled to see the masterplan coming to fruition, a lot of work and effort has been put in by many to deliver these plans over the last three years, despite the odds. We still have some time to go before we have fully delivered the plans, but I would like to say thanks to Cllr John Todd, Ward Member for Chiswick Homefields, Stefania Horne, our Head of Parks and many of our partners, like Chiswick Rugby Club, the Old Meadonians Football Club, as well as others who have been incredibly supportive and worked hard to make these plans become visible. I then had a couple more meetings in the office before the day finished.
I had the pleasure of meeting a group of parents for a coffee morning reception with Mayor, Cllr Tony Louki on Thursday morning. The group who volunteer for the Parent Champion Scheme are doing great work to help and support other parents with information on family services available to them, as well as signposting to other children’s activities centres. It was great to celebrate the work they are doing to help other parents in the borough.
I then met with our Executive Director of Finance, Clive Palfreyman, Cllr Shantanu Rajawat, Lead Member for Finance, Niall Bolger our Chief Executive and Harminder Persad, Senior Corporate Services Contract Manager for our monthly Finance Meeting. I would like to say a special thanks to Harminder for all the hard work she does for the borough in making sure our council tax payments are ship shape - a real unsung hero!
This was followed by my first meeting with our new Director of ICT, Mark Lumley who started this week, and I am sure will do a great job for Hounslow.
I also had the pleasure of speaking at the Hounslow Regeneration conference on Thursday, organised by Hounslow Chamber of Commerce, who do a fantastic job on behalf of the council to support business across the borough, represent SMEs, and are the link between the council and businesses right across the borough, they also work closely with our colleges and schools. Small business is vital for the growth and development of Hounslow. At the event, we were delighted to hear speeches from Heathrow Airport Ltd.’s Chief Executive, John Holland-Kaye, Chairman of Brentford Football Club, Cliff Crown, as well as Niall Bolger, our Chief Executive.
A special thanks to the Chairman of Hounslow Chamber of Commerce, Christopher Durkin, Director, Alan Rides and Secretary, Sally Stephens for organising another successful and well turned out event.
I was in the office first thing on Friday morning for meetings and then caught up with some emails.
I would like to say congratulations to Elysium Care Partnerships, a Hounslow care home for being awarded ‘Outstanding’ by Care Quality Commission (CQC) for the second consecutive year. I would like to thank Elysium and all their staff for the fantastic work they deliver to look after our residents with learning disabilities or autistic spectrum disorder. This is an exceptional achievement and one to be very proud of, well done to everyone for their hard work.
The first week of the rugby world cup is over, England, Ireland and Wales are all doing well, its Scotland that are struggling. Good luck to the Bees as always who are away to Barnsley on Sunday.