N.B. This is not a politicised criticism of local parties or their respective councillors, this is more an exercise to learn more about councillors and their work in Croydon – with best intentions and no malice. SAFE.
As I work to improve my local community of Purley, I, naturally, look at others who are doing the same thing to see where our efforts and interests intersect and are making a difference.
Local govt is one such area that I continue to look to for community-centred inspiration and – as such – the work of local councillors is something that is of increasing interest to me.
A definition of the role of local councillors can be found on the Croydon council site:
Your councillor is the person elected every four years to represent your area. They can help if you are dissatisfied with a council service by advising or directing you to someone who can help sort out your problem and can sometimes progress the case on your behalf. This is often done in advice surgeries where you can meet with the councillor for your ward and discuss your problem.
I have no idea who my councillors are*, what they do and where/why/how they are doing it.
In part, this stems from my own apathy and ignorance -I could very easily have checked the Croydon council site or use google – however, I think there is also a duty on the part of local govt. representatives to remain visible in their local communities, as a matter of course, to improve channels of communication between them and the public and increase confidence in their works.
It seems, from an enlightening exchange on Twitter last night that many Croydon locals are similarly in the dark about their local representatives:
So, QUESTIONS FOR CROYDONERS:
Have you ever met you councillor in person?
What do you think about your local councillor’s profile and activities?
If you are a councillor: What do you find hardest and/or most rewarding about your role? Do you think charges of invisibility from the public are fair – or is it a two-way street and the public should take an active interest?
*Obvs, not now I googled them for the purposes of this post!