Pondering The Importance Of Staveley Road's Cherry Trees

Local councillor Sam Hearn writes a blog about his week.


Council Meeting Dancelled Due To 'Lack Of Business'

Emails Disappearing Into 'Clutter' Folder

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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Friday 8th July: Receive a belated invite to the meeting between representatives of St Georges (the developers) and Brentford Ward Councillors to attend a site meeting to discuss the options for disabled access to the Kew Bridge passage. Many thanks to Councillor Lambert for making this happen.

Saturday 9th July: Take a hard look at the ‘shape’ of the agenda of next week’s Pension Board meeting. As Chair of the Board I have the prerogative of moving agenda items around in order to make the meeting run in a more logical or efficient way. Such Boards are a new statutory requirement and the Hounslow Board has only been operating for a year. This will be its third meeting and we are still feeling our way. Government pressure to dramatically reduce the management costs of the huge funds invested make these exciting times for LA Pension Schemes.

Sunday 10th July: Filing my papers from the last Area Forum I come across “a note to self” to look again at the draft crossover policy consultation briefing note. The consultation is open until the end of the month. I am worried that it is not strong enough to enable the Council to enforce against hard standing that is not constructed in accordance with sustainable urban drainage (SUDs) regulations. The cumulative impact of hundreds of poorly constructed hand standing areas in my Ward could result in a flooding disaster one day soon. Are new crossovers constructed to SUDs standards? I gratefully accepted an invitation for lunch at the St Paul’s Grove Park Vicarage.

Monday 11th July: Spent the morning pulling together my papers for this afternoon’s meeting of the Hounslow Pension Board. I am the only elected councillor on the Board. The three other members of the Board represent, employees, pensioners and employers. 46 separate employers have employees who are members of the Hounslow Pension Scheme. The meeting lasts for nearly three hours as we work our way through a packed agenda. Cllr Malhotra, Chair of the Hounslow Pension Fund Investment panel joins us for part of the meeting to answer our detailed questions and update us on developments.

Tuesday 12th July: At Kew Bridge in the morning to discuss with the developers the options for improving the pedestrian access to the river walk-way under the bridge. Current flood defence measures make access impossible for those in wheel chairs. Richard Griffiths from the Strand on the Green Association outlines a plan devised by a SOGA member and is listened to politely. Our peripatetic meeting then moves to the pontoon that the developers built for local residents at huge expense. Everyone seemed exasperated by how little used it is, other than by defecating water fowl.

To Strand on the Green Junior School for their end of the year production of “Back to the Future”. The show was extremely well received and all the performances were quite exceptional. Clearly a huge number of people were been involved in making this all happen. Some golden memories were, I am sure, created for year six pupils and their parents and carers.

Wednesday 13th July: Residents in Staveley Road have prepared a petition protesting at Hounslow Highways refusal to replant a dead street tree and are seeking the support of local councillors. The Cherry trees of Staveley Road are famous well beyond the confines of Chiswick and I am not sure that Hounslow Highways or Hounslow Council really appreciate the unique urban street scene that is in their care. Matters have not been helped by the apparently random way in which the posts carrying the CPZ signage have been dotted about the verge. Trees before signs?

Thursday 14th July: A quiet day but with lots of incoming emails. Somehow I do not summon the energy to attend the Isleworth and Brentford Area Forum. I have a standing invite from Cllr Curran to see how a proper Area Forum is run. I am ways ready to learn.

July 16, 2016

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