'Battle Ready' For The By-Election
A week in the life of a local councillor as told by Sam Hearn
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 26th June: The first meeting of the Executive of the local Conservative Association since the election. Mary Macleod presented a detailed analysis of the local party’s performance and suggested several strategic markers for the future. Encouraging that both during and immediately after the election campaign membership had increased. The meeting decided that our approach to selecting local authority candidates will be “dusted off” and made battle-ready.
Saturday 27th June: Canvassing in Brentford ahead of the 9th July By-Election. Patrick has assembled an enthusiastic and eclectic canvassing team. Street by street, door by door. It is not glamorous but it’s the only way. Discuss the upcoming Brentford hustings with our candidate Patrick Barr and Mary Macleod. We agree that honesty is the best policy and that any candidate who claims to know the answer to everything is an idiot.
Sunday 28st June: The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting of the Housing and Environment Scrutiny Panel appears a little thin. Nevertheless the meeting is crucial because we will be shaping our work programme for the coming year.
Tuesday 30th June: The deliberations of the Housing and Scrutiny Panel are actually more heavy duty than I had suspected. The remit of the Panel is enormous and the difficulty is in deciding what to exclude altogether and what to leave to the main Overview and Scrutiny Panel. Discussing how to review/monitor housing issues consumes a great deal of our time. Temporary housing accommodation features in every councillor’s in-tray. Hounslow’s performance is apparently better than most of its neighbouring borough’s. We were all pleased to hear that Hounslow Highways will be coming to next Mondays meeting of the main Overview and Scrutiny panel. Members of the public welcome as always.
Wednesday 1st July: Canvassing again in the evening.
Thursday 2nd July: Try and catch up on incoming emails and find where I have hidden the papers for next week’s meeting of the trustees of the Thomas Layton Collection. This meeting clashes with the Overview and Scrutiny Panel that I would like to attend as an observer. I watched Dan Cruikshank’s programme on catch-up TV about the ongoing destruction of ancient buildings, and the contents of museums in Iraq and Syria. Death and destruction - a bitter pill to swallow. Every life is precious but what will be left to pass on to the generations to come?
July 3, 2015