A steep learning curve…but I’m already making a difference

May 31, 2011 § 1 Comment

This is my first blogpost since the may 5th local elections, where I was very humbled to be elected to Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council and Barwell Parish Council as a Liberal Democrat.

These were the first ever elections I’ve ever stood in and, boy, the count was truly nerve-wracking.

In my former profession of journalism I’d covered several elections…but it is certainly a more nervous time when you’re the one up for election.

Since election day (or, rather, the day after when the actual count took place in Hinckley and Bosworth, at Hinckley Leisure Centre) it’s been a whirlwind of meetings, training, goodwill messages, and people leaving me in no uncertain terms as to what they want to see happen over the next four years.

I’ll admit, at times, it’s all seemed rather daunting…even for someone as normally self-confident as me!

At one and the same time it is exciting, daunting, challenging, exhilarating and nerve-wracking.

I’m doing a lot of listening, a lot of learning from my fellow Lib Dem Councillor’s…especially those who’ve been on the authority for a long time; they are like mentors.

At the same time, I know the responsibility my own personal mandate gives me to always be seeking to deliver the changes/improvements, etc, that my constituents want.

To paraphrase the great former Liberal leader, Lord David Steel, when making his maiden speech in the House of Commons, I may be one of the babies of my local Borough Council (i.e. one of its youngest members) but babies have a tendency to cry and I’ll certainly be crying out on behalf of my constituents.

I already feel like I’m making a difference and look forward to continuing to do so.

 

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§ One Response to A steep learning curve…but I’m already making a difference

  • Neil says:

    Mathew,

    I’ve a somewhat similar experience of election counts in that I covered a fair few as a journalist (and enjoyed them) but was also a losing candidate in May 2007 so have felt lows and indifferent, professional thoughts, in the past. Now, having been elected on May 5 (well, May 6, as that’s when the count was!) I can happily say I have experienced the highs, too.

    I think the most difficult thing as a new councillor (not to mention a planning councillor and a member of the council’s executive) is having people come with problems that are outside of my control, no matter how much I’d love to help. There is plenty I can do, but there is so much more I’d like to be able to do!

    I’m sure you’ll use your new position (or, positions, as you are also a parish councillor) for good – I’m trying to set myself goals of what I want to accomplish and then work out how to go about them. In a way, I don’t think councillors should dictate policy, but rather find out what people want and then try and find a way of doing what they want.

    As for training and inductions…it’s a heck of a learning curve and I could have written a lot of this blog post myself! Different parts of the country, different parties, but the key issue is serving the electorate in the way they want. If councillors focus on that, they can’t go too far wrong.

    Good luck with it all, as I see it being a councillor is as rewarding as the positives you can bring to people. And I look forward to bringing as many positives as possible.

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