Chiswick And Council Duties 'Never Far From My Mind'

Patrick Barr's blog reveals he even takes his work on holidays

patrick barr


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Despite it being the quietest month of the year in Chiswick, council duties continue, even while my husband and I were on our summer break in Aberdovey, Wales. I had to be very clear to Richard about what times I was going to sit down and work as it could have easily taken over. I hope you’ve gathered that Chiswick and Council duties are never far from my mind.

We spent one very memorable evening, while on holiday, visiting a local independent cinema called The Magic Lantern in Tywyn, currently under threat from closing due to a faulty projector. It has to raise £18,000 to buy a part. They added a
personalised trailer (along with the mainstream trailers), it was extremely amusing.

It showed the front of house staff entertaining the audience as there was no projector, “let's raise this money or you’ll be stuck with us”. It was quite apparent from the trailer
and from speaking to staff afterwards that the cinema is an integral part of the community and without it the community would suffer.

This, of course, made me think of our very own community, the Chiswick High Road, and our local independent shops and the continued shop closures that are likely to be seriously affected if the Cycle Superhighway 9 (CW9) is built. If you haven’t signed the petition opposing the CS9 (CW9) on Chiswick High Road, time is running out, please click on this link and have your say. The campaign opposing CS9 (CW9) is taking up much of my time at present, the support continues to be extremely positive and we fight with this.

On that point, at Borough Council last month I had a set question to ask the lead member for Transport, Cllr Hanif Khan. I was cut short by the Mayor (who is extremely partisan and not impartial as he should be) but managed to blurt out, “Why is this Council not listening to the residents of Chiswick?” To which I received a very weak, text book response with no passion or feeling. It was quite apparent that Cllr Khan was citing words he hadn’t prepared himself. Following Borough Council he alluded to the fact that he had been told to take that line by Cllr Steve Curran, Labour leader, Hounslow Council. It’s become extremely apparent that those who speak from the Labour Group are told what to say while the rest are given a three-line whip
into voting a certain way. This reminds me of the book “1984”, if you’ve read it you’ll know what I’m getting at.

In other news, I am a panel member for the second year running on the Health and Adult Social care and Scrutiny committee. A different approach has been taken this year and we will be solely looking at Social isolation/ loneliness. Social isolation is an increasing problem across the UK. There are several affected groups that suffer from social isolation, the elderly, it can happen though injury, leaving the workplace, retirement and divorcees to name a few.

The affected group or the angle of our scrutiny has not yet been decided. This is an enormous topic and hugely relevant. I really want to bring value to this group and am very keen to hear the views of Chiswick resident’s, so your views and concerns are really represented. Please send me an email to

Whatever time of the day or night it is, the casework is a constant. I get a lot of casework, ranging from fly-tipping and graffiti- reporting it for removal- to much larger cases; care home placements and council house applications. These cases require lengthily emails, telephone calls, meeting with those concerned to include Council officers and liaising with all parties. However big or small the case is, I know that I’ve helped another person, family, group, local organisation and that gives me huge sense of satisfaction.

Just another day at the office

There is space in the group office at Hounslow House for us sit at our computers or around a table. As most of us work, we aren't often there during the day but it can happen. As it did for me this week. I went in to see the IT department to sort out my computer and, while it was being fixed, I went to meet an officer about the up and coming plans for the health and adult care scrutiny committee for the next year.

Time afterwards was supposed to be a chance to catch up on casework. However, a fellow councillor came in and of course we had a chat. We discussed policy, protocols, the frustrations of being in opposition, the stifling of discussion in the council chamber, our plans for the Saturday CS9 (CW9) street stall and more. Just as we were about to get on with outstanding work, an email arrived revealing a significant shift in policy and suddenly we were diverted into seeking clarification and checking the facts before writing a press release. Casework had to wait until I got home. Just another day at the Conservative councillors' office ...


Borough Council:Tuesday, 10th September at 7.30pm in Hounslow House (find the papers here, published a week before the meeting -

Chiswick Area Forum:Tuesday, 17th September at 7.00pm at Chiswick Town Hall (find the papers here, published a week before the meeting -


Chiswick:Every Saturday from 9.30am to 10.30am at Chiswick library, upstairs in the private room. Rota shared with all nine Chiswick councillors.
Gunnersbury:First Saturday of the month from 10am to 11am at The Triangle Club, The Ridgeway, W3 8LN, usually a group discussion but privacy can be arranged. Rota shared with the three Turnham Green ward councillors.

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August 20, 2019

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