Back In The Throes Of Council Work As Summer Ends

Local councillor Sam Hearn writes a blog about his week


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Council Meeting Cancelled Due To 'Lack Of Business'

A Mini Roundabout Sign That Can Only Be Seen By Pedestrians

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Councillor Sam Hearn

Friday 1st September:
Spent a couple of hours catching up on emails sent to my Hounslow Councillor email address. I have recently been receiving a huge number of council related emails on my personal email address and falling behind on those sent to my council email address. I took the council provided I-Pad on holiday with me in August which stopped too much of a back log building up. I devoted a couple of hours to taking someone who wishes to run in the Riverside Conservative Council hustings around the ward. Nice to be reminded that several pieces of residents’ casework have been satisfactorily resolved – for example the bonkers diversion of Barnes Passage into Russell Kerr Drive has finally been reversed. The candidate had a printout of all the issues logged over the last few months on a complaints website. Times have changed and I need to keep ahead of the game.

Saturday 2nd September: Off to Latimer House near Chenies for a family wedding. It was a wonderful and happy event in such beautiful surroundings. It is hard to believe that we are only 10 minutes from the M25. This is an area that I know well from my (failed) trout tickling youth but I have never been to “The Big House” before. My great Uncle Frank was Head Gardener for Lord Chesham on this estate before WW2 but he did not survive the Battle before Caen in 1944.

Sunday 3rd September: After a hearty breakfast and a service in the Estate Church it was on from Latimer to a meeting of Charity trustees at Shillingford Bridge - another beautiful spot. Later a meeting with Cllr McGregor working on detailed responses to council and party issues.

Monday 4th September: I wanted to attend the Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting (of which I am not a member) but it clashed with a meeting of my Riverside Ward Committee. Cllr Todd attended the Scrutiny Committee and reported that members were told that in 2018/19 Council Tax will go up by a minimum 1.99%. The social care precept could add a further 2%. Hounslow’s Labour Group appear to have abandoned all pretence that they can manage the Council’s cost base down. Too many overspends and too few provisions? Wishful thinking I suppose that London’s Labour Mayor will drop the surcharge for the Olympics now the bills have all been paid?

Tuesday 5th September: Complaints from residents that Hounslow Highways are leaving the grass clippings behind when they cut the grass verges despite previous assurances that this would stop. Emails are flying around after the last meeting of the Chiswick Pier Trustees mainly about the Developer’s plans for Pissarros .

Wednesday 6th September: Residents are concerned about a spate of burglaries within an area bounded by a few streets. Frustrating and annoying if it is happening to you. The Police seem to be on to this. A small gathering at my house to review some technical aspects of the 2018 Local Authority Campaign. Some strong personalities violently agreeing with each other – I knew that it was a mistake to serve the wine so early in the evening.

Thursday 7th September: In the Civic Centre to look at and discuss TfL’s draft plans for Cycle Superhighway 9. TfL had invited Chiswick Cllrs to a meeting to gather our views ahead of the launch of the public consultation on the 19th September. It is an ambitious scheme that directly affects all three Chiswick Wards and its residents and is of course just one link in a far bigger project. TfL will be make a presentation at the Chiswick Area Forum on the 26th and public exhibitions will allow residents the opportunity to ask questions and comment. This must be the largest scheme that I have ever been asked to comment on as a councillor.

September 9, 2017

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