An Axe To Grind With Hounslow Highways Over Trees

Local councillor Sam Hearn writes a blog about his week


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Councillor Sam Hearn

Saturday 11th March: Following up on the delivery of our latest ward leaflet. Frustrating that for once for some reason we ordered too few. Trying and failing to download my papers for the Strand on the Green Governors’ meeting. We have started using a secure Google website and this “old dog” is having to learn new tricks.

Sunday 12th March: A fascinating morning and afternoon interviewing prospective council candidates for the May 2018 local government elections. Some faces I know from past campaigns but also many new people who really want to make a difference for their community. Rubbish, potholes and housing are high on most people’s agendas. Do they really understand what they are letting themselves in for? I dash back in the lunch break to join the Refugee Forum at St Paul’s Church Grove Park before returning to the interviews.

Monday 13th March: Lots more emails about the CPZ consultation. I try to answer each one individually because everyone who bothers to make contact deserves an appropriate response. The problems that will be caused to some residents of the Sutton Court if a CPZ is decided on loom large. Currently residents park in surrounding streets if they do not have a permit for their private road. Others are also worried about being left out of the scheme.

Tuesday 14th March: The annual all day Governors’ meeting at Strand on the Green Juniors School. Lots to get to grips with as changes in school funding and increases in contributions to the teachers’ pension scheme and national insurance knock holes in next year’s school budget.

Chiswick Area Forum met at the new start time of 7.00pm. This is for a trial period only and appeared to have caught out a couple of councillors. The CPZ options were discussed in a thoughtful way. Several residents who had asked to speak made constructive points and Officers were able to answer all the technical questions. It was decided to proceed to a full statutory consultation. I find it frustrating that even with “a fair wind” a new scheme cannot be in place before mid-2018.

Hounslow Highways came to the CAF to talk about trees. According them they are doing a good job. In Chiswick Riverside they claim to have planted more trees than they have removed. Nevertheless I still have an axe to grind with them (Ho! Ho!). I think new councillors in 2018 will be surprised how much of their email in box relates to street tree issues.

Wednesday 15th March: Once again interviewing prospective council candidates for the May 2018 elections. Rush hour traffic in the west of the Borough was unbelievably bad.

Thursday 16th March: Turnham Green Conservative hosted an event with Teresa Villiers as guest speaker. A good turnout and there were some testing questions for an MP who has never made any secret of her Brexit views and opinions.

Friday 17th March: Still following up on CPZ queries. New complaints about paving work being done or rather not being done by Hounslow Highways. Two emails from constituents concerned about the schools funding formula etc. Clearly Strand on the Green Junior School is not alone.

March 23, 2017

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