16 - 20 August
I’m just back after a couple of weeks leave so this week has been a bit of a struggle to get back into the routine. Anyway, I hope you’re all well and enjoying what’s left of the summer.
In August, most legal restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic were lifted and the way we’ve gone about our daily lives has since been significantly different. With social distancing measures lifted and all businesses being able to reopen we’ve all been able to enjoy meeting our friends and family once again.
However, this disease remains among us. The ways we can all help to reduce the spread and protect others in our communities especially those most vulnerable is by having a test twice a week and taking the vaccine against COVID-19. Remember, it is important to have both jabs to ensure its maximum efficacy against the virus.
Please continue to play your part in our fight against COVID in Hounslow. You can find information on the Council’s website for Coronavirus - advice and updates.
There have been significant changes to travel as well, with the Government regularly reviewing countries on the red, amber, and green list. This means when travelling you must follow the rules set out for each of those categories. If you’re planning to travel, make sure you check out the Government’s guidance on Travel abroad from England during coronavirus.
Of course, I’m extremely delighted to mention the incredible victory for Brentford Football Club against Arsenal in the Premier League opening match last Friday. It was an exhilarating performance by the Bees who came away with a 2-0 win! A great testament to signify their promotion to the Premier League - the topflight of English Football. The team have most certainly made the Club, their fans and the borough very proud.
I was delighted to have the opportunity to write a few words to congratulate Brentford Football Club, as well as Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, in the Match Programme. The Club and Trust have given the Council and communities in Hounslow a great deal of support for many years and particularly throughout the pandemic. From donating to local foodbanks, players volunteering at Foodbox, fundraising, providing online activities for young people, and supporting the opening of the new Cruyff Court at Brentford Towers. These are just a few examples of the incredible work they do for the benefit of residents across the borough.
Our page in the Match Programme – Bees v Arsenal
Best of luck to the Bees in their next Premier League match against Crystal Palace this Saturday, 21st August.
Come you Bees!!
Before I go on to highlights of my week, I would like to congratulate all our young people for their hard work in their fantastic achievements in their GCSE and A-Level qualifications. Undoubtedly, it has been the most tough and challenging time for our young people because of the pandemic but they have continued to show their resilience and worked tremendously hard in even the most difficult of circumstances. So, from me and the Council, well done and best of luck for the next stage of your education and/or career.
A great start to the week, attending the Block D Archaeological Dig event on Monday morning along with fellow ward councillor Theo Dennison. The Council has worked closely with Willmott Dixon and the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) to carry out an extensive excavation programme to uncover the hidden history of the site. During the dig, the archaeologists have discovered two well preserved 17th cellars, three-four hearths possibly from the Roman times, and a variety of pits dating from Roman to early post medieval times. As well as helping conserve the past, we are looking to the future with a new development that will bring much needed council homes and businesses to the area.
Left to right: Cllr Theo Dennison, Sam Pfizenmaier Senior Archaeologist from MOLA, and me!
Some of the discovered artefacts!
Another proud moment on Tuesday morning at the Burlington Close development in Bedfont where I was delighted to lend a hand in brick laying! Joined by ward councillors for Bedfont, Cllr Raghwinder Sidhu and Cllr Javed Akhunzada, it was a great opportunity for us to see the build moving forward at pace. This scheme will deliver 61 new council homes, available for council rent, across three blocks for residents who are on the Council’s housing register. Eight of the new council properties will be wheelchair accessible. The development will feature open, green spaces for resident to benefit from, including a new play area whilst retaining the existing trees on the site. The new homes are set to be energy efficient with the use of new technology. You can read more about the development in my statement here: Bricks laid as 61 new homes for council rent are on track for completion
I would like to thank the developer, Wates Residential, and the Council’s Housing Development Team for their hard work and commitment to delivering what our residents and communities most need high quality, sustainable homes for now and the future. This scheme truly demonstrates our priority in meeting our pledge to build 1,000 new council homes by 2022 for local people.
Cllr Raghwinder Sidhu, Cllr Javed Akhunzada and me showing off the engraved trowel presented by Wates Residential at the event.
If its not obvious, I’m laying a brick!
I’m very pleased to announce the completion of the painting works at Brentford Bridge. All four sides have now been completely revamped with the addition of wonderful artwork representing the areas history and the local habitat. The artwork has been developed by Year 8 pupils of the Green School for Boys and Girls; they should be very proud of their work! I took a wander down there on Wednesday to check it out myself, it really looks fantastic and I’m sure many people will enjoy seeing it.
Once again, I would like to thank all those who have been involved in the project from the very start - Hounslow Highways, JCDecaux, the Green School, Holiday Inn Brentford, London Wildlife Trust, Canal & River Trust, Octink, our local artist Suzie and Topbond contracted for the painting works.
The new and improved Brentford Bridge!
On Thursday morning I was thrilled to attend the topping out ceremony of Kempton Apartments and opening of Smithy Lane, High Street Quarter Hounslow. A key milestone for the regeneration of Hounslow Town Centre, with the brand-new homes already having welcomed residents. I was joined by Cllr Pritam Grewal, ward councillor for Hounslow Central; a proud moment for both of us in cutting the ribbon for this occasion. Over 50 of the new properties will be council homes for local people. Many of you will be aware these types of developments are key to tackle the gap in housing, as well as providing more opportunities for new retailers, bringing more business to the area and creating much-needed jobs. Developer, Barratt London and Hounslow Council have a longstanding partnership, and I would like to thank them for their incredible work and commitment for the benefit of the borough.
Cllr Pritam Grewal and I very pleased to be opening Smithy Lane.
Unveiling the plaque to commemorate the opening with Danny Farenden, Projects Director for Barratt London.
I would like to mention the recent launch of some fantastic new things for Hounslow residents, businesses, and visitors alike. As a council we are always striving to make the borough a place people are proud to call home, a place to visit and do business! With the launch of the brand-new visitor website “InHounslow” anyone can explore and share what’s on offer in our fantastic borough, from hidden gems to days out and all types of events. We want to encourage residents to see what’s on offer on their doorstep, to shop local and attract visitors from further afield. I’m sure this will be a positive step forward for our economy and create great social opportunities for everyone. Plan your next trip or sign up here: https://inhounslow.com/
The Council have also recently launched a new co-working space in Brentford ‘Digital Dock’. Its our first ever affordable co-working space in the heart of Brentford supporting small businesses, freelancers and homeworkers looking to free themselves from the kitchen table! The co-working space offers pay as you go, monthly and annual flexible contracts through an online booking system with the option to book workstation desks, hire private offices, meeting rooms and the digital studio. You can read more about what’s on offer in my statement here: Affordable co-working space Digital Dock Brentford launches or you can visit the www.digitaldockbrentford.com.
Finally, I would like to mention the launch of the new awards for our Community Heroes. I’m sure many of us can think of someone who has been a great support whether throughout the pandemic or before, and I’m sure you will want to recognise them for commitment to helping those who need it most and award them for the positive role they play in our communities in Hounslow. So, take the time to vote for your community heroes!
I’m eagerly looking forward to the match tomorrow - Crystal Palace v Brentford. C’mon you Bees!!!
I hope you have a great weekend, stay safe.
Cllr Steve Curran