Garry Jones's Blog
Wed 15 May 2019
I expect you are all election’d out at the moment, with local elections and the impending European elections.
It can be easy to dismiss elections in the current climate: ‘nothing ever changes’ or ‘they are all the same’ can be common comments. However, if you dig a little deeper, the local elections have actually resulted in a quite interesting outcome, with a range of people, who are brand new to local government, being elected, both as independents and from smaller parties, plus there has been some ‘changing of the guard’ with the mainstream parties too. And even amongst the more established councillors, we have been having some very different, positive, conversations of late. Many now recognise, more than ever, the crucial role, that small and medium charities and community groups play. They understand that for all residents to ‘do their bit’, they will often need support, to come together as a community, and this means, the voluntary sector, in its many forms. I encourage you to contact them and build new relationships.
On our own part, we also are a democratic sector – a participative one on the whole, with a wide range of people taking part in decisions about their community, purely by being involved, not a ballot paper in sight. However, on this rare occasion, I am asking you to vote. Amongst our many inclusive and open access forums, we also have a county and city based strategic group, called Team Staffordshire, that engages with statutory bodies and also aims to bring more resources into the local sector. As well as representative bodies like ours, the ‘core group’ of Team Staffordshire has five elected places and these are now up for your votes! All VCSEs, even non-members (though what are you playing at there?) who are based in or operate in Staffordshire or Stoke-on-Trent, can vote before the 30 May.
PLEASE exercise your democratic vote in this election to give the candidates a strong mandate to speak with us, for the benefit of the whole sector. Vote here: https://forms.gle/Qw39B8yUQUfSFf7L9