Another resident and ex Town Councillor expresses sadness over Steve Plumley's choice to not stand for the Council again.
Although I now live in Devon, I try to keep abreast of news from Midsomer Norton via your excellent publication. I have been saddened to see some of the letters and stories about the Town Council, culminating with Steve Plumley’s letter announcing his disappointment with some of the criticism made against them. He was an original councillor and for the last 17 years, he has been giving up his own time, at his own expense working hard for the town. It is very sad that he is standing down.
I was formerly a town councillor with Midsomer Norton Town Council. When the council was reformed from the old Norton Radstock Town Council, Paul Myers did me the credit of coming to my house and asked me to stand as a councillor. He asked me to stand because I had been working on improving the Welton Rovers ground. I was not agreeable to stand, but after he invited me to the town hall to meet the rest of the candidates, I changed my mind.
Over the years I had become disappointed with clubs, councils and committees. Most of the people I had come across had been mainly interested in hearing themselves speak. The candidates Paul introduced me to, were speaking up and also willing to roll up their sleeves to carry out their ideas. I changed my mind and joined the happy band and was voted in.
They all came good with their promises and I was keen to propose a motion to reinstate the mayoral role to MNTC. Paul Myers was then voted in as the first mayor of the new council and fulfilled his role with gusto. He got things done!
Steve Plumley joined in with me on the Welton Rovers project and we had the site transferred from the Miners’ Welfare based in Wales, to our Town Council. We sorted out a peppercorn rent to the club, had a new car park built, new grandstand, ticket office and store as well as promoting the site as a public facility for non-sporting uses. I had been beating my head against a wall with the old council for years, but Paul, Steve and myself managed all this in two years.
All the councillors played a role in getting lots of projects done. Steve listed a number of these in his letter to you. All of the projects he listed meant that nearly all the assets of the town came under the control of the people of Midsomer Norton and facilities improved.
‘What is the purpose of the town council?’ seems to be the question. All of the above, and including Steve’s list, has meant that Midsomer Norton is an increasingly better place to live.
If I read between the lines of recent missives; it is more about personal egos and arguing about pence on precepts etc. It seems to be about getting your picture in the paper and cutting ribbons of projects you’ve had no part in.
Unfortunately, being on the council is about working selflessly as a team. It must be done without bickering and usually without recognition. This is what Paul Myers and Steve Plumley did as well as most of the rest of us.
If the letters I read and reports I get, are even half true, then please do something about it. If you have a skill at organising and carrying out your plans, then please put your name forward at the next election. Your headstone will not mention it, but you will have made a lasting impact on the town and you will feel good about yourself.