For our August meeting we were fortunate to have Laura Pearsall and Gordon Taylor, who are both city councillors for the Abbeymead ward in Gloucester come and give a talk on what it like to be a councillor and what it involves.
After letting is know what got them interested in politics, for Laura it was as a result of getting an apprenticeship in the cities MPs office and for Gordon as a result of meeting an existing councillor at a job interview. Their general council duties consist of meeting their constituents and helping with any issues they have, attending council meetings and discussions with council officers. They also sit on various committees, Gordon is Chair of the city Planning Committee and Laura is a member of the Licensing Committee.
In answer to some robust questioning Gordon explained why planning decisions can take a long time and how the Planning Committee has to work within the guidelines laid down by Central Government. They have to consult with, depending on the application under consideration , various agencies such as the Environment Agency, the City Archaeological Department, the County Council and others.
The talk was very informative and I know I came a way with a better understanding of what councillors do and how difficult it can be sometimes. Also I think it illustrated very well the famous quote :
“You can please some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you can not please all of the people all of the time”.