As the budget debate progressed towards its end on Tuesday night, news came over from Central London that the London Borough of Hounslow had been awarded Beacon Status for its pioneering work on Community Cohesion.
The news came as a relief but if I may be so arrogant not particularly as a surprise. The team we have at Hounslow led by Uttam Gujral (above, second left) and Sabin Malik (above, third left) is so steeped in innovation, professionalism and knowledge that it was difficult to see them being upstaged. The Leader of the Council, Peter Thompson has marshalled the whole project superbly and I am very proud to have been a player in the team he has led in taking our work forward.
It would be churlish not to pay tribute to the work which was already happening in the field of Community Cohesion before the current coalition took over. I would also like to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to Labour councillor Nisar Malik, whose kind words of support at an earlier presentation to IDeA can only have helped our cause.
Hounslow is now likely to be called upon to share its ideas and experiences with other authorities who wish to promote cohesion in the communities they serve. All in all receiving this news was the most perfect end imaginable to what had been something of a difficult night.