Stradbroke Parish Council needs change
Stradbroke Parish Council needs to change. The elections on 7th May provide a rare opportunity to ensure that it does. The fact that we have 18 people willing to stand shows that people really care about the future of our village.
The Council needs to change not because it never goes any good because it certainly does. Not because none of its members are any use because that certainly isn't true either. Not even because its members don't care because I think almost all do. It simply needs to change to make it represent the village as it is today.
We have made progress in this respect over the past four years. When I joined the Council in 2011 I was 39 years old. Hardly what you would call young. Only one of the 12 other councillors was younger than me. Today four councillors are.
However we still only have four out of thirteen councillors who are female.
And it isn't just age and gender that is the issue. It is good for a council if people come from different viewpoints and represent different organisations and groups. It is good if people offer different expertise. Its good that some people have jobs and some are retired. That some own land and some people don't.
Constructive debate and better decisions follow I think from a council that is more representative and diverse.
Sadly over the past four years I have found that there is a "dominant view" on many issues within the council and different viewpoints aren't welcomed but resisted. This needs to change.
I have no wish at all to see experienced councillors all removed from the council but I also don't think sitting on a council for decades at a time is healthy. This election gives the opportunity to keep a core of experienced councillors but we have four completely new councillors who have offered to join the council.
These four are:
- Richard Pierce-Saunderson
- Ellie Wharton
- Caroline Barnes
- Brian Goffey
I would encourage these four to be the first crosses you make on the ballot paper. Fresh new voices will make more difference to the council than anything else.