A Week In The Life Of A Chiswick Councillor

Fireworks and canvassing in the cold all part of the job for Sam Hearn


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Cllr Sam Hearn, who represents the Riverside ward in Chiswick, is chairman of the Chiswick Area Forum. He has written this account of his life as a busy local councillor.

Saturday – 1st November: My turn to run the weekly Councillors’ Surgery at Chiswick Library. Not too many customers this time but some interesting issues to grapple with. Councillor Todd kindly invited me to Villa da Geggiano afterwards for a restorative cup of coffee. Sitting in the open air it was hard to imagine that it is November.

Sunday – 2nd November: Real power at last. On the gate at the St Pauls’ Church Fireworks and Bonfire event dressed in my take no prisoners Hi-Vis jacket. A great atmosphere, as always, and the chance to catch up with old friends and neighbours.

Monday – 3rd November: More Cllr training at Civic Centre. Officers, social workers, carers and ‘looked after’ children delivered a powerful presentation. Councillors are corporate parents to over 300 of Hounslow’s children. The personal testimony one quietly spoken but articulate foster mother brought a lump to my throat. The second half of the training, on the Council’s finances was drier in content but equally vital. Senior Financial Officer Clive Palfreyman and his colleagues presented a lucid picture of how “the machine” works, and what the problems and challenges are.

Tuesday – 4th November: On parade at a well-attended fundraising event for Mary Macleod at a well- known Chiswick venue. Education Minister Nicky Morgan, the guest speaker did not disappoint.

Thursday – 6th November: Canvassing in the Ward again. Fortunately as we began the rain stopped. Residents remain happy to answer the door on a cold, dark evening. Lots of deep felt hurt emerging about the imminent arrival of a 20,000 seat football stadium and 920 ‘unaffordable’ housing units in the sky.

November 7, 2014

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