So what made you want to be a Councillor?
Was it a craving for power, a strongly held political stance, a personal crusade or like me was it all down to a certain Pizzeria and their 30 minute delivery pledge?
I was always interested in Local and National politics and could be heard in my workplace or at other venues speaking up for and often defending a certain party line. Far too many people have views on numerous issues but don’t recognise their views as being a political. How and where your children are educated, the quality of your local park, the waste and recycling in your borough, the libraries and leisure centres and when your street is cleaned, resurfaced and repaired (yes those dreaded POTHOLES). All these are Political decisions that residents have a view on but these same residents do not see themselves as being interested in politics.
I found out all I could online about the role and spoke to serving Councillors before I took the plunge myself. But going to a Be a Councillor Seminar in Central London on a wet and windy Saturday morning, really brought home the message. This wasn’t just something I wanted to do; it was something I could do.
As we all know, being a councillor is as rewarding, as it is time consuming but the ability, willingness, knowledge and drive to help others is a fantastic skill set that all 21st Century Cllrs’ must possess. Some of these tools we have in us already, others are garnered through long meetings, reading countless agenda and best of all engaging with the public.
It was while visiting a Councillors surgery, as a member of the public, I went from being just another ‘ward issue’ to an aspiring candidate and now an elected member. I was worried about the increase in Mopeds (the Fast food delivery type) and Motorcycles travelling in the alley between my road and the next. After being advised by my Cllr that to get a kissing gate, I would have to petition residents, speak to the police, at the local school and finally convince the cabinet member at a hearing. Instead of walking away from all of that I decided then that I wanted to Be a Councillor.
The 30 minute £1 off pledge has a lot to answer for.