Wednesday, 13 June 2012

A new year at the council

Last night was the first meeting of the Planning and Environment committee and the Community and Leisure committee.

Neither committees existed before the AGM last month when we agreed to swap around the existing committees and add an extra one to help deliver all the things we want to deliver over the next year or two.

I was asked to go on both the Planning and Environment committee and Community and Leisure committee at last month's full council meeting and at one of last night's meetings I was asked to sit on the allotments sub-committee.

I'm sure many people think being a parish councillor is nothing more than spending a couple of hours a month drinking tea and complaining about litter but it's really not.  You can do nothing but spend a couple of hours a month drinking tea and complaining about litter if you want but you're not going to achieve much and you'll soon get on everyone's nerves.

Being on three committees I'm now committed to around 5 hours of council meetings a month before I do anything else.  This Saturday I will be at the Pot Your Own Day outside Progress House to try and find some Stirchley residents who might be interested in setting up a Stirchley Improvement Group to mirror the fantastic work Brookside Improvement Group (BIG) do in Brookside.  I haven't been able to make it to the last couple of BIG meetings but I would normally attend at least one BIG meeting every month.  I haven't been able to make the last couple of regeneration meetings either but I would normally attend those meetings when they are held.  I wander around the estate from time to time to see if I can spot anything that needs attention - fly tipping, damaged road furniture, overgrown trees and bushes, etc.  I also deal with requests for information or help from residents.

As well as doing my job as a councillor, I have a full time job, a wife and four children.  Apparently there is such a thing as "spare time" but I've yet to figure out what it is!  Being a councillor - even a parish councillor - can be demanding at times but I personally find it very rewarding and would certainly recommend it to anyone community minded.