Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Tuesday is Back To Work Day

Strictly speaking I've been working throughout the holiday period, as the out-of-hours sign-in sheets at Hounslow Civic Centre bear witness.

However, despite a two-hour gathering of the Community Safety Partnership on Monday it was yesterday that the "normal" business of meetings and briefings was resumed.

First off was an informal meeting with Housing officers and a Labour councillor to discuss a suggestion he'd made to me in respect of a housing matter in his ward. Despite the adversarial nature of our relationship when in the council chamber it was a sensible and very constructive meeting, beginning with a warm handshake and concluding with me taking on board his ideas which I believed would bring us the benefit of helping to keep a tight-knit community together. It was a welcome departure from his party's traditional refusal to work with members of our Group and a way of conducting political business that I find far more rewarding than the contrived yah-booing that is its traditional preference. I live in hope that it will catch on.

Once the business of that meeting was done with I stayed around for another meeting with the same officers to discuss a number of topical issues that need to be attended to, not least the forthcoming Housing Revenue Account (HRA) budget setting.

Then it was off to Kingston for a couple of hours for a shopping trip to fulfil a promise to my daughter Rosie on her last day before returning to school. It's frightening how quickly they transform from screaming infants to fashion chicks (though still occasionally screaming).

The evening was dominated by an unusually long Executive meeting to which I brought two reports, one recommending a spend of a little over a million pounds to offset a shortfall in the costs of a New Build project, an unfortunate consequence of the credit crunch. Whilst support was not unanimous - one of my Executive colleagues expressing reservations about the principle of building new social housing - my recommendation was carried by a majority on the Executive in spite of my admittedly provocative invocation of Mao Zedong in support of my case. Any coalition necessitates compromise, and in the case of ours it has brought about a pragmatism which I believe to be healthy for our local government and for democracy.

My second turn was a response to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee's recommendations following its Review of Allocations Policy. Whilst all of the recommendations were helpful a few were impractical, one or two were not particularly well thought-out and certain of them conflicted directly with the administration's stated policy. Nonetheless I was pleased to be able to accept a significant majority of the recommendations, and where I wasn't I made it clear that I was prepared to talk further. The Executive supported me on this.

The last meeting, between the two Community Group councillors serving on the Executive, took place at a local hostelry. No minutes were taken, which is probably just as well.

All in a day's work!

10 comments:

roll on 2010 said...

Phil, have you ever stoped to think that it might be you? The Labour Party has never reffused to talk to the ICG it is the other way round, look at the council motion to ban Ann and Alan Keen from council functions and the Civic Centre, started by you! The Labour Party has allways been willing to sit down with the ICG and talk about what your issues are we've come a long way since Vannessa and Pat, theyre not even with us now but you don't seem to have moved on. Deal with it you muppet!

Councillor Phil Andrews said...

Thank you David. Methinks this new positivism of yours is superbly encapsulated by your closing remark.

roll on 2010 said...

My name is not David and you talk out of you ass as usual. Were really looking forward to 2010 when ICG will be OUT in Isleworth and Syon the people hav had ENOUGH of ICG Torys bumlickers.

Councillor Phil Andrews said...

Err...quite.

Eagle-Eye said...

Phil, I think you'll find that this amazingly swift response and the nature of it has been prompted by a letter in todays "Chronicle".
Hell, they even hijacked the main tag line (Roll on 2010).

New Labour presenting other peoples handiwork as their own - fancy that !

Shining Light said...

Doesn't sound to me like they want to parlay with you, assuming this is Hughes the eejit speaking for his party again.

Ah well, all they need to do is wait till 2010 and they'll take Isleworth by storm and reclaim what is rightfully theirs. Now, when did I hear that before?

ROFLMAO

Anonymous said...

Wasssupp you another little fan of Phils then or is Adrian Lee youre hero another stupid inbecil.

Out of season all year round said...

Yeah, you tell 'im mate and no worries you can't talk or write proper like what he can.

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Councillor Phil Andrews said...

Thanks for the advice Hapi, but I'm always suspicious of somebody who can speak fluent geek yet doesn't know what day of the week it is.