Eynsham Parish Council has recently welcomed two new Councillors to the fold. Unusually, the pair are related; a mother-and-daughter duo who will bring a fresh perspective and enthusiasm to enhance the work of the Council.
Beth and her mother Ann Partlett are both long-term residents who were born in Eynsham, with Beth now planning to buy property and stay in the village. This close affiliation with – and enthusiasm for – Eynsham resulted in a family friend repeatedly urging them to join the Parish Council. “We came to a few meetings first to see what it was all about,” Beth explains, “and quickly realised this was something we wanted to be part of. Eynsham holds a big space in my heart; I really care about it and its future, so I wanted to be aware of what was happening and help keep it the best it can be.”
Ann echoes her daughter’s thoughts: “We’ve lived here a long time and my children are looking to stay in the area, so I want to help keep it a good place to live. I may not like all the changes that are happening, but we need to protect what we have here as best we can.”
Concerns, the Chair and Cake
Despite their interest in becoming Councillors, Ann and Beth both had a few concerns about it. For Beth, who has three jobs including running her own bridal make up business, was cautious about the time commitment and whether she would be able to take part. Ann, on the other hand, “was concerned I wouldn’t understand how everything works and so wouldn’t be able to contribute”.
After attending a few meetings and expressing an interest, the Partletts met with current Chair Ross Macken to discuss the role, their concerns, and eat a reassuring slice of cake. Ross was able to put them at ease, reassuring them that many Councillors were also working alongside their Council activities and that everything could be learnt ‘on the job’.
When a vacancy occurs, a notice is displayed that provides the opportunity for an election to fill the vacancy. When an election is not called, the Council may co-opt to fill the vacancy and resolve to approve the membership.
This happened at the end of September and there has been a lot for the Partletts to process during their first few months. Ann admits, “it was a bit daunting at the first few meetings, as the discussions are quite important and serious, but we are gradually feeling more confident.”
They’ve been helped – and delighted – by the support from the other members of the Council, which they both say have been crucial in helping them settle in quickly and feel able to contribute. “Everyone is very kind and always happy to have a chat about anything we have concerns about,” Beth says. “We definitely made the right decision to join the Council – and our family friend is finally satisfied!”
Both Beth and Ann are keen to start making a positive difference to their beloved Eynsham
Residents are able to contact the Partletts, or any of our Councillors, via the website. We still have vacancies for new Councillors; why not join the Partletts? Contact our Clerk (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.