I wrote a post in 2014 6 months after I was elected to Earley Town Council about what I had learnt, as they say you only really get to know how to do a job after 6 months. Well, it has been a step up to become a borough councillor and after 6 months this is what I have learnt:
- The officers really care. I sit on the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Panel as well as the Corporate Parenting Board and I have been impressed by how much the officers truly care about the children the council come into contact with. I was particularly touched when an officer told a story of how they persuaded a girl in care to show up to her review. She had been particularly difficult to track down and she said she’d come to her review only if the officers were in fancy dress. Well, the officers were up for a challenge and the girl attended her review with the officers in fabulous fancy dress. It is highly admirable the step further they went to make sure a vulnerable child attended her review. They know that children are not numbers and always strive to make sure services are inclusive of every child.
- Children in Care Council are amazing. They are made up of people in care or care leavers and help influence public services so they are considerate of young people in care. Check out their brilliant new website: http://childrenincarecouncil.wokingham.gov.uk/
- Communication is key. Residents want to be told things about their local area – it doesn’t matter if it is bad news, as long as they are told the truth. Councillors and council officers have a responsibility to make sure they work well together to make sure residents know about the issues that matter to them. Residents need to be in the loop as much as possible.