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What Its Like To Be A Councillor
Elections beckon, so begins the round of public meetings. Yesterday I joined a Panel of local Political luminaries to be interrogated by Barnet 55+ Forum. Around one hundred members of the Forum turned out.
The organisers had sent out advanced notice of the questions. I did not do much preparation. I believe that these meetings should be spontaneous and dynamic, but I did get a bit worried when I saw that the MP panel member was carrying a thick file of papers.
I am not sure that audiences are too impressed when politicians reel off loads of statistics. The entire panel were asked whether they would commit their respective parties to support the Forums’ proposals on a range of issues to do with, Health, Pensions, Social Care and public engagement. I must say that I did not find this difficult as most of what they wanted is Liberal Democrat Policy!
Elections were in the air at the Town Hall later on in the evening. I arrived early for the scheduled meeting so sat in for a short while on the Chief Executives briefing to new prospective council candidates. I was joined at the back of the room by a couple more seasoned Councillors. We probably looked like second formers surveying the potential new intake in that kind of world weary way.
The Chief Executive explained the rules about standing as a candidate. He then gave details of how the count will be conducted. The election count will be held at North London Business Park on May 6th. If as it seems likely the General Election is held on the same day then the General Election votes will be counted on Thursday night. The local election count will not commence until 10.30 on Friday. Oh happy days.
I had to leave just as the leader of Crawley Council started his talk on what it is like to be a Councillor. I was due with the others at a meeting next door. This was the Corporate Joint Negotiation and Consultation Committee. This is where the Employers (us) meet with the Trade Unions. The meeting is held in private so I can not tell you what was discussed.
The meeting started at 7pm and was concluded by 715pm. The meeting we had just left was still going on. I continued on walking down the corridor and out the Town Hall. I got home in time to watch my team Leeds United lose to Millwall, and suffer another blow to automatic promotion hopes.