Keeping local people informed about what I’m up to as a local councillor needs constant effort. Producing a ward newsletter is a good way to provide an update and invite feedback.
The ward I serve as a local councillor has just over 8000 residents living in just under 4000 homes. There are larger issues in the area that impact on everyone, and other concerns that affect certain neighbourhoods, estates, or just individual streets. Being a councillor therefore involves ‘having a finger in many pies’, ‘spinning lots of plates’, or whatever your preferred idiom might be! Deciding who needs to know what, and when, is quite a challenge.
This week, together with my ward colleague Cllr Cath Davis, and with the help of faithful volunteers from our local Labour Party branch, we’ve been distributing a ward newsletter to every home. The cost of producing the newsletter is self-funded, and is therefore something we put a proportion of our councillor ‘allowance’ towards. We write and design it ourselves too, we can’t call on the resources of the council to help with that as the newsletter is classed as ‘political’.
In this summer’s edition (we try to produce four newsletters a year) we focus on the success of the local road safety campaigns that we’ve been working on over the last couple of years. Having waiting a long time for anything to happen we had two new crossings arrive at once. We also update on anti-social behaviour issues, discuss how we can help the local economy recover after Covid-19, and issue a challenge to the local Conservatives around their use of misleading publicity.
You can read an electronic copy of the newsletter below…