Well last night I had the pleasure of attending yet another Warsash Residents’ Association (WRA) meeting, this time however I brought along a friend of mine from the Western Wards People’s Voice and resident. After each of the councillors finished speaking, she raised her hand and started asking about the Council’s commitment to cutting carbon emissions and also to increase buses as a vital part of keeping transport links. After this, councillors attempted to appease her frame of mind by saying “there wasn’t enough money” and one councillor said that he would love to “wave a magic wand and get all these services” – quite patronising I felt. A bit like Sir Humphrey Appleby from Yes, Minister saying “oh you can’t do that minister” without a sufficient explanation. After they finished talking, I noticed one councillor say to another “He’s planted her”. When I updated people on Facebook, one said “You’ve been out punned by a Tory!”
After the meeting had finished, and after getting another few signatures for the petition, I went over to one councillor that I’m on good terms with and he seemed most displeased. I was attacked for being “political” and disrupting the “neutrality of the Residents’ Association” and that my friend was a Green Party plant. I called her over and asked her in front of this councillor, “Are you a Green Party member?” she was absolutely shocked that someone people voted for became so scared and threatened that they would go so low as to accuse people of having a different opinion as being a “plant”.
The councillor tried to defend the council’s position of “not our problem” regarding buses, to which I made the following point:
You have been chosen by the people of this ward to represent their interests, their interests are more buses – how do I know this? Because unlike you lot I’ve been out canvassing and instead of pushing issues on them, I’ve asked them what bothers them. You have a position to say to Seán Woodward that people want these buses, so you’re here shrugging your shoulders when in fact you aren’t clearly representing people of this area – don’t tell me you just joined with this lot because it was Blue since time began?
I mean it is true, how can you justify denying people you’re supposed to be representing what they want? The funniest thing was that they thought it was most inappropriate that I, a person living in a “free society”, should dare criticise councillors! They need to start listening and taking action rather than giving every excuse not to.
Residents having a different opinion without any political intervention? Perish the thought!
Thanks for reading