David Brazier was recently asked about his job as a KCC councillor and replied ”I have been asked that sometimes on Facebook, not always politely! Put simply, I am here partly to advise and help people to access the services provided by Kent County Council. This is not always easy due to the size of the organisation and its inevitable bureaucracy. It is also a matter of framing the enquiry in terms that staff readily understand”.
He said that the other major responsibility is to advise and inform the KCC as to the needs of residents. This involves working on committees at County Hall, creating, refining and monitoring the policies that frame how people live in Kent. “Locally this involves attending Parish Council meetings and reporting on issues of local concern” David explained. “I have four Parish Councils, but many Councillors have more, and one of my colleagues in East Kent has sixteen! I also serve on a school’s governing body, on the boards of two local charities and advise another. So, it all keeps me pretty busy!”
Councillor Brazier then illustrated the wide range of issues he has recently been asked to help with, including:
- Getting a child home to school transport where this had been denied by KCC officers
- Financially supporting local allotments
- Intervening with bus operators over late and non-arriving services
- Establishing the ownership of trees and getting them pruned
- Representing a resident at a public enquiry
- Getting damaged road signs replaced
- Finding out who owns the lights on the footbridge at Longfield station, whether Network Rail or KCC, and getting them repaired
- Getting new children’s toilets at a local school.
“I have actually achieved all of them or got them and many more under way”, he claimed. “Some issues are less straightforward and not really County Council business, but I help where I can”.
And how long does all this take? “The answer is nearly all of my time. County Hall meeting are held during the day. Preparation for these includes reading 600-page agendas. Then there are the Parish Council meetings and meetings with residents which usually take place in the evenings, and charities, for various reasons, meet on Saturdays. David concluded by saying “It’s seldom about politics, mostly about people, and that’s why I do it”.