A few years ago I was elected as an Ashfield councillor for Sutton East.
As I joined the council, it didn’t take long before I realised the way the council was run. I can sympathise with the writer of a letter to the Chad who was suggesting that it required a little democracy and thought for the people of Ashfield.
It was frightening to me that the Labour and Lib Dems had similar ways.
I worked very hard for the people of Sutton East – I got things done for the people. I stood up for the people against the council of Labour, Lib Dem – who now call themselves Ashfield Independent.
In my view a lot hasn’t changed as the councillors haven’t changed. You can only change if you want democracy.
I didn’t use my wage as a councillor for my own needs – I used it for the people of Ashfield.
I didn’t give out leaflets each week like confetti – as they usually contain dreams that the people don’t want and usually don’t get. For instance – the skips for the clean up by Ashfield Independents. I used these to clean up New Cross area and the Leamington Estate when I was a councillor, and I used my wage from the council to pay for them.
Since I have been in business, we have asked the council for help in the form of grants like any other business but have received nothing. I got rid of problems and got shouted down for what I did. After four years, the people of Sutton East allowed Labour back in and now they don’t see any councillors on the streets, except at election time in my view.
Thousands of pounds have been spent allowing supermarkets to ruin the area in my view.
I used to enjoy working with some council officials. We have made a lot of friends while we have been in Sutton and thank them for that. We enjoyed taking people on trips out, giving gifts to the children at Hallowe’en and Christmas and having fun days for them. ‘Leamington’s got Talent’ was fun for the people of Leamington – adults and children alike. All these were funded by the shops on Leamington – not the council. But, times are changing, and one party or one man thinks they can run the area to their own way of doing. He even accepts rejects from the Labour Party.
The situation in the council taught me a lot about the communities and politics. Something I have worked for, and used all my life,
Tony Wallis and Monica Wallis
St John’s Avenue,
Kirkby in Ashfield
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