I'm Not Corrupt But I May Be Heading to Prison

Brentford West councillor Guy Lambert reports back

Cllr Guy Lambert
Cllr Guy Lambert

May 10, 2024

Well Thursday was as anticipated, at least with regard to the pounding of the streets. It was always going to be tricky, partly because it would be, anyway, as by-elections are, partly because the Hounslow Arts Trust announced they would be closing the Watermans Centre on almost precisely the day we began the election, and partly because the local version of George Galloway decided he could muddy the waters. Theo is a very skilful politician and is charming on the doorstep. I will not go on as I first thought I would. In the end Emma won – not comfortably but OK given the assault. I’m hoping that his attention will go elsewhere now wherever pleases he and perhaps George Galloway and his other chums, as I find it tiresome (and insulting) to be constantly told I’m corrupt. I’m not corrupt at all.

Whatever, I went home at about 10 and proceeded to watch the TV for half the night. Then off to Twickenham on Friday morning to see the count proceeding and , after some bitten fingernails, Emma’s victory being announced. I met the disappointed Green candidate (I’m always unhappy when they don’t win, even if I don’t want them to) and the Liberal, who I didn’t know was standing. A rather hopeless activity for him, and another I felt bad for. I didn’t see Mike Denniss there – probably busy doing a job!

More info came out over Friday and Saturday. Most of it was good news. Was sorry Ben Houchen won in Teesside (I read about him and dodgy dealings there blamed rightly or wrongly on him every time I read Private Eye). But obviously Sadiq was an excellent result and the West Midlands result was a happy surprise for Richard Parker against the likeable and I think effective Conservative mayor Andy Street. This is politics for you. I remember Robin Day upsetting minister John Nott when he told him (accurately if a bit cruel) that he was a ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ politician. John got the hump and walked out of Newsnight.

Buoyed by all this, I made the trip to Donington Park in Leicestershire. Not often you see Fairthorpes, a Rochdale Olympic and some Turners together in a car park but it’s a pleasure for me. Fairthorpes were a mythical creature from my childhood, where I, ahem, observed their pictures in the Observer’s Book of Automobiles but rather like hammerhead whales, never in the flesh.

In the evening I went to my hotel, which was called the Priests House. Didn’t see the priest but as I wandered around 2 Ford GT40s came past, no doubt dreaming of Le Mans but entering a hotel car park driven by couples of a certain age. I got a photo later after dark, but one had its nightie on and the other was fully dressed

It was a gorgeous setting by the river Trent, which I was most aware of in geography books when I was 11.

As far as I know, this is the only river named after a Liverpool football star, Trent Alexander-Arnold. There was also quite a lot of history on site, and a ridiculously extravagant breakfast before I embarked for my next fix of racing cars in action.

I love Donington, mainly for the landscape there. I remember in a previous career coming here for a Saab day, where people involved with fleet cars got to drive them with minders around the circuit. Ah Saab – they were nice, and a bit quirky. Like Brentford.

On Monday I realized all this activity left me a bit exhausted so I did very little. Tuesday was similar but I had picked up some emails including one alerting to two (which turned out to be 3) monster size flytips in Duke’s Meadows. I suppose the Duke was still there he would have had the culprits clapped in irons but all a modern council can do is try to catch them with help from the police and CCTV etc, and clear up the mess. If we’re really lucky we spend a year waiting for the courts to catch up then see them fined a few quid and told not to sin again. I will be going with Hounslow Highways tomorrow in a whizz bang new electric truck which I believe cost more than a 3 bed terrace in Brentford (but not even including a single bathroom). This is the smallest of the 3, which was in what is supposed to be a bus turning area but I have never seen a bus there!

Chances are someone charged someone £250 (or more, I’m not an expert) for a clearance and drove it half a mile away late at night to somewhere where nobody is watching. Perhaps thinking to swap the number plates first. So annoying in a beautiful riverside park area.

Here’s another annoying one.

You don’t have to be a genius to work out why these are here, but I’m equally irritated that the people I was told had been contracted to plant and maintain don’t seem to have done it. Of course, the first plants put there, like the ones in Whitestile Road, went the way of the saddle that used to live on my bike. Great that we have such community feeling.

On Wednesday morning I had a short session with one of the lawyers/governance monitors at the council. I made a mistake encouraging people to contact the council if they had ideas for getting the Watermans back on its feet. I named one of the people who work with the Labour councillors rather than the formal council contact. Cllr Jo Biddolph spotted it and pointed out my error. I immediately apologised, corrected it and had a sensible response (thank you Jo) but somebody I will not name (but you can probably guess) made a formal complaint that I breached some regulation or other. If I miss my next blog due to prison, you will be able to work out why. Closing the door once the cat has bolted, if you have any ideas please contact meanwhileuse@hounslow.gov.uk and perhaps earn me early release as well, of course, get your great ideas considered.

I had a chat with some chums on this very matter in the afternoon at The Griffin and then proceeded to Hounslow House for the first part of the Annual General Meeting of the Labour councillors. We nominated all the group officers and a brand spanking new mayor and deputy. I don’t know if I’m allowed to tell you and I don’t want to risk a longer sentence.

We had a celebration drink for Emma at the Fox and Hounds but it was all too noisy for me to hear so I made excuses and went home.

This morning, Thursday, I had a session online with my Health Integration pals. The main thing I heard was about the organisation of some community services, but again I’m not sure if I’m supposed to say anything so I’ll keep Schtum. Then a lunch at La Rosetta with the outgoing MD of Lampton. He was chair and took the MD role on a short term basis but we have now hired a new MD and he will revert to chair. I’ve enjoyed working with Martin, and he has made a big contribution to the continuing improvement of the Lampton businesses.

Well that’s it folks, except to report that after I long campaign I am finally going to have my head examined in West Middlesex Hospital on Sunday. This is not due to my obvious insanity but the more hidden problem that I often cannot hear what is said to me, a bit like Mrs Richards in Fawlty Towers. The difference is my hearing aids are always on.

I have another announcement coming up at the weekend – not very exciting but timed for my birthday, so I will send it out then.

Councillor Guy Lambert


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