Seeing Local Democracy In Action

A week in the life of a local councillor in Chiswick




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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 week as a busy local councillor

Friday - 23rd January: The St Paul’s Quiz night was great fun and raised a lot of money. Our Team name of “On Fire” probably says it all. A case of the Devil looks after his own?

Saturday – 24th January
: Re-reading the papers for the Borough Council meeting. Time spent reflecting on the question that I am scheduled to ask about the state of Hounslow Homes in 2011 when the Council’s contract with this now discredited organisation was renewed.

Sunday – 25th January:
There is to be a briefing session for members of the Audit Committee on Tuesday evening on the handling of the Hounslow Homes fraud investigation. Members had been left somewhat baffled after the last Audit Committee meeting.

Monday – 26th January:
Group Meeting to discuss the running order for the following evening’s Borough Council meeting. Chiswick Councillors confirmed their attendance at the up-coming Chiswick Area Forum meeting.

Tuesday – 27th January:
The briefing on Hounslow Homes was riveting. I was grateful as always for the honesty of the Leader of the Council. We do not know the scale of the fraud – how much public money was stolen and over what period No one will be prosecuted. On to a run-through with Officers of the arrangements for tomorrow’s meeting of the Area Forum. Arrived late for the Borough Council meeting but at least I missed most of the ‘announcements’ that now clog up the beginning of every BC meeting. We found time to discuss the Borough’s Flag Flying policy but not Cllr Peter Thompson’s motion on the Mansion Tax proposals.

Wednesday - 28th January: Single issue Area Forum meeting at a packed St Michael’s Church Elmwood Road. Thank you Reverend Oborne. Chiswick Councillors demonstrated once again that they are quite capable of understanding the intricacies of CPZ schemes in their own area and then debating technical details and matters of principle. It was good to see the Leader of the Council at the back of the Church experiencing local democracy first hand.

Thursday – 29th January: Trying to move forward from last night’s meeting. Got round to contacting the Hounslow IT service desk about my sick I-Pad. I will have to book an appointment.

Friday – 30th January:
Looking forward to a little time with MP Mary Macleod to discuss a couple of personal housing issues raised by residents. Glad to see that following her question in the House, Mary has had a meeting with a Minister at the Department of the Environment to discuss the odours still emanating from Mogden Sewage works. What Mogden does or does not do is important to Chiswick residents who use the Thames or live alongside it e.g. Chiswick Pier and Strand on the Green.

February 1, 2015


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