Reading Emails From Chiswick Overlooking Aya Sofia
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
Thursday 8th October: Back from Istanbul. Lots of snail mail post to sift through. Fortunately I was able to pick up and respond to emails at our excellent hotel. It did seem strange be sitting on a terrace overlooking Aya Sofia reading emails from Chiswick.
Friday 9th October: An unusual query from a resident whose house has become the subject of a compulsory purchase order. The internet makes it easy to quickly lay hands on the paperwork but reading the relevant documents is still time consuming.
Saturday 10th October: Up on the Ridgeway with friends from Chiswick. The 4,000 year old route is well trodden and we only covered nine miles starting at the Avebury Henge and taking in the mysterious Barbary Castle. I managed to persuade three people to go on to the village of Marden, the site of Britain’s largest henge and second largest neolithic mound. Unfortunately it’s was a bit of an anti-climax. The Hatfield Mound is long gone and the henge is just a few bumps in the grass. Where is Sir Tony Robinson when you really need him?
Sunday 11th October: Largely a day of rest. Managed to look out the agenda for the Overview and Scrutiny Panel and scroll through a few emails.
Monday 12th October: Attended the Overview and Scrutiny Committee as an observer. I am grateful once again to the Chairman Cllr Chatt for allowing me to comment on various matters. Fascinating presentation by John Gladman (Interim Director of ICT) on the council’s Work Smart initiative and the long awaited ICT Strategy. Members are to receive replacement mobile IT equipment. More importantly significant changes in working practices are required before the move to the new Civic Centre. Not enough space to do justice to the other important items on the agenda.
Tuesday 13th October: Some residents are still upset about the Planning Inspector’s decision to allow the construction of Penthouse Flats at Chiswick Village. At this stage in the game there is little that I can do or say as a councillor.
Wednesday 14 th October: Good to hear via the Chair of Governors, Lisa Hutchinson, the feedback from Strand on the Green Junior School’s external advisor following a visit this week. He described the school as 'feeling very special and unique'. He reeled off a whole host of outstanding features that he had observed throughout the day - open ended questioning, interactive learning, superb extended writing, PE on the rec, interactive music and whole year groups singing, Singapore maths and children unpicking tasks etc. He was also very positive about his visit to the new Swan Centre.
Thursday 15 th October: Into Central London for the first of three training days put on by the Local Government Association on the intricacies of local authority pension schemes. Other attendees included fellow appointees to the new Hounslow Pensions Board. It is a great opportunity to network with councillors from other authorities, and to compare notes with Cllr Guy Lambert. He posts a rival diary on the TW8 website. One of the Hounslow delegates (not Guy) asked over half the questions at the end of each session - deep joy. Off to the Argentine Steakhouse for a celebration. My daughter’s boyfriend has achieved excellent marks for the final dissertation that he submitted for his master’s degree. Nice to see Samuel (yes it’s confusing) smiling again.
October 16, 2015