The ChiswickCalendar reveals Chiswick’s most hardworking councillor

Image above: Cllr John Todd and Cllr Jack Emsley

Cllr John Todd, representing Homefield ward

The Chiswick Calendar can reveal who is Chiswick’s most hardworking councillor – Cllr John Todd, who represents Homefield ward.

Chiswick has nine wards represented on Hounslow Council. LB Hounslow keeps tabs on how much work the councillors do by recording the requests for help from constituents that they follow up. LB Ealing does not do this, so Chiswick’s Lib Dem councillors in Ealing’s Southfield ward may cry foul and take issue with our conclusions.

John processed 298 pieces of casework since he was re-elected last May. He is closely followed by Joanna Biddolph with 238 pieces of casework. None of the others even come close. The rest have only managed double figures. (To be fair, they do mostly have full time jobs such as teacher, head teacher, university administrator).

Leading the way with his exemplary casework, John Todd’s ward is the one in which you are most likely to get some help from your councillors. Chiswick Gunnersbury is not far behind, boosted by Joanna Biddolph’s powerhouse of activity, but Chiswick Riverside trails way behind, despite boasting the leader of the Conservative group Peter Thompson within its ranks (who has managed to do only about half the amount of casework the new Labour councillor Amy Croft has achieved).

One to watch is Jack Emsley – though only elected last year, and working full time in marketing, he has managed to get his head round the system and outshine all his colleagues with the exception of John and Joanna. The other new councillor, Amy Croft also appears to be working harder for constituents than some of her Conservative colleagues.

Here are the figures:

Image above: Table of casework carried out by Chiswick councillors representing wards in LB Hounslow; one to watch, Jack Emsley

The figures in the table above represent the work the councillors log in the Council’s casework system which have been acted on by Council officials. Councillors receive a request for help and notify the relevant department, for example in the case of flytipping, the waste management team.

Once it is logged in the system, officers have a statutory duty to reply, so the casework figures in the table represent the number of times councillors have raised an issue and received a response from an officer.

The biggest flaw in the system which councillors describe is that if there are follow-ups to a query, chasing the Council for updates on a family’s position on the housing waiting list for example, these are not logged.

Cllr Jack Emsley, Homefield ward, LB Hounslow

Jack Emsley, elected for the first time last year, told The Chiswick Calendar:

“I’ve loved getting stuck in as a new councillor over the last 12 months. The role has been incredibly varied, from working with our brilliant Assembly Member to secure a new pedestrian crossing at the Hartington Road/A316 junction, to taking action to protect local biodiversity by supporting the work of some of our fantastic local community groups.

“A quick breakdown of my casework shows that the biggest single issue has, perhaps unsurprisingly, been traffic and transport, with just over a third of my cases related to topics such as tackling speed or helping residents navigate the labyrinth that is the council’s poorly thought-out Grove Park traffic schemes.

“Housing, and in particular housing maintenance, has also been high on the agenda, as has tackling fly tipping and antisocial behaviour.”

Cllr Andrew Steed, Southfield ward, LB Ealing

Andrew Steed, one of Southfield’s three Lib Dem councillors told us Ealing does not monitor their work flow at all. Instead they rely on work of mouth reputation as to how effective they are as councillors.

“The amount of casework varies and in Southfield we will pass on issues if one of us has a particular expertise or knowledge of a topic or an issue. If particular issues or problems arise you can have a sudden flood of emails, this happened when Ealing Council restricted use of Fisher’s Lane for example.

“I think the main point I would make is that often we are contacted because residents have been unable to ‘get through’ to the Council, or they send an email that never gets acknowledged or answered.

“The problem may be comparatively minor and in theory easily fixable but if you are hanging on the phone for fifteen minutes and then get an unsatisfactory answer, you can and should contact your local Councillor. The advantage we have is that in most cases we know the officer to contact directly.”

How to contact your councillors

Chiswick Homefields ward, LB Hounslow

Cllr John Todd (Conservative)  / 07866 784651

Cllr Jack Emsley (Conservative)  / 07977 396017

Cllr Gerald McGregor(Conservative)  / 07866 784821

Chiswick Gunnersbury (previously Turnham Green) ward, LB Hounslow

Cllr Joanna Biddolph (Conservative)  / 07976 703446

Cllr Ranjit Gill (Conservative)  / 07976 702956

Cllr Ron Mushiso (Conservative)  / 07976 702887

Chiswick Riverside ward, LB Hounslow

Cllr Peter Thompson (Conservative)  / 07977 395810

Cllr Gabriella Giles (Conservative)  / 07966 270823

Cllr Amy Croft (Labour)  / 07977 396014

Southfield ward, LB Ealing

Cllr Andrew Steed (Lib Dem)  / 07736 649664

Clly Gary Malcolm (Lib Dem) / 07813 205218

Cllr Gary Busuttil (Lib Dem) / 07985 443860

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

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