Dear Sir,

It has been over a month now since the elections and over a month since I did not get the nod in the Neville Ward for town council. Which, in all honesty, was disappointing to start off with but that soon passed and now I have got even more determination to be involved. Plus, the 16 votes I was out by is not a bad result for a first timer on what was a less then positive election for the Labour Party.

This could become a long list of what I have done in the month since, but I have not really done a lot – it is what some of the groups on the town have done for me which is far greater than my contribution to any of it.

In the last month I have been welcomed and helped by 3 groups on the town. Firstly, the good people at Neville Community Centre and the association, it has been great to pop into the community café on a Friday after work and always be able to have a good chat about the people, the area and what they have going on. I would highly recommend more people get themselves down there and see what it is about. Simon and Jane Day at Junction 7, another two who have been more than generous with their time and letting me chew off their ears last week! And finally, one group I have personally gained from and will have made my third visit to by the time the magazine goes out, ManHealth. I went to find out what it is about and hopefully get stuck in. I went without any real issues, but I left feeling uplifted, privileged for being there, and all round better for going and listening in the group and seeing the work and support they offer to men first-hand. I had never seen anything like that before and it has had such a positive impact on me since.

There is 4 years between now and the next set of local elections, I look forward to getting stuck in, but I strongly encourage everyone do the same. The town is what we make it, together, in cooperation and community.

Simon Hocking

Labour and Co-operative Party member