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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 4th March: Making sure that all those addressing the Area Forum have been properly briefed and that presentations have been received by the meeting Coordinator. I need to understand why a second application is being made for the Empire House site and I am grateful for information received from a well-researched residents’ group. The presentation by the developer to the Area Forum is only for public information.

Saturday 5th March: Scrolling through casework to see what needs to be covered on the Ward Walkabout with Hounslow Highways on Thursday. Cllr Lynch has already prepared a comprehensive list. A resident is raising concerns about the risks to school children and other pedestrians around Grove Park School. The streets in that area can be heavily congested and probably constitute a “rat run”. The school has physically doubled in size and new forms are still being added. Young children and frustrated commuting drivers are not a happy mix.

Monday 7th March: Into the Civic Centre to pick up paperwork for myself and others. Trying to ascertain which councillors will be attending the Forum so that I will know whether or not we will be quorate for decision making. We must be quorate in order to approve the small grant applications.

Tuesday 8st March: The Chiswick Area Forum is quorate and two members make the effort come on from other meetings and join us to discuss the small grants. In the public forum section of the meeting a resident raises the Mansfield Commission report on healthcare in north-west London. It is agreed that we will return to this at a subsequent meeting. Two councillors expressed their profound concerns with the new planning application for the Empire House site. The representatives of the developer (Lend Lease) explained how the original application was being considerably delayed by the judicial review process that dealt with purely procedural rather than planning concerns. Members of the public were appreciative of the presentation by Gerry McCarthy on the Council’s new enforcement team. It was not until after the meeting that Councillor Lynch explained to me the sterling work that Mr McCarthy had done behind the scenes to ensure that the Chinese Lantern event could achieve full legal compliance and open as planned.

Wednesday 9th March: A heavy load of emails dealing with Conservative Association trustee matters. Our looming AGM is concentrating minds.

Thursday 10th March: An interesting morning with Councillor Lynch and representatives from Hounslow Highways and Hounslow Council “walking the ward” on one of our now regular ‘ward-abouts’. This is a great opportunity to break out of the world of email ping-pong and actually confront issues face to face and discuss possible solutions. Many of the issues also require some input from Hounslow’s Traffic Department and these are noted and not ignored. My favourite was a large traffic sign showing how to negotiate a mini-roundabout that is only visible from a one-way entrance INTO a block of flats. The sign can only be seen by pedestrians. There is the usual crop of pavements smashed up by large trucks (possibly refuse collection vehicles) and large trees whose branches snag telephone cables.

March 11, 2016

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