It Was Only A Winter's Trail!

Cllr Ron Mushiso compares 2007 and 2019 election campaigns

ron  mushiso election


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It has been an interesting few weeks since the General Election was triggered at the end of October. In that time, I got myself on to the shortlist as a Conservative candidate in one of the Ealing seats close to where I work. Although I was unsuccessful, it was a great honour and privilege to share the platform with three brilliant colleagues who are now contesting Feltham and Heston, Ealing North and Ealing Southall constituencies.

I returned to Brentford and Isleworth constituent to give my full support to our candidate, Seena Shah, who is running a brilliant campaigned. One of her first actions was to call for all candidates in Brentford and Isleworth to sign a clean campaign pledge ensuring that all candidates and their teams conduct themselves with an appropriate and respectful tone towards one another. This would encourage debate amongst the parties whilst upholding our shared values of courtesy and tolerance towards those we may disagree with politically. Congratulations Seena for taking the lead.

Campaign trail comparisons

A lot has been written about the rarity of a winter election but, in fact, some Chiswick riverside residents will recall a winter by-election in 2007 that saw Cllr Sam Hearn elected for the first time following the passing of Cllr Robert Kinghorn.

Much has changed since 2007 but the basics are still the same. We still gather at an agreed location for a planned canvassing route. Local and national issues are intertwined where you could be talking to one resident about a local services issue and another about the NHS, having conversations, delivering our message and seeking their support at the ballot box. For councillors in particular, it is a key opportunity to listen to concerns in the community whether at a local or at a national level and that is what we have been doing here in Chiswick.

Technology is another major difference between the two elections. In 2007, the Apple IPhone had just been launched but we were out with pens and paper canvassing sheets. Fast forward to 2019 and I am in possession of a smartphone with maps, apps and all the gadgets at my fingertips. This year’s campaign is fast-paced and extremely demanding on our time as councillors. We must, of course, still attend to council meetings and carry out our casework, taking up residents’ concerns and issues, with campaigning taking up the rest of our time so something has to give.

Rugby on the back burner

For me, it has meant putting my rugby-coaching role at London Irish Academy on hold for six weeks. I was excited about coaching rugby in Chiswick, the first time here. In my previous stint as an Academy Coach for London Irish, I was stationed in Harrow. Chiswick is definitely a nicer place to spend an evening coaching rugby than Harrow though I am biased, I know!

Chiswick Area Forum

This week we took a short break from campaigning to carry out our duties as Chiswick councillors to hold our area forum at Chiswick Town Hall. We heard a very detailed and praiseworthy police report illustrating the hard work that our ward officers have done over the past four months to make us feel safe. There is a marked difference between now and 12 months ago. I have nothing but praise for our police officers.

We also welcomed an update on the green wall around St Mary’s primary school from local resident, and St Mary’s parent, Andrea Carnevali. Since its launch in June 2019, the project has grown and additional measures have been taken to tackle air pollution around and in the school. These include a pilot study for an air purification system that has produced truly remarkable results and a new paint job in the main hall with air purifying technology that prevents bacteria and reduces pollutants such as NOx, SOx, NH3, and CO2. St Mary’s Primary School can be proud to have Andrea as its champion. He has a busy day job but has been taking his project to other schools, spreading the word about what can be done and how.

Laura Ellener, head of Chiswick School, was listening attentively and making notes. She, too, made a presentation to the area forum about Chiswick School and the significant changes made since she took up her role championing the school and all it offers.

Community champions clean up Chiswick

Speaking of community champions, last week I met with council officers to discuss the next chapter of the Chiswick Clean Up initiative. Several volunteers are now wishing to take this initiative to their roads and their local green spaces. Council officers are aware that they have a responsibility to make better use of their resources to keep our streets and parks clean. However, they have also welcomed our Chiswick Clean Up Community Champion idea in principle where local residents take the initiative, if necessary, when they identify an area in need of gent attention due to littering and other forms of antisocial behaviour. Council officers will then work closely with a small group of residents, or an individual, to resolve the matter. We agreed that this would give an excellent opportunity, especially to our young people, to learn about how residents can contribute positively in their local community. We are still in the planning stages and have agreed to meet again after the general election to discuss it further. In the meantime, we will not be holding a Chiswick Clean up until Sunday, 26th January 2020 for obvious reasons. If you would like more details about the initiative, or would like to volunteer for our next outing, please get in touch using the contact details below.


Borough Council: Tuesday, 26 November at 7.30pm at Hounslow House

Chiswick Clean Up: Sunday, 26 January 2020

The future of policing in Chiswick public meeting: date to be announced soon


Chiswick: Every Saturday from 9.30am to 10.30am at Chiswick library, upstairs in the private room.

Gunnersbury: First Saturday of the month from 10am to 11am at The Triangle Club, The Ridgeway, W3 8LN, usually a group discussion but privacy can be arranged.

Councillor Ron Mushiso

Turnham Green ward


Phone: 07976 702887

Twitter: @RonnieMushiso


November 23, 2019

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