Saying and doing

PUBLISHED: 11:48 17 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:12 06 May 2010

SIR, — While appreciating that all letters published in the Herts Advertisers are of course at your discretion, I felt I needed to ask if fellow readers like me are fed up with local politicians, especially in the run up to elections, using these pages as

SIR, - While appreciating that all letters published in the Herts Advertisers are of course at your discretion, I felt I needed to ask if fellow readers like me are fed up with local politicians, especially in the run up to elections, using these pages as yet another platform for self promotion.

Don't they realise we know what the real subliminal message is, "vote for me and my party"? During the rest of the year, safely elected, they have countless opportunities to actually do something through reasoned and informed debates rather than resort, like the rest of us to letters pages to get ourselves heard. In short, do something, rather than whinge and bluster.

There are many good councillors who truly do care about the district and its people and really try to do something. However there seems to be a sizable number as I often note while observing council meetings, who let opportunities pass them by to champion causes that really exercise residents unless they have a good audience rather than saddos like me just off the train from London after earning the money to pay for them.

It seems to me these pages are, in effect, one of the few places where residents can really air their views especially on local matters. We all know the worthlessness of so-called "consultations" and stakeholder involvement, which usually only involves the same old faces.

Another troubling trend for me is the increasing number of councillors of working age who are both county and district councillors. I regularly see the size of local meeting agendas and genuinely worry just how much councillors can take in before making their important decisions, especially if that load is doubled and they are also in paid employment.

Moreover the fact that county council meetings are held in the afternoon, for me harks back to the days when the county burghers and landowners ran the county. How can the average working resident possibly observe these meetings and see how the huge sums of our money is being spent?

Do we really want semi-career local politicians who get a "double bubble" of council allowances, or those with a hinterland, as they say, of experience from the realities of preferably the commercial world to draw upon, and concentrate on being either a district or county councillor?

JAMES GREGORY,

Tennyson Road, St Albans.

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