A Day in the Life of North Bradley Parish Councillor

I read an article recently that said that the BBC sitcom "The Vicar of Dibley" has been blamed for putting people off the idea of running for parish councillor. Made me think of our own parish councillors, are we powerless eccentrics like in The Vicar of Dibley? Comparing the programme with the real thing, I'm not aware that our Chairman, Roger Evans, is a multi-millionaire, if he is he can buy us all a drink at Christmas. Read on for Cllr Lee Lee's excellent write up of a day in the life...

No, no, no, no, I don?t think any of us have slept on the common on hot nights in the nude, our Parish Clerk is more into holidays in exotic places rather than the boring and dithering one in Vicar of Dibley. And while we do tend to munch our way through sweets at council meetings none of the female councillors have yet bought in a chocolate cake with an anchovy cream filling.

Mind you some things would not be out of place in a comedy. When it was suggested that we might set up a "Blog" on the new parish web site someone did say "what's a blog?" and several members smiled, but when someone asked the questioner "haven't you ever been twittered?" gravity left and the whole meeting erupted into giggles.

At meetings we discuss everything from drains flooding or not working, mud on the road mud on the pavement, verges being eroded, verges overgrown, planning applications, dog fouling, road lights at night too bright, lights at night not bright enough, requests from all over the county asking for donations for one thing or another, the ball valve on the allotment water tank needs renewing, where to put a bench, installation of kissing gates, did we find out who the loose cows belonged to that were wandering about the Southwick Road, working with North Bradley School when asked, government policy changes that affect parish's, reports from the Wiltshire Police, Highways, Trowbridge Board, numerous departments from Wiltshire Council and any matter brought up by residence in the parishes.

Want to know about bridle paths, walks and such like Alf Morton and Bernard Clarkson are a mind of information. Alf organizes walks and welcomes new walkers. Nick Crangle is your Neighbourhood Watch organizer, when I say the police often visit his home; I mean it in the nicest sense of the word. Mike Holland is our fount of all knowledge for council procedure and what has gone on in the parish, having lived here all his life. He's not been stumped for information on anything asked him so far about the parish. Me, at the moment I'm into rubbish, what I mean is organizing the Big Tidy Up!!

Eccentric, some of us might be, powerless no, but with the residence backing their parish council we could be even more active. Yes we are a million miles away from the Vicar of Dibley. Come and see for yourself at the Progressive Hall, North Bradley, 1st Monday of every month 7.30 p.m.

Cllr Lee Lee.