From School Christmas Fair To A Funeral For A Friend

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 4th December: Slipped into the Civic Centre to pick up my post including a hard copy of the papers for next week’s Audit Committee. Looking at the agenda on-line the subject matter had all seemed fairly innocuous. As always the devil is in the detail. I had missed the work-shop in November when the Chair and Vice Chair, with the assistance of the Head of Internal Audit, carried out the annual assessment of the Committee’s effectiveness. A quick corridor meeting with Chaspal Sandhu, the CAF clerk, allows us to review the state of the agenda for the next meeting of the Chiswick Area Forum. I will need some input from councillor colleagues.

Saturday 5th December: Volunteered for the first shift “on the door” at the Strand Schools’ Xmas Fair. Bizarrely I always find that standing in a wind tunnel giving change for twenty pound notes whilst simultaneously folding programmes and handing out treasure hunt leaflets is a great way of getting to know fellow governors.

Sunday 6th December: Rushing around doing chores before travelling to Peterborough to stay with friends ahead of a funeral in Spalding on Monday. It was interesting to hear how my friends’ sons are adapting to student life in London. Naturally as both my friends are medics I received an articulate and impassioned ear-battering on the subject of the junior doctors.

Monday 7th December: The first funeral for a school friend that I have attended. Hard to accept the loss of an individual that I have known since the age of five and who was so vital and gifted. The committal was in accordance with the principles of the Humanist Association which in the circumstances was exactly right. I am not sure however that I want to listen to Enya on such occasions. As we were in Spalding I took the opportunity to visit the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society, the second oldest museum in the country. With its library of 15,000 antiquarian books there were some interesting points of reference and comparison with the Hounslow based Thomas Layton Collection.

Tuesday 8th December: Poked my nose round the door at the Chiswick Pier Trust and strolled around the presentation of what the owners would like permission to build on the site of Pissarros Restaurant. Amused to hear that one of the developer’s team had asked if there was anywhere local where he could get something to eat. I remain unconvinced that building more luxury apartments in Chiswick will help alleviate the Borough’s housing problems. On to the Audit Committee meeting via horrendous traffic jams along the A4. I arrive late but everyone is tremendously relieved since my presence makes the meeting quorate.

Wednesday 9th December: Back to the Chiswick Pier Trust for a management committee meeting. Progress on all fronts.

Thursday 10th December : Accompany my wife to an “adult” panto in a room above a pub in Guildford and we manage to catch nearly the last train home. The Guildford Fringe Theatre Company are supposed to be amateurs but I am not so sure.

December 14, 2015


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