Someone emailed me about a number of posts and offered the thought that I appear to really hate my local councillor- Deirdre Alden. (I sometimes really struggle to spell her name but that’s more to do with my brain than any feelings I have)
I don’t hate her. I may disagree with her on issues and sometimes how she approaches things but that’s the beauty of a democracy. I may have voted for someone else but that doesn’t mean I lose my right to an opinion or a chance to try and influence what she does. I live in Edgbaston, she’s elected to represent the Edgbaston ward therefore I get to hold her accountable for the things she says and does. I respect the work she does and talking to residents around the Priory Estate not many people understand the remit of her role. It can’t be easy having people thinking your an MP when you’re actually a councillor. I pay my council tax and my taxes, I vote in the elections and any good elected official should want to hear from their community, regardless of how they voted. Otherwise we’re veering into a frightening land where work is only done on the proviso of a guaranteed vote or people being spied on when they speak out being critical of an elected official. I want Mrs Alden to stay my councillor in Edgbaston and I think she could do more to enfranchise more residents across the ward.
I do exactly the same for my local MP, Giesla Stuart. When I’ve got an issue or an action I want to campaign on, I’ve got my foot ready to kick and my hand ready to support. I’ve offered to help deliver leaflets on many issues, particularly ones that affect the residents of Century Tower, where I live. I’m keen to see other residents get the most from both the councillors and MP’s. And where I think they’ve gone wrong or said the wrong thing or done something that needs calling out then I’ll happily speak up- for instance pointing out where Mrs Alden’s elbow is in relation to the arts. I’m also ready to give credit where it’s due.
I lobby my local officials because I care and I hold them accountable because I respect them too much to just let them wander along without any resident input.