Our village in Norfolk has bucked all the trends for parish council elections surely? A large proportion across the UK could get no one to stand and most went uncontested on May 2nd. Our village had all 16 seats up for election and 20 of us stood as candidates. I got in! Surprised as I am (after 5 years) an "outsider" . Biggest surprise was 1024 ballot papers were issued (14 were spoilt). I looked at other villages around that held elections and most only had around 200 ballot papers issued. So amazingly this village had over a 1000 people leave their homes and vote.
Why? Apparently for last 2 years there has been a lot of controversy over decisions and lack of action. People were truly fed up. There was also a viscous Facebook campaign against some candidates which was perhaps unfair. I found some of those people very nice and helpful.
What I liked to share with blogger land is some thoughts about leafleting 1000 + houses, just in case you ever try it or are thinking of doing something to the front of your houses!
1. Please don't cover your drive with 10 inches of loose rounded gravel. Its like walking up a beach over and over again! I tried to spot the tire treads and walk where it was compressed where possible. Also impossible to be quiet and my approach would usually set off the dogs!! If it was gravel and longer than 30 yards - no leaflet delivered.
2. Have a front door that is obvious. Lots of houses had changed frontages, and doors went round the side or even the back. Several times I gave up and walked away!
3. If you seal up your door's letter box, please have a post box in an obvious place. Head scratching I left some tucked under mats, bin lids, etc. Don't want any post then???
4. Check the strength of the draught brushes on the back on the door's letter box - I have a lovely yellow bruise across my right hand and my husband's hand was bleeding after a short stint helping me. Later another candidate told me she had a spatula she used to push leaflets through with.
5. Dogs that are trying to eat the front door from the inside are scary. When one door literally bounced back and forward with the force inside - I ran away.
6. All those CCTV notices are off putting. Lots of people have notices about not wanting cold callers and catalogues: so I hope I did not annoy them. Two or three people had such long "NO" lists on their doors I did not bother to leave anything. Left wondering if they missed out on life?
I actually stopped to talk to about 10 people who were out in their gardens. They were all very nice and we had interesting chats. Though I did not need to know about the chap round the corner who was the alleged drug dealer. Saw him later, very, very unlikely character to be a dealer (I've worked some tough inner city places and I can usually spot it). Beware the gossips!!!!
Overall the village had fantastic front gardens and I went home to ask for a re-design of our plain one!!