I’m in a position to make a difference
SINCE being elected in May I have been asked many times ‘what does a Cheshire East Councillor do?’
The most important role of a councillor is to represent residents in their ward area.
Being an Independent councillor allows me to voice opinions and vote on issues such as the Local Plan on behalf of the residents of the ward rather than following party policy.
As a councillor, I am in a position where I able to make a real difference to residents’ lives and improve the area they live in.
However this is only possible by being accessible to residents, especially listening and talking to them.
What is the best way to know what issues are concerning residents at any given time? There is no one best way to do this; I think being a long term resident in the ward I represent helps, as I am able to talk to friends, neighbours and people I meet every day about issues.
I regularly speak to our local police officers, as well as holding regular surgeries to gauge what issues are concerning people.
Surgeries are important, they provide residents a chance to meet councillors and discuss their problems or concerns face to face. The quarterly newsletter I produce at my own expense for every household, details what I have done over the previous period and seeks opinions from residents on local issues, as well as providing all my contact details and surgery dates.
In my opinion this is the best way to keep people informed.
Obviously the other important role of a councillor is being part of committees, especially those that scrutinise decisions taken by the leader and the Cabinet, which is a subject I may focus on in my next column in October.