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Earth, Wind & Winston


I’VE spent a lifetime in business, trying to get the best out of people and product alike.

Now nearly two years into my new municipal career, I find myself “doing the business” for my constituents – pressing the flesh as a totally committed community-minded councillor.

As a rookie member sitting on seven panels which all seem to move irritatingly slowly at times, I have found myself drawn to one main area of concern – that being the contentious nature of planning issues and the electorate’s perception of it.

My highlights?
May 6, 2011 was the day the deal was done – I asked for the Mease & Tame voters’ trust and got it.

It was full speed ahead from Day One. Just over 24 hours after beating Philip Bennion, the region’s new Lib Dem Member of the European Parliament,  in the ward contest, I found myself at new Tory MP Chris Pincher’s surgery – thrown into the political fall-out of the HS2 plan for the area.

Then there were the controversial wind farm proposals on Mr Bennion’s own land – I’m sure this one’s still got more to run. All I hope for – total rejection.

It’s been an honour to rub shoulders with erudite former Defence Secretary Liam Fox at the Tamworth Conservative Association’s annual dinner at Drayton Manor and Education Minister Michael Gove for a Licvhfield Associartion event at the same venue.

And then there was Britain’s greatest wartime leader Winston Churchill – his lookalike, and the Land Army ladies, popped up to help with my party fundraiser garner £1,500 for the greater good.

I feel like citing Seventies band Earth, Wind & Fire as my mantra.

The Earth?  Well I hit the ground running and have adopted a down-to-earth attitude with locals and authority members alike.
Wind?  That came in the shape of the Wind Farm protest and also a lot of “hot air” expounded in certain council quarters (don’t ask me to name names!).
Fire?  That’s easy – it’s been a real baptism of fire for someone more used to business than the ‘bonfire of vanities’ that can beset local authorities and their elected members.

So what’s it all for?  It’s certainly more work than anticipated if you want to do a good job for constituents and council alike.

I think I’ve taken on board one of Earth, Wind & Fire’s greatest hits “Got To Get You Into My Life” along with one of Winnie’s lesser known quotes: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

As a local authority there is always a need to receive, but my municipal life is dedicated to giving.

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