War Memorial Gary Trouton

Parish Councils

April 2003

Les puts forward his opinions of the forthcoming elections

It would appear that come May it will be Parish Council election time and the burning questions are: will there be enough Candidates and will anyone go along to vote? Will I vote for example or, come to that, will I offer myself as a Candidate? I can't get excited about either. With regard to voting, more than likely I shall know the names of those who are 'standing'. By the way, Americans as you no doubt know call it 'running', I wonder which sounds the best, 'standing' or 'running'? If you do one or the other then you are allowing your name to go 'forward'; so standing, running, forward. I don't know - it all seems a bit strange to me. Anyway back to knowing who the Candidates are. Well that's OK but what are their policies? What are you voting for? You might be voting for someone who thinks completely differently to you.

This is where our Village Pump comes in to it's own. I think every prospective Candidate should be interviewed and his or her views published in the Pump. I would have thought any candidate worth their salt would jump at the chance. If they didn't, to me they would be strange candidates. The question then arises, who does the interviewing? I for one would be only too pleased to do the job, the reason being that I would be fascinated by the thoughts and aspirations of the prospective candidates. I would want to know, for example, where Stoke Ferry or Wereham if you wish would be not just in a years time but in five, ten or even fifteen years from now. Would they like to see the size of our villages grow substantially, as indeed I would, or what would they suggest we do to stop the closing of our shops, Pubs, churches and chapels? What plans do they have to re-generate our villages? Just what is the future for our villages?

Years ago, locals such as me knew everyone in their village. Today half of us don't know the other half. Is this a cause for concern, or not? What about our young people? What future do they have? Should we address the question of affordable houses for example, or should they be encouraged to get on the first bus and buy a one-way ticket to the nearest town? Alternatively, we could encourage the young ones to be involved in planning their own future! After all, people of my age won't be around in a few years time. By the way, that's how to be gloomy without really trying, cheer up you old fool. One thing is for sure, there is nothing more exciting than debating the future. Forget yesterday that's gone.

So whether you intend to be a Candidate or not, why not bombard our Editor with your views on what road your Village should go down. I have to say I have a problem, in fact more than one problem. First of all I'm not a lover of Committees, which is what Parish Councils are. I prefer just one person in charge. And my other problem is to be honest and say I haven't a clue what road our villages should go down. That's why I'm always interested in debate. Our villages should plan for the future; yes but how. Hopefully someone can tell me.

Les Lawrence

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