What being a Community Councillor means to me: Michael Traill
Later this year Leith Links Community Council (LLCC) will be holding its next election.
I joined Leith Links Community Council (LLCC) when it held an interim election in early 2016 and was pleased to be elected to the Community Council for a three year term in the city wide Community Council elections of 2016.
For me, being a Community Councillor means being an active member of my community. It is a special way to volunteer my time & skills. And it’s a privilege.
I have thoroughly enjoyed being a member of LLC since 2016 but it has had its fair share of…
- Hard work. Reading planning applications, delivering leaflets door to door, organising public meetings and writing funding applications. Not easy tasks for the mind or the body but being able to roll up your sleeves and get stuck into something new (in a supportive environment) is all part of being a Community Councillor. We all bring existing knowledge & skills but we do not know everything individually but as a team we are able to share and learn from each other. You are not alone as a Community Councillor as we all support each other. Some of us ‘specialise’ in specific areas like planning, transport, nuisance odours or community engagement but there is always a chance to try something new.
- Achievement. It might be hard work working on the Community Councils stall on gala day, or facilitating a workshop for fellow Community Councillors or spending a two hour meeting scrutinising the work of the local authority & the Police etc but, it does come with a sense of satisfaction. Being able to directly influence how services are delivered or being able to deliver an improvement in our community brings a great deal of reward (as well as community benefit). These moments and celebrations make the hard work worth it.
- Frustration. Sometimes there are issues which will take many years to resolve but it is only by working on them month in month out, year on year that change can be achieved. A prime example is the ongoing issue of nuisance odour from Seafield. It might sometimes feel like nothing is changing but actually we have been working away in the background on achieving a long term solution as well as tackling the authorities on day to day issues. An example of this is our new online reporting form which we use to notify several bodies of issues in one web form, and then which we use as evidence to hold the authorities to account.
- Fun. There is always some time for some humour at our meetings & events and it is essential to keep our spirits up.
I plan to stand again for election this year, and I would encourage other people to seriously think about doing the same. I am always happy to chat to you if think you’d like to stand but have some questions.