Thursday, 24 February 2011

How local do you want your councillor?

Earlier today I had an illuminating conversation with my Conservative Wokingham-based ward colleague Councillor Hussain. The discussion went something like this:

Councillor Hussain: "Because I live in Wokingham, I can be a better councillor, because I have no personal interest in the local area. I can be more objective."

Councillor White: "I follow your logic, but I disagree [no personal interest means no passion for an area]."

Councillor Hussain: "Also, I see more of the ward than you because I drive through it every day on my way from Wokingham into Reading."

Councillor White: "You may see more of the main roads in the ward by driving through it. But you would know the ward better if you lived in it, walked round in it more and met people.

I then suggested to him that if he truly thought that living in Wokingham made him a better councillor maybe he should put it on his next newsletter as a selling point. I won't hold my breath.

Discuss.

7 comments:

Bear said...

It's a no brainer - live locally, see the local problems, get to know the people and you can party with them too.
Living in the next ward is bad enough, but the next town? Pffft!

Mr P said...

By that logic, flying regularly into Heathrow would make you a good Reading MP candidate since you would get an invaluable and holistic overview of the whole constituency as you circle overhead...

Bruce Denney said...

sounds like a politician!

Adrian Windisch said...

I suppose it means that on some occasions he can be more dispassionate; as the issues won't affect him. But that will be outweighed by having a smaller connection with the ward.

I don't think every Cllr needs to live in the Ward, though it helps. Some will live in a ward but work outside it, so may see even less of it than Cllr Hussain.

Marta_cherrill said...

Dear Mr. White,

I have been observing your increasingly bitter and personal feud with Councilor Hussein for quite some time now and I now feel compelled to comment.

First of all. You are making yourself sound really petty. I will say again - petty. You and Mr. Hussein are elected members of the Council and are meant to be working in the interest of your local community. You get paid out of our taxes and we want to see co-operation and productivity, not squabbling that is more reminiscent of kindergarten tantrums.

I happen to be a Green supporter and voted for you in the elections, but I have to admit your style of "doing politics" is quite off-putting for the time being. Whatever you think if Mr. Hussein and whatever his mistakes, I would really strongly suggest that you stop sending letters about him using terminology such as "Mickey mouse" consultation etc. Do you really think this is professional and acceptable in a debate? I really hope the answer to this question is no.

Finally - I would like to think that you will be able to see beyond the immediate need to score political points and concentrate on what you are being paid for - which is working for people of Park Ward.


Please take note Mr. White and don’t embarrass yourself and those who voted for you anymore

Regards,

Marta Cherrill
19 Coventry Road

PS. Just to make sure I have shown the letter you have kindly dropped through my letterbox few days ago with the outrageous comments you make about Mr. Hussein to some people who live outside of the ward. feedback was unanimous - highly personal, immature and inappropriate

Rob White said...

Marta, thanks for your comment. I would say that 95% of the stuff we publish is positive. However, I think that sometimes there is a need to legitimately criticise other politicians -- such as in this case. Apologies for any offence caused this wasn't the intention.

Ed said...

Well said Marta_Cherril.

You always come across as a nice guy Rob and so does Wazir but I have never heard or read anything from him which serves to attach him in this childish way.

He is well respected across the community, as are you,
and he has done a good job over the past 4 years.

I not a fan of ya-boo or holier than thou politics that we so often see on the blogs of other Park ward activists so hopefully there won't be any more on here.


Ed