Yes for Wales
Well today, the only commitment I had in my diary was a mid-morning meeting at the CAB so I planned around that and took it from there. It does help that my ward is one of the smallest and most concentrated in Ceredigion. It has only around 650 houses in it and the majority are in Cardigan town centre itself. With this in mind, I felt that I could probably deliver the vast majority of it comfortably by 4pm.
7 hours of sunshine, smiles and delivering for Wales
On leaving the estate, I bumped into Michael who informed me that the broken street light which he had notified me of and which I reported to the Council last month had now been fixed - good news. He then told me of another street light which was now needing attention and he said that he'd call me this evening with the specific number for that lamp post so I can report it also. I then went to Brynhafod where I unintentionally bumped into Graham, one of my helpful Lib Dem deliverers who was visiting his mother. We had a chat and I informed him that the next delivery is ready for him so he'll collect his bundle from my house over the next few days - a happy coincidence! I was then called over by Dai who is one of the members of our successful Neighbourhood Watch scheme who wanted to check the date of our next meeting.
By this time it was 5.20pm and the sun was just setting. I finished my round for the day in Maeshenffordd where a resident was just getting out of a Robin's Taxi having done her shopping in Tesco. Her name escapes me but I know her face (I'm getting old) and she called me over and said how nice it was to see me and she asked after me and commended me for my work. Again, a nice gesture which wasn't necessary but which was nevertheless greatly appreciated. I finished by leafletting at 5.40pm (much later than expected!) having delivered over 500 flyers during the previous 7 or so hours.
I walked the short 10 or so minute walk back home here to Aneddfa and on seeing another Robin's Taxi drive past, saw another hand wave in my direction and so I again, happily waved back (I know the Robin's Taxis guys well enough!).
Proud to be a Councillor
It really has been a lovely day. With no evening meetings to worry about (the one I had, had been postponed yesterday), I was in no rush and could amble around at my pace, delivering the flyers through letterboxes whilst chatting to anyone who may be walking by or who may be at their door as I approached. It also gave me the opportunity to catch up with some casework cases and it was pleasing to note positive progress in a number of these.
(I should not that where I mentioned casework cases above, I have changed their names in italic to protect their identies as such specific casework is of course confidential).
It was also a beautiful day - much warmer and sunnier than I'd expected. It put a real spring (pun intended) in my step as it really felt, for the first time, as if winter may finally be on the way out. Finally, having the gestures of goodwill made me feel that my work over the years as a Councillor is appreciated by those I try my best to help and represent. That's what matters. If the goodwill wasn't there, I wouldn't be either.
Call me Mark
Over the past 7 years, I have come to know so many people in Cardigan and in my ward in particular and being a farmer's boy, I like talking to people on first name terms. I'm Mark and that's how I like to be referred too. If a resident prefers to call me Mr Cole or Cllr Cole then that's fine but given the choice I'll always say that it's Mark that is on my birth certificate. Probably 90% of those that I come across call me Mark and this more than anything pleases me greatly. I hope it shows that I'm seen as being an approachable, helpful and positive individual who can always be relied on to have a smile on his face.
It's a real pleasure and an honour to serve as a Councillor in Cardigan and it's days like today that re-emphasises the fact that deciding to put my name forward for election back in 2004 at the then age of 21 was one of the best decision I have ever made.