Video to encourage new councillors

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THE county councillor for Billingshurst is one of several members to feature in a news series of videos encouraging people to stand for election launched by West Sussex County Council.

The authority ran into controversy earlier this year over some films on YouTube, including one showing people how to wash their hands, with claims that they were a waste of money.

But the latest venture has cross-party support at County Hall.

In the series entitled ‘Life as a County Councillor’, which looks at the lifestyle of several members of the authority, all with differing backgrounds, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour members are filmed talking about their lives as county councillors.

All of them are proud they have been able to make a difference to the lives of people in their areas.

Charity manager Amanda Jupp (Con, Billingshurst) explains how for 16 years she’s been helping low-paid and elderly people.

Louise Goldsmith, leader of the council said: “The films demonstrate that helping people, making a difference and improving West Sussex is very important to each councillor whatever their political colour.

“We involved politicians across the political parties, so people can have a clear and unbiased view of the practical side of being a county councillor.”

Other councillors giving their experiences include retired contractor Mike Hall (Con, Chichester North) who talks about his love of the West Sussex countryside, while night porter Bob Smytherman (LDem, Tarring) champions the use of social media to communicate with residents.

Liz Bennett (Con, East Grinstead Meridian) reveals she once thought politics boring – now she juggles being a county councillor with being a mum of two lively girls and freelance radio DJ Chris Oxlade (Lab, Bewbush and Ifield West) admits he was cynical of county councillors until he became one.

The films can be seen at http://www.westsussex.gov.uk/ and click on the West Sussex Videos link.

County Council elections will take place in May next year.

If you’re over 18 and have lived or worked in West Sussex for more than 12 months, you can find out more about becoming a county councillor. Call 01243 752702 or go to www.westsussex.gov.uk/becomingacountycouncillor