Being appreciative of the community in Saffron Walden I stood to be a Councillor first and foremost to play my part in making the town the best it can be. I already understood that we need interested local people to make their time available to keep our area improving, and keep our Councils going in the right direction.
But I stood not just to play my part as a member of the community, but also because elected voices of people my age are in short supply. Those who are working hard to build careers for themselves and homes for their families (without the benefit of retirement!) are necessarily short on time.
But younger people have arguably the greatest stake in the future direction of our towns and villages – we have the most to gain or lose through the decisions of service-providers - and so for this reason alone it is worth promoting younger Councillors.
There is a larger point which we are all familiar with; the more accurately our councils reflect the population the more able they will be to represent the true interests of residents. We also know that groups (such as councils and boards) with a more variable range of backgrounds and experiences make better decisions, due to a diversity of opinion.
There have been numerous occasions when my view as a younger (lets say under fifty!) member have been valuable to the Council – not least on events such as the Carnival and Christmas celebrations. Management of sports facilities, plans for local schools and policies on housing mix are just a few areas where you can imagine those under 50 might have different priorities.
Finally it is worth saying that being a member of the Saffron Walden Town Council has of course been an honour (the Town Council in particular having a long history); it has also been good fun. I have learnt an immeasurable amount about our community and how local government works. So I urge anyone with even a passing interest to get in touch – we are here with answers to any questions.