Hunting for Chairman Mao's Little Red Book

Local councillor Sam Hearn's blog about his week


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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 26 th February: Trying to catch up on emails after last week’s problems with my Council I-Pad. Not only do I have incoming mail to deal with but I also have to search for old emails about casework that have not been dealt with properly. In addition I have missed emails from people wishing to speak at the next Area Forum meeting.

Saturday 27 th February: Lots of personal paperwork to catch up on. Very happy that Tim Mack a new ward Committee Member will be collecting the boxes of letters for postal voters for me from our office at 433 Chiswick High Road.

Sunday 28th February: Out of London for the trustees’ meeting of a small educational charity. I am chauffeured by Councillor McGregor and we have time for a long conversation across a range of topics – not all of them political. The boxes of letters for postal voter have arrived and my heart sinks.

Monday 29 th February : Have sorted the letters into bundles for deliverers. I receive more emails and phone calls about the Area Forum. In a “cheap” tokenistic move the Council has removed the small grants funding from the Area Forum’s in its 2016/17 budget so several local groups are trying to get their applications in before the guillotine comes down.

Tuesday 1 st March: An informal meeting with some members of the new Ward Committee. A little alcohol was involved. I am still mulling over how to best chase up some old casework that has not been responded to properly. Just firing off another couple of emails does not seem the best option. To keep on doing what you have always done whilst expecting a different result is one definition of madness.

Wednesday 2 nd March: To the Shard for a meal to celebrate my wife’s birthday. We are totally awestruck by the view. What an amazing city London is and how much it has changed since we both began our adult working lives commuting in from the “burbs”. Pre-drinks in a buzzy new bar staffed by people who have fallen through the educational and welfare safety net and have never had a job before. An interesting idea that appeared to work.

Thursday 3 rd March : It should have been a quiet evening in nursing the cold that has been bothering me all week. Instead I am dragged round Chiswick House grounds by my family and two of my favourite Chiswick ladies to gawp at the Chinese lanterns . The display is really something else. At a meeting last week a Labour colleague confided in me that this was one of the few reasons that any one from her ward in the “wild west” of the Borough had ever had to come to Chiswick. Food for thought. Home to an excellent meal of Chairman Mao’s pork cooked by my daughter’s boyfriend. I do not remember the recipe being in my student copy of the Chairman’s little Red Book. I wonder where I left it?

March 4, 2016

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