Welcome to Liberal Democrat Borough Councillor Bob Thompson’s diary.
I intend to update this every fortnight to keep readers aware of current council issues and of matters local to Hoole.
So what do borough councillors actually do? After the hype of an election do councillors retreat to their homes with slippers and pint/glass of wine/brandy and contemplate a quiet four years attending the odd council meeting before stirring oneself for the next election.
I hope through this diary to give a picture of my typical workload and give an insight into not just what I do but what drives me and what I have to do to get things done.
Firstly , dear reader, let me introduce myself ….. I am Bob Thompson, proud father of two (now independent and working and off the family payroll ….. I wish!); an economist by degree and now a retired HR Director with the worlds third largest chemical company.
I have represented Hoole on the old city council and now on Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council continuously since 2002 and have been a party member and activist since 1974 when I joined the then Liberal Party.
I stood for parliament in the 2010 general election for the Eddisbury constituency ( a sprawling place that stretches from Winsford to Farndon and from Waverton to Audlem ) and improved the Lib Dem vote to over 10,000 and overtook Labour into second place. Sadly for me the Conservatives held the seat (as expected with a large majority ) but a great experience and a very positive result for us.
On the council I attend Full council meetings but also a number of other meetings …. so the council has something called Policy Development Boards (PDB) which as the title suggests develops and recommends policies to the Executive (the Executive is the power base of the council …… like a cabinet or a board of directors ). I sit on the Culture & Recreation PDB which focuses on Libraries; theatres; sports centres; museums and the like. So an interesting subject for me as I have an interest in history; archaeology; enjoy the performing arts and love many sports.
I am also on the staffing committee. So all the stuff in the media recently about the council cutting staffing costs and changing terms and conditions of employment are matters that have been discussed in detail in this committee both with members of the executive and with the Trades Unions.
I am also a coucil nominated director of Chester & District Housing Trust which is a vibrant and exciting company which I will write more about in later diary entries.
I chair Hoole Area Residents Association (H.A.R.A) which manages the Community Centre on Westminster Road in Hoole, again I will write separately about this.
I am a governor of Hoole Church of England Primary School.
I am a City of Chester Chartered Trustee (largely ceremonial stuff like sanctioning the next Lord Mayor but also reviewing the refurbishment of the Town Hall) and a Trustee of Castle Park, Frodsham.
So that is the basic structure of meetings I attend on council behalf but of course there are the Liberal Democrat Pary meetings locally; regionally and nationally with the inevitable social and fund raising events that are a must.
Then and very importantly there is the crucial role of representing the residents of my ward and trying to support others achieve their aims and ambitions; to represent in their time of need or challenge and of trying to promote the businesses and organisations in the ward which together make up this fascinating and vibrant community that is Hoole.
In my next diary entry I will share with you “a week in this councillors life”
I hope you can join me then.
Early days yet for this but any feedback would be gratefully received. What do you want me to write about? What are the issues dear to your heart? Let me know and I will respond