Can Anyone Name Hounslow's 'Twin' Towns ?

A week in the life of a local councillor as told by Sam Hearn


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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

Cllr Sam Hearn


Friday 23rd October: Still trying to get to the bottom of why fines incurred by people parking without paying in Chiswick House Car Park were not refunded when it emerged that the Council had no right to impose such fines. The excuse that the Data Protection Act made tracing such people illegal does not sound very convincing.

Saturday 24th October: Local residents have been frustrated at the failure to get any public body to take accept responsibility for improving the lighting of the railway footbridge between Herbert Gardens and Deans Close. Cllr Paul Lynch, galvanised by resident Lynn Emm, had organised a site visit and meeting with our new MP. I attended along with twenty or so concerned residents. This is one of five railway footbridges in the Borough with similar problems.

Monday 26th October: An evening meeting with Councillors Oulds and Thompson and three local activists. We were pleased to make a little progress on some hoary old topics.

Tuesday 27th October: To the Civic Centre to witness the granting of the freedom of the Borough of Hounslow to five councillors who have each managed to “fool some of the people all of the time”. Each has served the Borough and its residents for 25 years. I was pleased to second the motion proposing fellow Riverside councillor, and former Mayor, Paul Lynch for this honour. I am sure that some residents will be delighted to know that at the same meeting it was agreed that Hounslow should be twinned with the city of Jalandhar in the Punjab. My political colleagues and I found it impossible to support the twinning arrangement in the absence of any information about how this decision had been arrived at (there was no consultation) and what if any benefit this would be to most residents of the Borough. The twinning arrangement will, apparently, not the cost council tax payers a single brass rupee – at least not yet.

Wednesday 28th October: I tagged along behind Cllr Paul Lynch (Freeman of this Borough) as we escort representatives of Hounslow Highways and Officers from the LBH on a whistle-stop tour of some of our ward. The time passes in a flurry of finger pointing and note taking as we identify street trees that need pruning or replacing, a poorly lit railway foot bridge, illegally parked pavements and dodgy road surfaces.

Thursday 29th October: Friends living in Bolton Road and Spencer Road advise me that they are at last being consulted by the Council about possible landscaping and environmental improvements in the area at the front of the Station House Pub and beside the railway line. The options being consulted on are based on some imaginative work done by members of the Grove Park Association that I was happy to support. Let us hope that those being consulted will like what is on offer.

Who can name the other four towns with which Hounslow was already twinned? Me neither. Just for the record they are Issy-les-Moulineaux in France, Ramallah in Palestine, Lahore in Pakistan and (I kid you not) Russia’s Leningradsky District.

October 31, 2015


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