With some sadness, I resigned as a Councillor from Ivybridge Town Council effective 7th February 2012.
The last 9 months have given me the belief that the Council wishes to work in a significantly more ‘traditional’ way than I can cope with. For me personally email is a key aspect to how I work, and the only way I could hope to communicate with everyone I need to, given the hours I work.
I am physically unable to commit my time to face-to-face meetings for simple things such as raising questions, whilst still operating a business and hoping to still have a family life.
Before becoming a Councillor, I wouldn’t have believed that an organisation operating in today’s world, would or could take a strong position against using email. I do not believe, as some people have suggested, that there is any attempt to stifle debate or disclosure. Rather I believe that it can be explained in terms of people who are used to working in a different way and prefer to continue with the familiar.
All that said and done, it has been very interesting being a Town Councillor. I have made some great friendships that I hope will continue. I have had the chance to learn about some amazing people who give so generously of themselves and their time for the benefit of others and with virtually no public recognition. I am still stunned and embarrassed at how little I can do compared to these fantastic people. Groups such as the Community First Responders (see http://goo.gl/pAixo and http://goo.gl/4skFB) who literally save lives!
Sure there have been frustrations, but in total it has been without doubt a positive experience.
I would recommend to anyone who wants to become more involved in their local area and help be part of the solution to challenges rather than just moan about them, to consider standing as a Local Town / Parish Councillor – and if you’re in Ivybridge, I happen to know of a vacancy 😉