What do our councillors THINK? What do our councillors DO?

30 Jan

We have 7 district councillors in the Sid Valley area:  Councillors Wale, Drew, Hughes, Troman, Kerridge, Sullivan and Newth,.  CLICK HERE (have list see below) to see a list of the various committees, think tanks and other responsibilities they have.

So, between them, they go to LOTS and LOTS of meetings but what do WE know about what THEY do?

Well, we can read minutes of (some of) the meetings they attend.  But that doesn’t help us much as minutes from East Devon are somewhat sanitised.

We CANNOT read minutes or ever find about  any of the “Think Tanks” they attend nor can we ever know about the various secret meetings they attend such as the Office Relocation Working Party.

So, where can we get our information on what THEY are doing for US?

Occasionally (and more frequently near to election time) we read about the wonderful things they have done for us in the newspapers.   And, somewhat less occasionally (though, again, more often nearer to election time) we read letters from them in newspapers.

The point here?  Well, nowadays how do people communicate?  Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Podcasts.  But, I hear some of you say, this is stuff for young people.  ABSOLUTELY NOT.  New media has no age limits.  Many of you will have Facebook pages, some will have Twitter acounts.

And what about our councillors?  Well, apart from Councillor Hughes who did at least make a “very memorable” rap video” to encourage young people to take an interest in planning issues and who in his “normal” life is a disc jockey and radio host – NOTHING, NADA, RIEN, ZERO.

Contrast this with local politicians in other areas, some of them quite close to us.  There are literally thousands of local councillors all over the country keeping their electors informed, telling them what they have been doing, telling them what they are going to be doing and telling them what other people are doing.

Does it matter that our local councillors are not keeping us informed.  Yes it does, because unless we know what THEY are doing for US we cannot make informed choices about whether what they are doing is in our best interests.

The best councillors are those who use every kind of communication method available to them to get their message across AND ask for feedback.  The worst ones are those who do not communicate at all and have nothing but contempt for the people who put them in office.

Those in between really need to decide which side of the fence they are on.  New media is not going to go away – and could be the difference between re-election and no election.

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