When somebody suggested to me a few years ago, “Why don’t you stand for election as a borough councillor?” my first reactions were that they were “off their rocker!”. But then I started to think seriously about it. Why not? I have lived in Hemel Hempstead for all but about four years of my life.
I live in the ward I was asked to represent. But, most of all, I love Hemel Hempstead and I'm proud of the 60 years plus that I have lived here. So, after some consideration, I was proud to put myself forward for election and let the voters decide whether I was worthy enough to serve them as a local councillor. The result was that, just over nine years ago, I was elected as a councillor and have been proud to be part of a strong and dedicated team who look after the interests of our local residents.
But it does not stop there. I wanted to be truly involved in the decision-making process of this borough. I put myself forward for membership of committees and, in the nine years I have served as a councillor, I have been a member of most, if not all, the committees, vice-chaired and chaired meetings and I am also a member of both Licensing and Development Control.
Yes, a very heavy workload, but one that I took on knowing full well that I wanted to be truly involved and not just sit on the sidelines. When I look back, I think the decision to put myself forward was one of the best decisions of my life. I am proud to say that, despite some pretty spectacular set-backs, the Buncefield explosion for one, Hemel Hempstead has continued to prosper and be a great place to live and work.
I would urge anyone who thinks that they have something to offer, to grab the opportunity and be 100 per cent dedicated to the tasks that may lie ahead.