I got home late last night and picked up the day’s copy of the Citizen, and had a catchup of what is going on in our fair city. It’s fair to say I was rather bemused to read the following on the letters page:
I had written a whole post as a ‘reply’ to the letter, but given the clues in the letter itself about who wrote it then maybe im just playing into their hands, however, for clarity I offer the following points.
On the face of it, I absolutely agree, I do not talk on behalf of the council, and have never purported to have done so. I always speak on behalf of myself as the constant reminder on this site and any other medium (Twitter etc) highlights. I make sure the statements are there to highlight they are my own views. I would not wish to bring the council in disrepute, there are members of the council who have hearts of gold, which is why I have taken guidance from the various authorities about doing all I can to comply with the rules as highlighted.
It is also right what they say, that I am often quoted as Quedgeley Parish Councillor, that is a statement of fact and while I ask (and reporters can verify this) to not be quoted as such, it is not wrong to say it.
Various people would like me to stop blogging, tweeting, talking to people (and probably breathing too) but I really believe that I should be communicating with the people who I represent and these are very effective mediums for doing so. In fact Parish Councils are being encouraged to make use of Social Media to communicate more with residents so perhaps I have just been leading the way?
I have a simple message to the author of the letter, and I say this as my own personal view, I will always do what I can for our community, and I will not stop communicating with the community. For me the potential for someone to have some confusion about who I am speaking on behalf of (which can be very quickly cleared up) is a small price to pay for ensuring that I am fulfilling my duty to those I represent and those who ask me to try and help (who are not residents of Kingsway and Quedgeley).
Promoting the fact that Quedgeley Parish Council has achieved the Quality Parish Status is indeed something that should be written about and promoted, its ironic that the reason I have not done so (though I wanted to) is because the only people allowed to communicate with the press about Council matters is the Chair and the Clerk.
Just in case you have not got the message – I write this on behalf of myself, not Quedgeley Parish Council, not other Kirby’s, other residents of Gloucester, Human Factors practitioners, bloggers, tweeters, politicians, men, humans or any other primates!