Refusing to Hail Council for Their 'Entrepreneurial Flair'
Local councillor Sam Hearn writes a blog about his week
Friday 1st December: A trip out to the Council's newly completed Waste & Recycling Depot at Southall Lane. It has finally opened, six months late and massively over budget. The Labour Council expects to be congratulated on its entrepreneurial flair. We are not supposed to notice that it is the residents of Hounslow who have been left to foot the bill and that the senior employee responsible has departed with a very large ‘redundancy' cheque.
Sad but not surprised, to hear that my colleague Cllr Felicity has formally resigned. Her deteriorating health made it impossible for her to continue. She plans to move out of the area and closer to her family. Felicity will be missed by the many in the community whom she has helped over the years. In 2006 she served with great distinction as Hounslow's first Conservative Mayor for many years.
Saturday 2nd December: I am continuing to receive correspondence on the Cycle Superhighway. Most of it is supportive and praising the holistic approach that we have adopted. It is distressing to see that we are not alone and that other parts of London have had half-baked cycle schemes foisted upon them.
Sunday 3rd December: To the award winning Reformation Pub at Gallowstree Common for lunch with friends. On, after lunch, to nearby Greys Court a unique National Trust property. There was just too much to see in just a couple of hours.
Tuesday 5th December: At Chiswick Town Hall for a public meeting held by the local Police. Only 35 or so members of the public turned up but this did not prevent a number of issues being passionately debated. The Police made a strong case for the closure of Chiswick Police Station and the benefits that are supposed to flow from this e.g. the five additional officers that will be employed when the Met no longer has to pay the rent on this building.
The world of policing is certainly changing, partly in response to budget cuts and partly due to the long overdue adoption of mobile digital technology.
The Police emphasised how in practice most enquiries and reporting of crime are now made via the phone or by email. Social media was also becoming increasingly important as a way for the public to stay in contact with what is going on in their area. The Police recommended signing up for their local electronic newsletters and following Dedicated Ward Officers activities on Twitter e.g. For Chiswick Riverside: M PSChiswickRvr
Wednesday 6th December : Dealing with a resident's complaints about not being informed about a neighbour's planning application. This appears to be part of a systemic problem.
In the evening I join colleagues for our Christmas dinner at Café Rouge on Strand on the Green.
Thursday 7th December: Into the Civic Centre to pick up reports etc. I begin ploughing through the savings and cuts that were unveiled at the Overview and Scrutiny Panel. A few surprises.
The evening is spent at a relaxed social event for Riverside members, volunteers and supporters at the home of the Association Chairman. Some quiet reflections on what has been a very busy year. It was good to catch up with Gabriella Giles and Mike Denniss who will be running with me in the May Local Elections.
Cllr Sam Hearn
December 2, 2017