The government of any country aims to solve the issues of their public but few people in the Cabinet can’t find & work for the solution of every problem, from huge issues like disasters, finance, poverty to minor issues like a pothole on a road, of their country. The Higher authorities work on bigger issues of the country as a whole, however, Local authorities, who have the power to execute measures within a restricted area, are given the responsibility to cater the public concerns and their budget is handed over to them so it depends on them how and where they decide to spend it for the betterment of the community. The way these local authorities actively function largely influences the voting intentions of people in the next elections.
So, there’s a council in the town, Higham Ferrers in Northamptonshire, that have 16 council members altogether known as “councilors”, who are re-elected after every 4 years. They are not paid as it’s up to them if they want to become a part of the council or not. There are different committees in the Council, some of them are: Environment & Recreation, Planning & Development, Appeals-Sub Committee, and more. In this article, we are going to discuss one of the hardworking members of the Higham Ferrers Town Council, namely, Jason Smithers, who is in charge of the Highways, Environment, and Place Portfolio Holder at Northamptonshire Country Council. He was elected on 15th February 2018 for the position of Councillor and he belongs to the Conservative Party. He has the responsibility for the collection and recycling of waste, preventing fly-tipping to protect the environment, parking, maintenance of roads, and traffic management, to meet the environmental health and trading standards respectively. Building bridges and repairing roads for the ease of traffic, making footpaths and pedestrian crossings are a part of his main job. There is also a website created, known as, “The Street Doctor” for the comfort of people to report the problems faced on the highways like potholes, cracked footpaths, online and receive regular updates on it as well. This helps the councilors to take notice and solve the issue in no time. Currently, apart from being a council member of the Policy and Resources Committee, he is the member of the Cabinet and is also the chairman of the North Northamptonshire Joint Committee since June 2019.
Generally, councilors are the bridge between the public and the council, who not only respond to the queries but further investigate the issues of the residents and represent their views and thoughts in the council meetings, to improve the services & lifestyle of the community. Some local councilors also work with various representatives of local organizations and they organize campaigns on behalf of the citizens. Councilors know more about the people in their community as they belong to the same society and those people also trust them a lot. Due to the pretty much mutual understanding between councilors and residents, they are more likely to find innovative solutions to the problems.
Jason has an account on Instagram with the username @jason_from_the_block, where more than 11.5k people are following him. In his bio, he has mentioned his email address so if anyone wants to tell him his/her concerns regarding their community particularly Higham Ferrers, can contact him there. He is also on Twitter with the username of @SmithersJason.
It’s not an easy job to be a councilor considering that it requires great leadership & decision-making skills as well as good communication skills. Hard work, dedication, and commitment are also integral to become an effective councilor. It’s an act of public service in which you get the chance to improve the quality of life & surroundings and ensure the safety of people by making the best use of resources and ultimately, making a bigger positive difference in society as a whole. They are someone we should appreciate & be thankful for as they give voice to our struggles that are definitely heard.