The importance of not being important

I am very much enjoying being out and about in Ludlow canvassing for votes and I have had some very engaging discussions in recent days.

One theme comes up regularly. People say that politicians – local and national – have lost touch with the needs and wishes of ordinary folk. Voters are fed up with elected representatives not representing them. Some have become non-voters as a result.

Many Ludlow people feel that their voices are not being heard. They say that Shropshire Council is too distant, unlike the former South Shropshire District Council.

Talking to colleagues, a similar message is coming out from canvassing elsewhere in the county. Too many councillors have become enamoured by their own importance and – except at election time – have shown little regard for local opinion.

Being elected matters to me, but I am not interested in being important. What I care about is being useful, and I can only achieve that by listening carefully.

I don’t want to change things here in Ludlow in any significant way. I just want to make them better for as many people as possible. Again, that can only be delivered by listening carefully.

I have learnt a lot on the campaign trail so far.

But the most important thing I have learnt is the importance of not being important.

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