My Television Debut And 'Wardabouts'

Local councillor Sam Hearn writes a blog about his week


A Clapped-Out Car And Decisions About Curtains

Council Meeting Cancelled Due To 'Lack Of Business'

Emails Disappearing Into 'Clutter' Folder

A Mini Roundabout Sign That Can Only Be Seen By Pedestrians

Missing A Riotous Night Out In Eastbourne

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Councillor Sam Hearn

Friday 7th October: Travelling back from Menorca I manage to arrive back in Chiswick in time for a friend’s seventieth birthday party. One of the guests explains that he is already laying off a quarter of his staff because of Brexit. It has been a fascinating week ‘embedded’ with the 1805 Club and visiting Menorca’s massive eighteenth and nineteenth British and Spanish naval establishments. The one day archaeological safari to several of the island’s well preserved prehistoric sites was quite spell-binding. It is hard to understand why the Spanish are only now applying for World Heritage status for the best of these.

Saturday 8th October: Out and about this afternoon canvassing with colleagues in Isleworth. We receive a generally positive response from residents and the now standard mixed sentiments about Brexit. A quick change of clothes and off with Sue and Jake and a couple of Chiswick friends to a recording of a David Walliam’s show at the Southbank studios of ITV. The inevitable ‘second takes’ and make up breaks extend the whole process. Jack Whitehall (minus beard) provides some of the funniest moments with his ad libs and dry comments between takes.

Monday 10th October: Another super-efficient Riverside Conservative Ward Meeting. There certainly seems to be a lot happening and it is great to have such a lively and positive bunch behind us councillors. A couple of the members have been to the Party Conference and they report back on fringe group meetings and fresh ideas. One of our members objects to being written to by us in the name of Ethel a name that she has always hated. Our computer system is not being helpful.

Tuesday 11th October: Lorna from Chiswick Buzz has asked me to do an interview and I have agreed with some trepidation. The infamous Cadbury “brain-freeze” is still imprinted on my mind. Lorna could not have been nicer but goodness only knows what I said. I join Cllr Todd to discuss the medium term financial strategy (MTFS) with officers at the Civic Centre. Even when a 2% increase in council tax is factored in the cuts and savings so far agreed do little to close the yawning gap between income and expenditure. In evening I attend the Hounslow Cabinet meeting to present my Annual Report as Chairman of the Hounslow Pension Board. This is first time such a report has been presented to Cabinet. Cllr Denison reports to the Cabinet on the MTFS and then issues an invitation for the Conservative Group to come forward with its own proposals. I smile wanly.

Wednesday 12th October: We seem to be getting somewhere with the thorny issue of cyclists using the pavements along Strand on The Green. A date and time has been set for a meeting of the residents Russell Kerr Close to discuss the problems that have arisen from diverting the cycle way from Barnes Passage to Russell Kerr. Some of my best friends are cyclists …..

Thursday 13th October: At Oxford Gardens with Cllr Paul Lynch for a ‘Wardabout’ visit with Hounslow Highways and Hounslow Council staff. Residents have raised issues about the removal of street trees from this cul-de-sac and the replacement of the pavements with tarmac (yuk). Local home owners Sara and Balraj make the case far more eloquently than either Paul or I can manage. The Arboriculturalist explains what can and cannot be done. We all agree that it is sad to see a street denuded of its trees and newly planted trees dead from neglect or abuse. There are some glimmers of hope that Paul and I will need to keep track of in our issues list. We move on to inspect the heavily weathered concrete supports for the railway bridge by Strand on the Green School. Officers agree to contact the right people even though this is technically not a ‘Hounslow’ problem.


October 16, 2016

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