Monday, 8 April 2013
Communication - what does it really mean?
This is the first of a number of blog posts I am going to write to discuss and cover issues for the local elections next month. I want to cover a number of themes, including what I believe I have achieved as a Councillor in Whittlesey, some opposition issues and, importantly, bringing out relevant issues for the Town, including highlighting the priorities (both local and National) that were brought out in the survey I did last year.
To stand as a Councillor, one of the things that is vital is to be able to show, not only what you have to offer, but what you have already contributed to the Town. I was able to do this way back in 1999 when I first stood as a Town Councillor having been a school Governor for 3 years at Alderman Jacobs School during a period of real change and progress. I have never stopped being a Governor at Alderman Jacobs and have just started my 5th term, I have also just started my 4th term as a Governor at Sir Harry Smith. It would have been really easy to have made excuses to stand down in these roles, but the truth is, I enjoy them. I also enjoy the opportunities they give me to engage with young people. I try hard to communicate with the people I serve, and that includes young people.
Communication is, I believe, another area that sets me apart from others. I am constantly complimented for the way I have used technology to communicate. I have had my own website and blog for many, many years and now also use Twitter and Facebook to communicate. Both of these are not just tools to give out information, but really helpful ways of searching out and discovering what others are saying about Whittlesey. It is interesting that none of the candidates standing against me seem to have engaged in areas like Twitter (although I wouldn't put it past anyone to put up a token Twitter account during the election), this is not just a statement about the use of Twitter, it is the real statement about willingness to communicate.
However, I have done more than that, having held a couple of "politics in the pub" events to discuss the impacts of the parliamentary boundary review on Whittlesey and delivered occasional leaflets. As well as this I continue to write a monthly column for Discovering Whittlesey and invite comments when I do.
I would suggest that when you look at who you vote for, think about how important communication from your local Councillor is, and whether any of your candidates in Whittlesey North are likely to match what I do? And remember communication for a Councillor is about reaching out to receive information, not just giving information out.
However, I am also looking at a few different options post election, including holding localised surgeries using door-knocking and leaflet drops to communicate at a very local level, not just to hear about issues, but to talk to residents about their solutions to those problems. A good couple of examples where this might work is when looking at speeding issues in areas like Stonald Road, or the parking problem outside our schools.
Posted by Martin Curtis at 08:02