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Friday, July 1, 2022



We feel we may have done our readers a disservice in devoting this whole column last month to a defence of parish councils and failing to even mention the elections to Worcestershire County Council.

Not that anything written here was likely to have influenced the results – well, certainly not in the Alvechurch Division, where a scan down the list of candidates brought the dawning realisation that this large part of our patch was still going to have June Griffiths as its representative at Worcester.

If June’s blue rosette hasn’t won it for her again, we shall eat this page.

Now, we don’t have anything against June personally, but we ask again how someone who happily professes to be uneasy with email can adequately represent thousands of people who rely on this method?

This is especially worrying when the officers and administrators she needs to be in touch with constantly are more than 20 miles away in Worcester.

But there is a bigger communication problem, this time with Alvechurch Parish Council. June promised in her campaign leaflet in November 2010 to “work with” the parish council if elected.

At the least, this might mean dropping in for the first 10 minutes of the parish’s monthly meeting to give an update on what’s happening at county level and to hear of any problems.

June turned up for the first few months, but by October 2011 parish councillors hadn’t seen her there for six months and were shaking their heads wondering what they had to do to get her to appear. She attended the next one, but none since.

Meanwhile, her political buddy, Roger Hollingworth (who, by the way, has also failed to appear at an Alvechurch Parish Council meeting for a long time) is saying that parishes don’t get much done.

If that were true, would it be any wonder when those upon whom parishes rely to turn the wheels in Bromsgrove and Worcester don’t even turn up for a quick chat once a month?

So, here we are, back defending parish councils again while local democracy, despoiled by party politics, fails to find a solution.

Alvechurch parish chairman Coun John Cypher, lamenting the lack of communication from “higher” authorities, told villagers at the annual meeting: “I may as well be emailing myself!”

At least he’s happy to send one . . .