I went to my local parish council meeting this evening, along with a few Mums who wanted to support a campaign to better the play and recreational facilities in our area.
We were met with disdain. But I was not giving up and pushed for the current playground working party of councillors (consisting of two women whose children are now in their thirties and one woman in her eighties) to take in members of the local community as part of the group. The Leader of the party kept dodging the question, supported by some of her parish council colleagues , so I had to take the approach of Jeremy Paxman and repeat my question until she eventually answered it. They finally agreed to offer membership up to volunteers via an open day. I then tried to get them to consider a site that is parish council owned as a good place to have a play area, it appears that someone on the residents association on that road speaks louder than the rest and they listen to her rather than the wishes of local families.
For all of us sharing an interest in local politics and to make a difference to a local community it was like pushing water uphill with the parish council. The needs of a local resident are defined by those who speak the loudest rather than those who have needs. Our political system is skewed by the demographic of people who have the time and finances to devote to public life. No wonder the Tories do so well in elections.
This blog is for UNICEF.
Thanks for reading.