Archive for February, 2008

Busy day but a good day!

February 29, 2008

After my Radio interview, I had a meeting with the Housing Corporation.

This afternoon – between 3pm and 7pm – we held the Low Cost Home Ownership event.  It was a huge success!  Current indications are that around 700 people attended.  It was wonderful to meet so many people who have such strong aspirations – I really do wish them the very best for the future and do hope that they all get on the Housing Ladder!

Radio Interview went ahead!

February 29, 2008

Met up with the journalist from Moneybox this morning and we had an interview inside the property in Sunningdale Avenue, Hanworth.  Since I was last there, a lot of work has been done to the roof and the property has new doors and windows!  It is great to see so much progress being made.

 Oh, he came on his bike (see previous posting about the interview).

Council Tax in Hounslow – a freeze again?

February 28, 2008

Here is the agenda for 4 March.

And, here is the report that will be presented by the Leader of the Council.  The best bit if the first bullet point in section 3.1.

I am hugely proud that this is being put forward again.  Residents in the Borough have put up with increases, sometimes very large, for too long.  Of course, in real terms, this freeze is a reduction.

Subject to Borough Council agreeing to the recommendation, I expect that this will be as popular with residents as it was last year.

No longer is Hounslow, London’s forgotten Borough.  Make no mistake, this is one of the biggest achievements in London Local Government (but I am biased)!

Joint Executive/Corporate Management Team Quarterly Performance Review

February 26, 2008

Well,  just finished.  These are meetings that are held between Executive Members and Chief Officers to go through certain targets.  Here is the agenda!

Binge drinking and price of booze!

February 25, 2008

One of the few areas where I may not be in entire agreement with my party is on the above subject and the issue of licensing generally (I have not seen evidence of 24 hour drinking in Feltham & Heston or things being any worse than before the legislation, though I do accept that the constituency does not have a hub of night life activity like in Kingston).  The latest from us is on the price of booze.

David Davis said:

“We’ve got to do something about the fact that youngsters can down eight pints of high-strength lager for less than a fiver. That can’t be right,”

What is not right for me is that any youngster would *want* to down such beverage.  Dare I say it, where are the parents?  Dare I say it further, why is this mainly a British problem?

Radio interview coming up

February 19, 2008

I am in Hanworth tomorrow morning for a Radio interview about our use of a Empty Dwelling Management Order (EDMO).  London Borough of Hounslow was the first in London to go down this path.

Will let you know how it goes!

Update: Unfortunately, the car of the gentleman from Radio 4 broke down.  We have to reschedule but it was well worth looking around.  Clearly a lot of work to the property is needed.  It just confirmed my view even further that this action was the right thing to do.

Water, Water and Welsh Water

February 18, 2008

I have seen two unrelated articles this morning about Water.

The first is about how much bottled water is consumed.  I must be honest and admit that I drink bottled water and have done so ever since I came to live in London in 1994.  I have tried tap water here but have struggled with it and I find it too hard.  When I visit my parents in Wales, it is tap water for me.

The second is about how much money is spent on Water at various Welsh Councils.  My parents Council, Carmarthenshire, has denied spending £70,000 a year on bottled water.

Get on the housing ladder

February 16, 2008

If you want to own your own home but think that it could be out of your reach, please go down to the Civic Centre on 29 February between 3pm and 7pm.

Here is a link to some details.

An issue that brings back memories!

February 12, 2008

….and that is the role of young men in society.  Chris Grayling MP today referred to a ‘Jeremy Kyle Future’.  This is an extremely serious matter and has been surely played a huge part in the breakdown of some communities in the UK.  I am glad that Chris Grayling has raised it.

Some will know that when I was in my teens, and lived in Llanelli with my parents, I was an active member of the Labour Party.  One of the most frequent disagreements I had with my then ‘Comrades’ (apart from my loathing for the idea of establishing a Welsh Assembly), was my belief that the Labour Party needed to focus very heavily on the issue of youth male unemployment as an issue in its own right.  Some agreed (such as the then local MP, Denzil Davies) and others did not.

The words that are worth considering for me were written by the American, Charles Murray:

“It is an irretrievable disaster for young men to grow up without being socialized into the world of work.

….By remaining out of the work force during the crucial formative years, young men aren’t just losing the few years of job experience.  They are missing out on the time in which they need to have been acquiring the skills and the networks of friends and experiences that enable them to establish a place for themselves – not only in the workplace, but a vantage point from which they can make sense of themselves and their lives.”

Fortunately, there is access to jobs in this area but I think for the country as a whole this needs to be a much higher priority in the future.