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Coun Alan Clark guest column: Why I am proud of election system

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When politicians from Karlsruhe in Germany visit our city, I often get into conversation about how elections work.

I am proud that our councillors represent a geographical area and are not elected through a list system across the city.

I think this is important so that residents can identify with particular people (in the case of Bulwell Forest Ward, three of us) that make it their first priority to engage with a community (or in our case about seven communities).

Bulwell Forest Ward covers most of Highbury Vale (Old and New), Forest Park, Southglade Park, Heronridge, Rise Park and some of Top Valley.

When I stood for election in 2011, I gave a pledge to make community engagement my priority, and to let residents know about what I have done.

Along with Coun Eunice Campbell and Coun Nick McDonald, I have been doing lots for each of our neighbourhoods.

It is a gloriously mixed area with medium rise flats (both council and private), terraced houses, bungalows and some large family houses.

I am also pleased that we have some eco-friendly new build on Highbury Road.

We take part in regular ward walks and this helps me to understand local issues whether it be the need for steps to a bus stop, new parking areas or abandoned bins.

Community meetings are important for discussing local priorities, but only a minority come to them.

I also meet with the Police, and I chair the meeting for Top Valley/Rise Park beat.

I have my own Facebook page on which I post about things I am doing in Bulwell Forest Ward.

I attend local events with the whole range of groups in our local community, including Rise Park, Bulwell Forest Garden, Top Valley Tenants and Residents Group, Bulwell St Mary’s Church, Bulwell Riverside Community Choir and Bulwell URC.

hese events are at the heart of bringing our community together whatever the weather. I have also helped at school assemblies about parking and dog mess.

Residents also see me regularly out and about delivering our mailings that keep them up to date with local matters.

We hold regular advice surgeries (again a minority interest). On the first Saturday of every moth, we are at The Church on Rise Park, Revelstoke Way from 11 am to noon. On the third Saturday, we are at Bulwell United Reformed Church, Broomhill Road, also from 11 am to noon.

I can always be contacted by email on alan.clark@nottinghamcity.gov.uk or by ringing me on 9155667 or in writing at FREEPOST COUNCILLORS LH BOX 28, NOTTINGHAM CITY COUNCIL, LOXLEY HOUSE, STATION STREET, NOTTINGHAM NG2 3NG (NO STAMP REQUIRED).

For me the test is whether people know their local councillors and they know what we do.

 

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