This is my first post for 2014 and since a month ago.
Christmas has come and gone so quickly and during that time I have reflected on my political year as well as my forthcoming re-election.
But first of all let me start by saying to all my readers and residents in Stoke Park and Ipswich - Happy New Year and may 2014 be the beginning of some better times.
There is much to do in this lovely town of ours and I feel that we are being let down by the Labour administration.
So much of what has been achieved has been delivered by Ben Gummer or instigated by the previous Conservative/Libdem administration but you wouldn't think so by the amount of credit councillor David Ellesmere takes. In fact Ipswich Spy wrote about it here
It might seem like a compliment from the headline but actually the writers notion of a good politician is one that describes a person that manages to get all the right publicity and doesn't let the truth get in the way of a good story. I'd say Spy is right in this context but I am rather hoping that Ipswich residents are a bit more savvy than that.
Where I do disagree with Spy is on the point about Ben communicating in only a few wards. I have been delivering Ben's latest communication in Stoke Park which summarises all the good work he has done. As I have been ill for the last 2 weeks, I was'nt able to complete it by the year end, but I will continue to do the rounds.
My definition of a good politician is not the same as Spy's. Being less political and rather more proactive in doing what's right for my residents, I believe a good councillor does the following:
Responds promptly to e-mails, phone calls and letters from residents regarding issues they have.
Finds the right person to deal with it immediately and monitors the action, keeping the resident updated where necessary
Communicates in a newsletter what has been going on by positive actions
By attending as many community events as is possible where a councillor adds value or the event adds value to the councillor (as I am invited to so many this is the criteria I use to decide whether to go. I don't pay lip service or attend somewhere just for a photo opportunity).
By balancing council meetings and committee meetings with the work on the ground and with business/work that actually pays the mortgage!
Be accessible and approachable via several means including social media.
Liaises with the councils partners so that the best organisations are used to resolve problems in the town.
Help to formulate policies and creative ideas
By being honest, open and upfront, staying true to themselves even when it can actually lose them votes.
And I have tried my best to do all the above in the last 8 years, succeeding most of the time but sometimes falling short due to other demands. Being a councillor has been an honour and I never forget that.
I intend to stand for another 4 years in May and I accept that the national tide will have a big say in whether I win or not - however that will not be any excuse. A good councillor is hard to come by and I hope that the residents in Stoke Park will pick a hard and proactive worker, irrespective of whether they agree with David Cameron or Ed Milliband.
So Councillor Ellesmere is welcome to Spy's definition of politician of the year. When you read it you will see why I would rather have Honest, Hardworking & Efficient councillor of the year who is sometimes known not to do as she is told if she thinks it's right for the people of Ipswich. A bit of a maverick but someone who listens and gets things done.
If you want to help me or Ben Gummer MP, either delivering, knocking on doors or just to be kept informed of events, then let me know and I'll take you up on that!
If you want to know more about my beliefs, work, actions then follow me on twitter @stokeparkcllr and look out for my regular Nadia's News as well as the usual forms of communication..
I look forward to seeing some of you on the doorstep!
Here's to an exciting 2014!