WEEKEND WEB: Councillors must be visible and available
CABINET CALL: A weekly column written by members of South Holland District Council’s Cabinet. This week with: COUN GARY TAYLOR
In my first Cabinet Call article for 2018, I am going to touch briefly on the discussions which families and businesses have at this time of year. It’s briefly looking back over the past year and then looking ahead and planning future plans of actions and priorities.
As you know, a common criticism of politicians at all levels is that of broken promises, failing to deliver on promises, being out of touch and only being visible at election times.
I have questioned each one of those points and I don’t believe that is the situation with my department or our council.
We are on track with delivering the corporate priorities as promised, such as the enhanced CCTV and have responded to public concern and made improvements to our leisure centres, as well as continuing to invest in local community events such as the popular 1940s event, open arts competition and the pumpkin festival.
Councillors must continue to be available and visible in order to represent their communities, stand up for residents’ concerns and give a voice to the most isolated and vulnerable in our community.
Social media has an ever-increasing role to play, however it does not replace more traditional ways of communicating or receiving or sending information.
I have recently seen case studies for our CCTV, which shows success stories in identifying and gathering evidence, but only when incidents are correctly reported by using the official methods.
Thousands of people may be reading about a particular incident and commenting on social media about the lack of action, but unless these incidents are officially reported the authorities are unaware of the particular incident.
It’s a numbers game and reporting the official figures can help to produce a business case for more resources into an area.
We demonstrated this recently by putting together a business case to a government fund in order to recruit community wardens into our district.
Later this year they will be seen to patrol our towns and villages and work with police and partners in order to provide information, education and enforcement.
This is because we have listened to the concerns of our communities and are taking action in order to support our law-abiding residents and delivering on our priorities in order to make South Holland a pleasant environment in which to work, socialise, retire and do business.