Brown paper envelopes don’t have the best history with elected representatives, particularly when they’re filled with pictures of that representative, but in my case the envelope I happened to find on my desk at the Town Hall wasn’t accompanied by a note demanding payment in untraceable bearer bonds.
As part of the plans to redevelop the Town Hall site, the council is doing the same de-cluttering everyone has to do when they move. Somehow, when going through the records of Crawley Young Persons Council, one of the council’s community development team recognised my face from CYPC’s first Question Time event back in 2003.
Given that I was 16 at the time and over the period since I’ve grown a beard, shaved off my hair and lost a bit of weight, it was rather surprising that anyone recognised me at all while busy sifting through the mass of accumulated paperwork at the council.
What was more surprising was realising that one of my current council colleagues, Cllr Richard Burrett, was even standing alongside me in one of the photos from the event. Looking back, while I had no plans to join the council, alongside my schoolmates I wanted to make sure our feelings about the town and the issues which mattered to us were taken seriously. These days I find myself sitting on the other side of the question time desk, but the importance of decision-makers taking note of what the town’s young people believe has never left me and I hope as a council administration we’ve shown we’re ready to sit up and take notice.