6 - 10 January
Hi everyone, happy new year to you, I hope you haven’t missed my blog too much! I thought we all needed a rest.
A lot has happened recently not withstanding Christmas and New Year, and the General Election just beforehand. I was very pleased that both MP’s in Hounslow retained their seats. Ruth Cadbury, MP for Brentford and Isleworth and Seema Malhotra, MP for Feltham and Heston constituencies. In the local by-elections, Cllr Kuldeep Taak was elected as a councillor for Feltham North and Cllr Balraj Sarai was elected as a councillor in Heston West. The full list of results can be found on the council website.
If you thought we were safe from elections now, you are mistaken. As we have the London Mayoral Elections in May. So unfortunately, you will be seeing local councillors over the next few weeks and months seeking your support.
On the other hand, it has certainly been a promising start to the decade for the Bees coming in with two straight wins since the start of the new year.
This will be a very exciting and important year for the borough. At the top of the agenda is the commitment to helping tackle the climate emergency and improving Hounslow’s air quality. Plans are in place to green the borough with thousands of new trees, shrubs and wildflowers as well as increasing re-use and recycling rates and reducing our own emissions and use of plastic.
There’s also continued major regeneration work taking place in Hounslow and, with 1,118 new homes secured so far, we’re well on track to deliver our pledge of 5,000 new homes by 2022.
We’re more than halfway to our target of creating 4,000 apprenticeships and our work to create jobs and opportunities for local residents will ramp up even more. We’re continuing to increase school places, improve transport infrastructure and fill potholes, and there are a wide range of innovative projects to reduce inequality and improve health and wellbeing.
Then there’s the new Brentford Community Stadium which will be ready this summer to host Brentford FC (hopefully recently promoted!) and London Irish. And, fingers crossed, this month could even see us named as Borough of Culture for 2021! I would like to thank all the residents and businesses who pledged to back Hounslow’s bid for Borough of Culture 2021.
We still face many challenges and there will be difficult decisions to make – such as potentially increasing Council Tax – as we seek to keep delivering vital services and achieving our wider ambitions.
Other activities I’ve been involved in this week include attending the launch of our Thriving Communities Fund on Thursday morning.
The new scheme brings together several funding streams which have supported community and voluntary sector services and replaces them with a new, single point of contact for all types of council community funding. There is a total of £1.9 million of funding available so if you’ve got any great ideas for your community apply today on the Hounslow Council website.
Pictured: Peter Matthew, Executive Director of Housing, Planning & Communities, Cllr Katherine Dunne, Lead Member for Communities and Workforce, Cllr Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, Cllr Lily Bath, Deputy Leader of Hounslow Council
In the afternoon, we unveiled the new Borough CCTV centre. The new state-of-the-art, high definition CCTV network will give the council better capacity to monitor the borough’s streets, especially hotspot areas, on a 24/7, 365 days-a-year basis. This will not only assist council staff in taking enforcement action, but also facilitate closer working with the police and other agencies, leading to improved safety in the borough.
Inside the new borough CCTV centre
I spent most of today out and about in the borough. In the afternoon, I visited the Feltham Community Development Association (FCDA) at the Belvedere Resource Centre in Feltham. We visited today to learn more about how the Council can support the FCDA in providing activities for local residents, in particular, young people.
Best of luck to the Bees this weekend who face West London rivals, Queens Park Rangers on Saturday. Let’s hope the Bees can keep the current form and hold that third place on the table.
In Rugby, London Irish are away to Bayonne in the European Rugby Challenge Cup. London Irish are currently third in the log. A win will edge them closer to second place Scarlets.
Have a great weekend all!