Jed writes about life as a Devon councillor
Dear Douglas, I’m honoured to be on your blog, but to encourage you to take out the old stuff and put in the new, I’ve done another quick para.
You don’t get to see much movement in local government. To try and get something done is like watching a glacier move. But tonight, as I write this, we are all celebrating–the glacier–and the Earth–moved!
Working with my fellow ward members in tonight’s meeting, we actually convinced East Devon District Council to build a Skate Park in Budleigh Salterton.
A Skate Park!
For those of you unlucky enough not to have visited this part of Deepest Devon, I have to point out that this is a town of retired Lieutenant Colonel, Admirals, Colonials and such, where 50% of the residents are over 50 (Or is it 70% over 70?).
These gentle folk were behind the avalanche of letters of objection that were read out before I could say a word. I represent these residents as well as the non-letter writing youth. So I tried to balance my respect for their views with my personal conviction that we should do something for the younger set. The skateboard set more than helped their cause by raising an incredible £10,000 towards this–so it was certainly not my oratory that won the day.
When the vote was called ( suspense! suspense! ) we won an almost unheard-of unanimous vote. That’s every single Councillor–Conservative–Lib Dem–Independent, all voting YES! And the icing on the cake is that it’s going to be built NOW, not in some far-off political future.
I am elated it’s true, but I promise you I will write of some of the bad days too, but not tonight…
This material ©Jed Falby 2004