I have been a councillor for almost 14 years now and during this time have developed important and productive relationships with the four parish councils and two parish meetings in my Ward.
The parish council is really a rather magnificent and ancient organisation of volunteers of no particular political persuasion, driven by a sense of duty and desire to improve the communities they serve.
On a regular basis, I and my fellow Ward councillor, David, help to resolve their difficulties. For the Etwall Ward, flooding, groundwater and drainage concerns top the list as the most complex and problematic, with planning and planning infringements coming a close second, followed by littering and dog fouling. These form a weekly pattern of work for us.
As Chairman of the Area Forum for the NW parishes, I am also in a position to further shine the spotlight on their problems, helping to secure solutions and if appropriate, access to funding streams. Recently, Egginton’s wonderful Norman church was subjected to repeated lead roof thefts which had twice ruined their beautiful church organ. The music had stopped. The building was at risk. Through the Forum and with access to safer neighbourhood funds, a security system has been purchased and the church wardens and our worshippers can sleep easier at night knowing St Wilfrids is now protected.
By opening doors we help to make life just that bit better for our communities. It is both our role and our reward.