I’d like to commend Ms Wright’s letter (April 12) for highlighting the issues surrounding Whitby Town Council.
It is indeed a shame that insufficient numbers of candidates put themselves forward to stand for election and there are still four positions available.
These vacancies could still be filled by ‘co-option’ after May 14, and it is worth noting that with only a few exceptions, anyone on the electoral role over the age of 18, living or working in Whitby can be nominated to become a councillor.
This can be a rewarding, if sometimes, challenging role and if you genuinely care about the town and the people who live and work here, this could well be an opportunity for you to ‘make a difference’.
Before you slam in your nomination papers to join this ‘elite’ band, it’s probably best to clear up a few misconceptions though:
Firstly - the precept does not fund councillors.
Like any other town or parish councillor - it is unpaid, voluntary work and there are no financial benefits. Expect no glory, few thanks and quite a lot of criticism.
Secondly - being a councillor doesn’t automatically give you the right to be one all your life. At every local election, just like everyone else you will have to submit nomination papers to Scarborough.
These must be signed as proposed and seconded by two people resident in the ward in which you wish to stand. There is no default, no guarantee and no opportunity to find out if you are unopposed until the nomination list is published.
Thirdly - whether you are a ‘golden oldie’ or a ‘fresh faced newbie’ you will rarely see eye-to-eye with all your other councillors, especially if you have a particular concern about which you are passionate.
Having said all that, if you feel strongly about local issues, whether you are a supporter or critic of the council - here is your chance to do something about it.
Contact Pam Dobson at Whitby Town Council on 01947 820227.