by Nigel Bakhai on 8 June, 2013
After two years with a 100% perfect attendance record, the figures for the council year 2012/13 show that I attended 42 out of a possible 43 meetings or 98% of council meetings I was due to attend.
I attended all 8 of the full council meetings (these are meetings of all 69 councillors represented in the borough), 8 Health Scutiny panels, 3 Elthorne ward forums, and 10 Planning committee meetings. I also subbed for another Lib Dem member when they were unavailable on Employment committee, Scrutiny Panel 1 (Misuse of Alcohol) and twice on Overview and Scrutiny Committee. However, the records show that I missed one of the 10 planning site visits – these are the Saturday morning visits to view development sites before they go to the next Planning committee. Unfortunately, the one I missed clashed with the Lib Dem Spring conference in Brighton and I had already arranged to go down early to visit my family when I agreed to swop with Cllr Ball to cover the following week’s planning committee. Even accounting for the fact that I missed one meeting, I still attended 10 more meetings than the previous year. As a comparison, the Labour councillor only attended 25 out of a possible 32 meetings or 78% attendance record. In his case, he missed all 4 of his planning site visits, as well as a Health Scrutiny panel and two meetings of Scrutiny Panel 3 (Public Service Reform).
However, the records do not show that I also attended an additional planning committee and site visit to raise the concerns of some Elthorne residents with QPR’s proposed new training ground at Warren Farm. As with other years, though, attendance at council meetings is only part of a job of a councillor. I have attended numerous meetings with council officers which are not included in the attendance records such as planning training sessions, meetings with transport officers to discuss their major projects, briefings with finance officers prior to setting the council budget, as well as with the street services team over the problems with the rubbish and recycling contract. The Lib Dem council group also regularly meets with Martin Smith, the Chief Executive of Ealing Council. Moreover, this year I went on an inspection tour of the Green Man Lane estate with housing officers to identify any repairs needed. I also attended both consultation events run by the council over proposed changes to the Uxbridge Road corridor in Hanwell and West Ealing. I have also attended public meetings over the London Mayor’s plans to change policing and the fire service across the capital. Besides this, I also went to support the Olympic torch relay in Hanwell and at Walpole Park, and I have twice marched from Southall to Ealing Common against the planned closure of local A&Es in the last 12 months.
In addition to all these council meetings, I regularly attend the Elthorne ward police panel, and I am a council representative on the Ealing Community and Police Consultative Group. On top of this, I have tried to go to as many meetings of other local organisations that have an interest in Elthorne ward as time will allow over the year including the Olde Hanwell residents’ association, Hanwell Community Forum, and West Ealing Centre Neighbourhood Forum to make sure that I hear the views of residents and raise their concerns with the council. Finally, like most other councillors, I have dealt with numerous items of casework on all manner of issues over the course of the year including street cleaning, housing, licensing, planning, parking and community safety. More recently, I have been liaising with council officers to restore power to Hanwell Clock and proposals to redevelop St John’s Primary School. Furthermore, work has taken place this year to regenerate King George’s Field in Hanwell, largely as a result of my efforts to pull together the funding to support this project. I very much enjoy my role as a councillor and hope with all this work that I am making a positive contribution to our community and the local area. Please feel free to get in touch if you think I can help with any issue you may have with the council.Leave a comment