Twenty Tory MPs Greet Hilary Benn at Turnham Green Station

Local councillor Sam Hearn's blog about his week


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

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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 18 th March: I was acting as a chauffeur this evening taking members to the Hounslow Conservative Club in Gresham Road for the Association’s Annual General Meeting. Contested elections are always so much more exciting - democracy in action. Whilst commentators gloomily predict the end of ‘conventional’ political parties 2015 actually saw an unprecedented and large increase in the membership of the Association and a similar surge in local activism. The ethnic diversity of the membership attending the meeting and the range of ages was impressive. I will leave others to explain these phenomena. Joan D’Olier delivered our trustees’ report in her usual proficient manner. It was good to see her receiving the only annual award given by the Association to an individual as opposed to a Ward.

Saturday 19 th March: More deliveries for Zac Goldsmith.

Sunday 20 th March: Time out of London with friends walking part of the Ridgeway. Sue and I did the walk the other way round “before children”. I cannot believe it has taken so long to return. If only it were possible to insist that every new British Citizen should walk the Ridgeway and take in the beauty of our countryside. Passing ancient hill forts, the massive white horse of Uffington and the mysterious Wayland’s Smithy long barrow helps put so many things into perspective.

Monday 21 th March : My knees are telling me I should not have walked twelve miles yesterday. Attended the Dukes Meadow Stakeholders Meeting at Chiswick Pier and listened to presentations from the consultants working on a comprehensive strategy. This is a communal resource that needs to be properly managed. Sadly the rents paid to the council by stakeholders do not appear to be reinvested in Dukes Meadow but go into one central “Parks” pot. Roads need fixing, a traffic management schemes is essential and by-laws and anti-fly tipping legislation need to be enforced. Above all residents, users and volunteers must be listened. On to the Housing and Environment Scrutiny Panel. Parking controls and CPZ’s are again back on the agenda. Somehow I have managed to volunteer to be on a cross party committee on parking. I raise the potential problems that the new CPZ in Grove Park will cause residents of Sutton Court with the Head of Traffic.

Tuesday 22 nd March: At Strand School with my Governor’s hat on. The day to day running of a school often involves teachers in trying to square the circle. Sometimes there are no good answers and only “least bad ones”.

Wednesday 23 rd March: I try to catch up on some residents’ requests to call in a planning application.

Thursday 24 th March : I find myself at Turnham Green station in the morning with Zac Goldsmith, some local activists and about 20 Conservative MPs. Builders with plasterboard panels weave in and out between us. A bemused Hilary Benn passes by and is cheerfully recognised by some of his colleagues. I meet up later with a constituent at Gail’s Coffee shop to discuss what might be called a dispute between neighbours. I have been spectacularly unsuccessful in helping to resolve this problem in the past but so have two other councillors, two MPs, a variety of council officers and an august academic institution. I sit in on the Pension Investment Panel meeting at the Civic Centre as an observer, along with Bill Casson a fellow member of the Hounslow Pensions Board. Good as ever to hear Cllr John Todd’s laconic and incisive comments.


March 25, 2016

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