On saturday I went out for a drink with a couple of friends, one of which I hadn’t seen since I got elected. We discussed various things from film to sport and politics and what was going on in each of our lives and I tried to explain what it is a actually do now I’m a councillor.
Now I love being a councillor and the rewards it brings in trying to help and make a difference in peoples lives and being able to improve things for people. I choose to put myself forward for this and I was fortunate that the people of Stoke Park put their faith in me to represent them. But it does have its challenges and time management is one of them, I am not unique in this challenge like some of my fellow “younger” councillors I juggle my councillor responsibilities with working full time and family life.
As I have already said I volunteered for this and this post is not a “oh look how hard we work statement” but after an unprecedented busy week I thought it would be good to give some insight in to the challenges we face. By nature the kind of people who put them self forward as councillors are already community spirited hence why they want to get involved, They also are often involved with other organisations,voluntary groups or as school governor already.
So an example of the challenges we face in a week. The week starting 11th Feb for my day job I was working a 9:30 to 17:30 shift after work I make my way to Grafton House for our Labour group meeting that starts at 18:00 and lasts a couple of hours.
Tue 12th was my nephews 5th birthday so I went to see him before I started work,my lunch break was spent chasing up some case work for a resident by e-mail when I finished work at 17:30 I called the resident by phone to give them an update. I then went to a meeting with ISCRE board of trustees to discuss the charity’s performance over the year and the upcoming challenges. After the meeting while walking along St Nicolas street at around 20:45 I came across a couple of young women who had been in a car crash. As the first person there I comforted the visibly upset and shaken women and with the assistance of another passer by contacted the emergency services. I then contacted the drivers boyfriend and gave my statement to the police.
Weds 13th after the events of the previous night it was a much quieter day. Another 9:30 to 17:30 workday lunch was once again spent chasing casework up for another resident and for the first time all week no meeting after work so a night off.
Thur 14th 9:30 to 17:30 workday on this day my lunch was spent supporting the one billion rising campaign to raise awareness and stop violence against woman and girls. I met the people taking part at the Giles Statue in town centre, it was also a chance to speak to some of the people involved who were also involved in other endeavours as well and I discussed the possibility of doing some mentoring for young black men looking for positive role models with someone at the event.I got to show of my dancing skills as part of the flashmob. Then it was back to work. After work it was off to overview and scrutiny meeting.
Fri 15th 9:30 to 17:30 work shift. Another lunchtime appointment as I met up with Suffolk Trading Standards to collect my introduction pack to the Consumer Champions network which I’ve joined as I feel it will be a useful tool to help my residents. Back to work then when work finished headed in to Stoke Park for the a residents association meeting when this finished at around 20:30 I had to head across town to pick my son up from my mums as he was staying with me until Saturday evening.
Sat 16th weekend and some family time. My nephew was having a toboggan party at suffolk ski slope so me and my son joined him his friends and family members there. Then spent the afternoon spending some quality time with my son. After dropping him back round his mothers at 18:00 I went to meet up with some friends for a catch up.
And then we reach today Sun 17th more family time as I visit my Nan in the morning. The afternoon is then spent trying to fit a weeks housework in to a few hours. And a chance to update my blog.
So there you go not a typical week in the life of but Hopefully gives some idea of what we do and the time challenges and lifestyle juggling we face as many people in society do nowadays