It is with a great sense of pride and duty I serve as one of eight women councillors for Redditch Borough Council and as a member of the Executive Committee.
I was saddened to recently hear that Councillor Juliet Brunner decided to resign and proceed independently. I have learned that trying to perceive a situation or others from a point of neutrality takes patience, perseverance and compromise, which is why the reporting of this situation has troubled me so much.
As a British Asian woman working in politics my role has certainly come with its challenges; developing the skills and robustness required to work with others was one of the most rewarding lessons during my time so far. Being a role model for women should encapsulate those philosophies and yet this story seeks to celebrate isolation and authoritative behaviour.
When one chooses to resign and go independently as we have seen recently over years in politics, it can feel disingenuous, because it fails to recognise that those people who voted for them also voted for ‘the political party they represent’.
This is why political manoeuvring echoes hollow at times. It has become easier these days to attack and defame someone rather than persevere to work with them. More worrying are the patterns of contradictions I observed, born of self-interest. Why diminish others around you and take an authoritative approach on issues whilst claiming to be a role model?
Having been a councillor for two years I honestly could not echo, share or even recognise the sentiments and perspective from Councillor Juliet Brunner.
It is unfortunate that Councillor Juliet came to the conclusions that she did and consequently resigned her Party Membership, though I note she has not also resigned her Borough Council seat. Whilst we can be sympathetic to some of her intentions, the attacks on others and self-promotion over service are not ideals we wish to foster. We do not share her perspective but do wish her well in her future endeavours.
I can only attest to my own experiences, being that I have found doors have always remained open and witnessing a culture of collective effort. The picture painted of an unpleasant environment feels like a perpetuated falsehood intended to be used as a tool in the struggle for power. Power struggles do not serve the people. Especially when they are intwined with the arrogance of so readily abandoning the ideals shared and endorsed by those who elected one into power to serve.
Councillor Matt Dormer supports his councillors and candidates and harnesses their skills and the people around me have a ‘genuine shared sense of service’, It is common aims my colleagues and I endeavour to realise and not divisive attitudes.
Dirty politics and self-interest will never prevail. At least that is my hope. Whilst speaking out against it can seem inflammatory I believe it was important to speak up against that which is not true. This story only serves as a reminder to me for the importance of diligence and humility in serving ones community, and not one’s self.