A Fascinating Visit To The Mosque

Local councillor Sam Hearn's blog about his week


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Cllr Sam Hearn who represents the Riverside ward inChiswick, is chairman of the Chiswick Area Forum. He has written this account of his week as a busy local councillor

Cllr Sam Hearn

Friday 3rd June: To the Mosque at Cranford with Cllrs Thompson and Todd to accept a long outstanding invitation to see their refurbished premises and meet members of the congregation. The Imam was grateful for the impartial help that his community had received from the Conservative Group when they had sought planning permission to establish their mosque. This was not the first time that I have visited a mosque but it was still a fascinating experience. I have never shaken so many hands in such a short space of time. Strange to hear Peter called an angel.

Saturday 4th June: Checking my council emails I find that I have been reappointed as a trustee of the Thomas Layton Collection having previously being “bounced off” by an administrative error. It was good to have Cllr Lambert’s support in this matter. Layton was actually born in my Ward even if he did spend most of his life in neighbouring Brentford.

Monday 6th June: This week’s Borough Council meeting was cancelled but the Conservative Councillors agreed at Peter Thompson’s suggestion to convert our scheduled Group meeting into an informal social gathering i.e. a few drinks in the garden of the Express Tavern. It was surprising how little time we spent discussing the Referendum but how strongly we all felt about the need – come what may - to pull together as a Party after the vote.

Tuesday 7th June: To Villa di Geggiano for a fundraising function organised by Mary Macleod and Natalie Pinkham to raise money for a local charity – Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. Cllr John Todd was on good form and I had to be especially nice to him since the restaurant is in his Ward. It’s always a pleasure to spend time sipping sparkling wine with ChiswickW4’s very own Anne Flaherty.

Wednesday 8th June: Gathering my thoughts for the next meeting of the Hounslow Pensions Board and what will need to go into our annual report. A resident is chasing me about a redundant lamp post. I have mentioned it in passing to Hounslow Highways and know that they are preparing a list of such lamp posts and will eventually get round to removing them.

Thursday 9th June: Had an interesting conversation with Hounslow’s Head of Traffic. A traffic management order needs to be put in place to authorise the extension of the existing Riverside CPZ. This is a different exercise from the creation of the entirely new CPZs that still seem several months away. The Head of Traffic is also grappling with the thorny issue of possible new traffic controls in Stilehall Gardens and Wellesley Road. The rat-running and queues during rush hour are increasingly making residents’ lives a misery.

At St Paul’s Church Grove Park for Chiswick’s third and final referendum debate. Cllr Robert Oulds was batting for “out” and MP Ruth Cadbury for “in”. Robert actually made a well-argued case for leaving the EU and presented a positive vision of a post Brexit World. Ruth was sadly labouring under the illusion that the EU is still just a free trade area (all be it with a few problems) but “hey aren’t nation states just old hat?” The chairman, Torin Douglas, had to cut off one Brexit supporter who had set his heart on asking Ruth a seemingly endless list of questions. A couple of young “remain” supporters accused Robert Oulds of not telling the truth. Apparently “youth” gave them a clearer vision of the future than those of us encumbered with years. I quite expected one of them to burst into a rousing chorus of “tomorrow belongs to me”. The audience was overwhelmingly in support of the UK remaining within the EU.

June 10, 2016

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