Prison Visits And Election Strategy Meetings

Cllr John Todd writes about his hectic schedule




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Cllr John Todd , who represents the Homefields ward in Chiswick, is deputy- chairman of the Chiswick Area Forum. He has written this account of his week as a busy local councillor

Contacted by a resident in Flanders Mansions regarding cars being broken into in the LBH maintained Welstead Way Car Park adjacent to Stamford Brook Station. This car park should be covered by LBH CCTV in my view. An email to Inspector Edwards MPS resulted in my constituent being contacted by a local home beat officer by phone and email and the possibility of a CCTV camera being erected. I asked our S106 officers to see if they could fund a permanent scheme.

My birthday. – A dreadful reminder of how old I am.

The Pensions Regulator advises me that I had been successful in passing two further
on- line sections of required trustee training for DB Schemes. I’m on the LBH Pension Fund panel, a role I enjoy.

In the morning I went to HMP Wormwood Scrubs to finish a case involving a prisoner who wanted a review of his status as a C category prisoner. If he could be downgraded to D he would be able to move to an open prison which he wanted to do.
I’m a member of the Independent Monitoring Board at this prison. It’s a ministerial appointment which allows me to enter the prison at any time, grab a set of keys and go where I want. We all meet with the Number 1 Governor monthly and raise with him matters of concern. Inadequate staffing is a contemporary issue as is the transfer of a number of young men from HMP Feltham because of post –code gang rivalry.

In the afternoon at Hammersmith Hospital seeing a dermatology consultant -at the appointed time. I’d opted for Charing Cross but been diverted. Small operation arranged later in the month at Ealing Hospital. The Consultant made great efforts to reassure me her Unit was ring fenced at this Hospital.

I attended Member Training in the evening at the Civic Centre. The School places scheme and related matters. Huge demand for both primary and secondary places and the resultant need for an expansion of schools and possible new ones highlighted. I was surprised at how many pupils, 25% or so, who live out of borough who attend LBH schools.

Two constituent issues. Fading yellow lines in a busy CPZ Road and a temporary courtesy car Permit holder who’s having great difficulty renewing her temp CPZ pass. Both matters responded to quickly by LBH.
I nominated John Fowler of the Local Govt. Information Unit (LGIU) for an award for his masterful briefing on the Rotherham report into Child Abuse. I value their comprehensive briefings which we receive weekly. John helped me challenge our local safeguarding board who I want to publish their non confidential minutes and interpret an Ofsted report on children’s services in LBH. I take my role as a Corporate Parent to 300 plus children in care most seriously. I have visited all our homes and challenged Officers at meetings regarding data they have produced. I am determined that should any CSE issues arise we are fully informed. We receive monthly performance data and meet some of our children at the quarterly Corporate Parenting Committee.
In the evening I went canvassing for the prospective MP in Hammersmith with other Councillors from all over London. A useful opportunity of meeting them and discussing contemporary issues. After an hour or so we returned to a local office where a prospective candidate for the Mayor of London gave a presentation. Whilst plodding the streets I was impressed by the high standard of paving compared to tatty old Hounslow.

At the Civic Centre with the Chief Executive, Director of Adult and Children’s Services and two Cabinet Members interviewing three candidates for the post of Assistant Director, Children’s Safeguarding and Specialist Services.

The successful candidate Jacqui was appointed from a strong field of candidates following an extensive process that including our panel interviews and incorporated the views of young people and partner agencies. It’s a useful experience and give me the opportunity to meet new staff and question both the Director and Chief Exec on a number of issues.

Up early drafting a question for a forthcoming Council Meeting which has to be approved by our Leader and then submitted to LBH Members Services by the 5pm deadline. The LBH email system was having problems so I had to use my alternative email address. I’d had to contact numerous departments to get the financial and performance data required to enable me to complete my question and had very prompt replies.

I was pleased that an external report commissioned by LBH I had asked for and been denied was released post my email to our Chief Executive.

Reviewing my earlier research with our Council Tax office and reading a number of reports with a view to contributing to the forthcoming Budget debate in February. Took my dog to Gunnersbury Park and inspected the refurbished stable block with its wonderful stone crest on the roof.


With all my colleagues and others attending a Campaign strategy meeting with Mary our hard working MP in Isleworth.

January 16, 2015


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