The Independent Community Group (ICG) will be hosting a Public Meeting at the Isleworth Working Men's Club in St. John's Road, Isleworth on Friday 23rd May, starting at 7.30 pm.
We are hoping that all six community councillors will be present at the meeting, and available to answer questions from members of the public about what they have been doing in their various posts and positions, as well as giving some insight into our plans for the remaining two years of the current council.
Those who have been with us throughout that fantastic voyage which commenced with our formation on 1st January 1994 will be mindful of just how far we have come since those days, when five or six comrades would sit around a beer-soaked table with me in the now-demolished Harlequin pub and bemoan the unfairness of the old administration's shenanigans which kept them off their own residents' association.
Most of those who serve the Group today were not involved in that particular battle, and have no first-hand experience of the issues which led to the creation of the ICG and forced our entry into the electoral fray which resulted in us having a councillor elected in 1998, three councillors elected in 2002, and six councillors elected in 2006 to a council with a new administration of which we are now part, with myself being given responsibility for the part of the Housing portfolio which oversees the local authority's relationship with Hounslow Homes and our various residents' associations around the borough. Nevertheless the principles and the desire for fairness and openness which inspired the creation of the ICG back in 1994 remain with every one of us as we set about the business of trying to reshape the local authority and imbue it with a new culture of transparency.
The ICG Public Meeting - much beloved of our first Chair, the late Tom Reader, and the Class of '94 - doesn't look a lot different today to those we held in those uncertain times. Whilst we crammed 200 people into Isleworth Public Hall last year to discuss the possible imposition of Controlled Parking Zones in and around South Street and St. John's Road, we are still capable of drawing in less than twenty on a bad day. It tends to depend on what the big issues are at the time.
Hopefully there is enough going on, and sufficient questions to be asked, to inspire a good crowd along to the IWMC on May 23rd. The Public Meeting is where we learned our trade, and in these heady days of Executive meetings and training conferences we forget our roots at our peril.