How did you hear about vacancies for new councillors before you applied?
There was a vacancy advertised in the Eynsham Echo, which was the Eynsham Parish Newsletter at the time.
Before you applied, how did you feel about the prospect of becoming a councillor?
I was excited but nervous. I didn’t know exactly what I was taking on (time- or ability-wise), but the other councilors were encouraging and welcoming, and there was a lot of training available.
How easy was it to apply and be elected/co-opted?
Very easy! I just turned up at a meeting to see what it looked like, then I expressed my interest and was co-opted at the next meeting.
What initially surprised you about the council?
The level of expertise of the other councilors around me, who are, of course, all volunteers. Also, the detail and depth of the issues facing the Council.
What sort of people make good Councillors, in your opinion?
People who are friendly, understanding, well-informed and diplomatic. I think the best Councillors are people with integrity who care about their community.
I’m slightly tempted – how would you persuade me?
It’s great to be involved with the community and to try to improve things in the Parish. Being a Councillor also gives you valuable, transferrable skills, training opportunities and the chance to find out how local governance works and be part of it. I love being part of a helpful, clever, engaged group of people and being “in the know” about what is going on locally and on a wider scale.
What’s the most rewarding or enjoyable thing you’ve done as a Councillor?
Being involved in the creation and completion of the Wharf Stream Way heritage trail, then seeing people out and about on the footpaths which we help to maintain.
What’s been the most challenging moment?
There hasn’t been one particular moment for me, but a big challenge is trying to understand the complexities around the proposed new developments – A40, West Eynsham, and the Garden Village – which will change the face of where we live forever.
How does the Parish Council support the community, in your opinion?
The Parish Council supports the community by representing Eynsham and Barnard Gate on many levels and having an important impact on local issues, from reducing litter to trying to make the very best of major planning proposals. All this is done in the hope of improving our environment and the wellbeing of our whole community.
To find out more about becoming a Councillor, download this document or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. To ask Sue a question about her experience, email her on email@example.com.