To judge from my inbox, responses at community meetings, online message boards, Facebook, Twitter and the myriad other forms of communication, there are a lot of people who have strong views about how councillors (including the leader of the council) could do things better.
The good news is that next May voters across the city will get their chance to decide which of their fellow residents will become city councillors for the next four years.
It is likely that around 200 residents will step forward to see if their skills, experience, ideas and passion will see them elected.
To try to encourage as broad a range of people as possible to stand, Brighton and Hove City Council is running public meetings in November to explain about the role of a councillor, the range of responsibilities and services of the city council and also to try to help people understand what it is like to be a councillor in our great city.
The meetings will try to answer some of the most common questions such as
• What support will I get as a councillor?
• Do I get paid?
• What can I change?
• Do I have to be in a political party?
Every single one of the 54 councillors who currently make up the city council had to start somewhere – no one is born into being a city councillor (although some families have strong histories of public service).
It’s true to say that we all remember how daunting the prospect of taking responsibility was when we first stepped into the role.
So if you are keen to show how you would balance the competing demands of our wide range of communities in these difficult financial times – or even if you just want things shaken up a bit – then please try to come along to the public events.
Sessions run on Thursday 8 November from 6pm to 8pm or on Tuesday 13 November from 10am to midday at Hove Town Hall.
You don’t need to let anyone know that you’re coming. And you’re more than welcome to drop in at any time during these meetings.
Go on – you know you want to …
Councillor Daniel Yates is the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.
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