I have now been a local councillor for nearly 3 years ... its often a thankless task with heavy wadges of bureaucratic papers and endless meetings but from time to time it is also the chance to do little things that just might help.
I live in a middle sized village, and as a councillor I represent seven smaller neighbour villages too. We are very rural - it is ten miles to a bank, further still to a police station but there have been a number of frightening break-ins. How does one reduce crime?
The public transport here is useless for commuters so cars are a necessity. Our village's carbon footprint is frightening... how do we reduce it?
Like many communities we struggle to find people with time on their hands to give to voluntary work.
Last month I put two notices in the village mag. I wasn't holding high hopes. One was to find volunteers for neighbourhood watch schemes. The second was to find people interested in helping to save power.
I'm glad to report that the village has come up trumps. Tonight's meeting set up four new neighbourhood watches.
On the "carbon" issue; working with the district council I am promised a handful of electricity monitors for use by residents. Within hours of the village mag hitting the doorstep three village volunteers have offered to run a library scheme so their neighbours can work out what's eating their electricity.... and today I had an email from a village nearly 20 miles away in a different county asking how they could do the same.