2 Jun 2011
Green and Seen - my first weeks as a Councillor
Less than a month after being elected, I'm already getting busy with council work. Here's some of the things that have been happening:
I have been appointed to the St Albans City Forum - a consultative body that discusses and makes recommendations about issues affecting central St Albans. This will help me to keep up to date with what's happening, and to meet local activists. I've filled in declarations of interest and so on, uploaded my biography, and had my official photo taken (see above!) - my councillor page is here.
I've been to a day-long training course for new councillors, run by the Council, had a tour of the building, and met all the heads of department. I've had conversations with the leaders of all the other parties, and Independent councillor, Tony Swendell, and I are forming an Independent/Green 'group' on the council. This will give us more rights than as individual members, and make it easier to propose motions. There will be no obligation on either of us to support each other where we disagree.
I attended Full Council last week, where the new mayor and dignitaries were voted in, and the new minority-Tory administration was formalised.
Lots of information about local issues, campaigns and developments has been coming through. With help from other members, we've visited and commented on projects including the proposed new primary school on Hatfield Road, the Bernards Heath Action Plan Consultation and the 'Tesco' homes project on London Road.
The Herts Ad made my comments on the Tesco homes project their front page story last week. This was particularly good for us, as the Herts Ad have hardly ever reported on our work before.
I've had almost daily requests for help from constituents, with matters ranging from road surfaces and recycling, to hedge cutting and school places. In every case, I've been in touch with the relevant council officers for answers, and passed these back. In some cases this has led to action, for example cutting back an overgrown hedge in Albert Street.
Members and helpers delivered a 'thank you' letter to every household in St Peters ward immediately after the election results. I've had several responses to this letter, so it clearly has helped to raise awareness of our success.