Last night’s clash of meetings

It is always frustrating to have a clash of meetings.  Not only does it impact on ones attendance record but quite often some interesting agenda items are missed.  Last night I had to miss the West Area (Monitoring) Meeting at Feltham Library because I had a meeting of West London Housing Lead Members at Brent.

As you will see from the agenda, I missed some updates from Transport for London.  I hope that Members of the Public attended to listen to the Council Budget briefing.

As for the meeting in Brent, this takes place quarterly at one of the seven West London Boroughs – Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow and Kensington & Chelsea.

The two most interesting discussions we had was over cross-borough mobility for those bidding for Council accommodation and we had a discussion on initiatives to deal with overcrowding.  We talked about some things that have been done at a Borough level, as opposed to a sub-regional level.  Councillor Phil Andrews and I took a report to Executive in December 2007, which we are confident will make a huge difference to the lives of 20 or so families.  The project will address their overcrowding and allow them to remain in the community that is their home and where they are settled – truly sustainable communities.  Of course, this will only resolve matters for a very small proportion of families who are overcrowded but as I always say, there is no one solution, programme or project that will deal with this problem.

Thus far, we have held meetings at all the West London Boroughs, except Hillingdon & Ealing.  The anorak in me likes to take a look around each of the buildings I visit, especially within the respective Council Chamber.  Most have their own character & shape etc.  I think that my favourite Chamber in West London so far is Brent’s.  It instills a feeling of Civic Pride and it is not as circular as other Chambers.  It is also not as big as other Chambers such as Hounslow’s.  I do wonder how Members would be heard in Hounslow were the microphones to break down?

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