Axminster county councillor's Christmas message

PUBLISHED: 11:01 24 December 2018

Axminster county councillor Ian Hall. Picture: CHRIS CARSON

Axminster county councillor Ian Hall. Picture: CHRIS CARSON

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Ian Hall looks forward to the year ahead with optimism

Axminster’s Conservative county and district councillor Ian Hall has been reflecting on the past 12 months and looking forward ‘with resolution’ to the year ahead.

In his message to Midweek Herald readers headed he writes:

“There’s plenty to reflect upon and much to look forward to as we bid farewell to 2018 and prepare to welcome in 2019.

“Politics nationally and internationally may currently be in the spotlight for some of the wrong reasons, but local politics is about planning and delivering services/infrastructure that affects local people’s lives – their homes, jobs, health, education and happiness.

“I relish being at the very heart of the bodies responsible for all the decision making process and I’m working hard on your behalf to ensure that the right things get done and the wrong things get challenged and sorted. Nothing can be achieved without a healthy dose of realism and the determination to see things through.

“So, whether it’s pressing for funding to deliver a relief road, a masterplan to ease Axminster’s traffic/economy/town centre regeneration and housing needs, tackling potholes and speeding drivers, or getting involved in the battle to protect young people against drug predators from outside our communities, I’m in there fighting tirelessly.

“Improving our town centre, getting better road and rail links, working to form a local Axe Valley ‘Health Strategy’ in the face of financial constraints, campaigning to protect Axminster Academy’s sixth form and reopen the readmission on a sustainable footing in the future or pushing for rural broadband solutions; the bread and butter of a local councillor’s life – or they should be!

“I’ve now been involved in local politics for nearly eight years, sitting on town council, district and now county. As my personal journey continues, I realise how little I knew at the start and how much I still have to discover.

“I’ll continue to listen to those I represent and to learn lessons from tasks and projects that have gone well, but especially those that have not turned out as we would have hoped. Only by learning these lessons can I assist those who I represent so that they can help themselves.

“I’m never one to see life through rose-tinted glasses. I totally understand that many of those reading this will be having individual and collective struggles. I hope that I’m someone you can turn to for help and advice. If I’m unable to tackle your problem direct, I should be able to signpost you to those with the expertise to help you.

“Like many of you, I’ve had to choose in the past between ‘heating and eating’ and I understand people’s concerns about the roll-out of Universal Credit. I know it’s difficult for individuals and families who need assistance during times of hardship. Please feel free to email me, so I can direct you to the support groups available.

“On a positive note, I truly believe that sustainable growth in Axminster will enable our town to become the resilient community it must be for residents of all ages and living in all situations. This will ensure that education, health support and the economy are in good shape as we tackle the varied challenges we face.

“Some of you may have seen my post in October regarding my personal journey with mental health. I’m very aware of the increasing profile of mental health issues across our local area and indeed the whole nation. We’re extremely fortunate to have ‘The Project’ and ‘ARC’ in our town providing a support network and I’ll be looking to see if stakeholders can sustain this more from a local base.

“Every time I travel into Axminster and see that wonderful sign, a symbol of the home of community spirit, it reminds me exactly why I got involved in local community groups, which in turn set me on my political journey.

“I’ve been so fortunate to live in this wonderful area all my 49 years and I truly appreciate all those who make Axminster special. We must continue to build on what the people of Axminster and its local neighbourhoods have done for themselves and their families and friends over many centuries.

“Many thanks to all those who do so much for the benefit of others – if its keeping an eye out for your neighbours or working for a local charity/organisation – you are all Angels.

“I’d like to end by wishing everyone a Happy Christmas and a content New Year.”

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