'No Easy Answers' To Latest CPZ Consultation
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 11th September: There is a surprisingly heavy response to the Riverside CPZ Consultation and Officers are asking for more time to analyse the data and prepare their report. The consultation finishes at the end of the month. I will need to run this by colleagues but the idea of a separate meeting is a good one.
Saturday 12th September: At Chiswick Library for the Councillors Surgery. A quiet session so I spent most of my time catching up on Council related emails.
Sunday 13th September: Trying to absorb the 209 pages of papers for the Borough Council meeting and realise with a sickening jolt that I have not been provided with a bound copy of the Hounslow Local Plan (another 218 pages).
Monday 14th September: The Group meeting began with a presentation of the floor plans for the new Civic Centre. Most of us had not been involved in the process that had produced the plans and were consequently a little bemused by it all. Maybe it was just me?
Tuesday 15th September: Borough Council Meeting and a wave of cross party agreement broke out on most items on the agenda. The shiny new Hounslow Local Plan finally emerged from years of research, analysis, misunderstandings and discussion with scores of local interest groups. Input from the independent Government Inspector was acknowledged to have been hugely beneficial. At last there is clarity on the role of high buildings in the development of Chiswick. The Conservative Group abstained from supporting the council’s medium term financial strategy because it contained too many mistakes and did not explain how the Labour Group’s commitment to adopt the London Living Wage would be funded. Cllr Mann tried to reassure Cllr Thompson that Hounslow remained committed to saying “No” to Heathrow Expansion but failed to explain why Hounslow was alone amongst local Boroughs in not supporting the major rally on 10 th October against the airport expansion.
Wednesday 16 th September: More emails about the Riverside CPZ consultation. Some residents are concerned that people who live in private roads and on private estates have not received the survey questionnaires. But this has always been the case. The Council does not control parking on private roads. And yes but – I am advised – people who live in blocks of flats on private roads do park on public streets. There remains lots to ponder on and no easy answers.
Thursday 17 th September: Visit a resident who would like a neighbour’s planning application called in. It never ceases to amaze me why people do not talk to their neighbours about their plans before they go to the expense of submitting an application. I decide to seek Cllr Lynch’s advice since the resident has also contacted him. His knowledge of the property concerned is encyclopaedic. On to a sociable meeting with local party members who helped fund the refurbishment of a derelict property now let to social housing tenants. We briefly discussed our next project.
September 18, 2015