Chiswick Councillors' Casework Figures Revealed
But Hounslow Council disputes that figures reveal 'lazy' councillors
The Casework Figures for local councillors in the borough have been revealed, but Hounslow Council disputes that the information can be used to identify 'lazy' councillors.
Councillor John Todd tops the list of Chiswick councillors for submitting the highest number of casework enquiries through Hounslow Council's Member's Casework system since the last local elections.
Figures released via a Freedom of Information request by a Chiswick resident show that Cllr Todd submitted 449 items of casework since May 1st 2014.
Figures for the other Chiswick councillors were as follows:
Councillor Felicity Barwood is not mentioned on the Freedom of Information list.
The Council stressed in its reply that these figures do not necessarily represent the actual work carried out by councillors. This is because members may also have dealt with casework by contacting council officers outside of the system, but these cases are not recorded.
Only Cllrs Todd, Hearn, and McGregor will be standing for re-election as Conservative Party candidates in the Local Elections on 3 May. The others are not standing, for a variety of reasons.
A recent public meeting at Chiswick Town Hall before members of the Hounslow Cabinet, discussed the issue of whether councillors should be 'accountable' to voters and whether releasing casework figures would give an indication of how hard they work.
Councillor Ed Mayne (Customer Care, Performance), said then that that releasing statistics would not be an accurate reflection of the way councillors worked.
He said there was an enquiry system for councillors, which aimed to answer questions within seven days, but many councillors went directly to officers for answers. This method was not logged. A councillor could look as if they had a low casework entry but it might be because they went directly to officers and not because they hadn't done any work.
Recently, a petition on Hounslow Council's website, (now closed) calling on Hounslow Council to increase the accountability of its Councillors by publishing their cumulative casework figures, gained 86 signatures.
It stated, "An important part of being a Councillor is to help residents with their questions - we need to understand who is actively helping local people when it comes to elections. We would like the casework figures to be published online from the next administration on a quarterly basis so we can make an informed decision at election time."
Hounslow Council has not yet indicated whether it will do this.
In terms of other councillors, leader of Hounslow Council Steve Curran comes top of the list for the borough with 1422 submissions of casework. Cllr Mukesh Malhotra is next with 859, and Cllr Ed Mayne submitted 422. The lowest figure on the list was Cllr David Hughes with 2.
April 8, 2018