With the next local elections just a few weeks away, I’m sure that all the political parties will be busying themselves with trying to attract local residents into becoming parish and district councillors.
It is a situation that occurs every four years and with many existing councillors standing down and the current political situation at central government in disarray, they will find it harder than previous elections, to find worthy candidates, willing to give up their spare time to support their communities.
After 12 years of serving Newhaven as both town and district councillor, alongside some great colleagues, I am taking a long hard look as to whether or not I want to commit to another four year term.
It requires both a personal commitment and support from your family and friends to take up the reins as a representative of your town or village and I have been overwhelmed by the support I have received throughout my time, from my wife and family.
The townsfolk have been supportive too and I am proud of the achievements we have been able to salute on both the councils upon which I serve.
There have been many disappointments in the past 12 years, but they have not resulted from a lack of hard work, badgering and lobbying from many of us, to try and ensure justice is done.
I hope that as many of the committed, community minded people in our towns and villages as possible, step forward for the May elections this year.
The important decisions that are made, affect us all and we need to keep in mind that we are not there for our benefit, or that of a political party in Westminster.
I hope too, that people are willing to come forward, that are not pressed into the role by political parties, desperate to fill seats and ensure a ballot paper full of their logos at any cost.
We need the right sort of person coming forward, that are fully aware of the commitment they are making and of their responsibility to the residents that will elect them.
When you put your cross in the box in May, make sure you vote for a person you trust to do the right thing for you and your community, not a nameless person hiding behind a political logo.
Cllr Steve Saunders
(Newhaven Valley Ward)