Successfully Dealing with 'Thickets of Bureaucracy'

Local councillor Sam Hearn's blog about his week


Emails Disappearing Into 'Clutter' Folder

Impressed by the Commitment of Strand School Governors

A Mini Roundabout Sign That Can Only Be Seen By Pedestrians

Counting 'On Fingers And Toes' At Budget Meeting

Missing A Riotous Night Out In Eastbourne

Sign up for our weekly Chiswick newsletter

Comment on this story on the

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 15 th April: Meet at Chiswick Pier with Wayne Bellamy (fellow trustee of the CPT) and Ruth Hutton Coordinator of Thames Strategy-Kew to Chelsea. We discuss ways to leverage funding for projects that will make the river more accessible to the residents of Hounslow and neighbouring Boroughs. There is certainly a need to fill the void left by the removal of funding from amenity groups by Hounslow Council. Ruth has an impressive track record and there is a lot of scope for innovation particularly now that there is a new impetus behind the Dukes Meadow strategy.

Saturday 16 th April: Campaigning in Chiswick Turnham Green Ward for Zac Goldsmith. Trying out some new approaches aimed at combating voter indifference to the whole Mayoral election process. To the Moran Hotel for a discussion with colleagues Cllr Adrian Lee and Cllr Samantha Davies about their campaign against “The Curve” project at Chiswick Roundabout. Deep frustration that the new rules for large planning applications mean that timings are much less predictable and that substantive negotiations are carried out behind closed doors. The next protest meeting on Wednesday 27th April is in people’s diaries. Unfortunately it clashes with a previously arranged Council Complaints Panel that I am sitting on.

Sunday 17 th April : Up on the Ridgeway with Chiswick friends for a 14 mile stroll to Goring. The Zac campaigning is definitely making me much fitter.

Monday 18 th April : An early evening meeting at the Civic Centre of the Parking Sub-Committee. Three good briefing papers were tabled but we spent almost all our time discussing the principles and details behind proposed increases in parking charges. There is a big funding gap to fill following changes in legislation. It was good to hear Lead Member and Chair of the sub-committee Cllr Foote squashing the suggestion that charges in Chiswick should be higher than those for the rest of the Borough.

Tuesday 19 th April : At Belmont School with the Heads and Governors of Chiswick’s six primary schools meeting to assess the level of “enthusiasm” for academisation and specifically for the establishment of a multi-academy trust serving the pupils and parents of the primary schools in the east of the Borough. The representatives of the Strand on the Green schools were in a jubilant mood having just heard that Hounslow Council will not be recommending that they amalgamate.

Wednesday 20 th April: At a local Zac Campaign meeting to finalise what needs to be done locally between now and 5 th May. Eventually, on to meet Officers of the local Conservative Association wearing my trustee's hat. Pouring over financial spreadsheets is always a great way to end the day.

Thursday 21 st April : Dealing with residents’ problems. One poor bloke had received a demand for four years-worth of back council tax. I was able to find an excellent Officer who cut a path through the “thickets of bureaucracy” and sorted the problem out to everyone’s satisfaction. The London Borough of Hounslow’s document that explains its Council Tax Reduction Scheme runs to 221 pages – it is not for the faint hearted.


April 22, 2016

Bookmark and Share