A Week in the Life of a Councillor
Monday morning – time to catch up with my case work. I fire off lots of emails to the Borough chasing a housing exchange, a threat of eviction, parking on grass verges, anti-social behaviour and fly tipping. I meet a friend for lunch and then on to the launch of the Craft Bar at the Derngate.
Tuesday. This is a County Council day. It starts with officers briefing on the budget. This makes for grim listening. This government like the previous one is no friend of the County Council. We have to find another £75,000,000 savings next year on top of the savings we have had to make this year. Council tax will go up by 1.95 percent plus the 2% the government has allowed for Social Care. Services will be badly affected. We keep being told they won’t be worse but delivered differently! Do I believe that? No.
The day continues with Shadow Cabinet and Cabinet. Our chance to put an alternative and to hold the administration to account. I point out the folly of past Council Tax freezes. It has had a huge and negative impact on our base budget.
I note there is another planning application in my ward to turn another family house into flats. I send in an objection.
Wednesday. Today is friends day at Elim church. I am going to meet the Ghana community there. This evening I have a meeting with the Boroughs Shadow Cabinet. We look at the Cabinet papers and decide who will speak on what. We will also have ideas about our alternative budget. We bring in items for the foodbanks.
Thursday. I have Corporate Parenting Board and then a Borough Cllrs. group visit to Oasis House. In the afternoon I host a youth group who want to tour the Guildhall. What do they think of votes at 16 I wonder?
Friday. I attend Community Law AGM. In the evening it is the Labour groups meeting to discuss Council business ready for full Council on Monday. Our focus is on the Housing Crisis. All week I have had phone calls and emails about housing issues. Overcrowding is a huge issue.
Saturday. It is the Polish Carol Concert and Award Ceremony. I am working hard to find the Polish school classrooms for January because they are going to be homeless. I n the afternoon I meet with BAME Colleagues. In the evening it is an evening of poetry and song with Colleagues.
Sunday. Time to unwind. But first the NBA awards Ceremony. Great presentations and a short play brilliantly done. Hurrah for some family time.