Go and get the guitar: plan to freshen up councillors’ surgeries

Three Darlington councillors are aiming to freshen up the tired ward surgery format by holding it in a music venue.

Cyndi Hughes and Malcolm Wright, Labour councillors for Park East on Darlington Borough Council, will hold a surgery in the Forum Music Centre, in Borough Road, on Wednesday, from 6pm to 7pm.

The pair previously played together in a band.

Long-serving Cllrs Hughes and Wright will be joined by new councillor Michael Nicholson, who was elected in May.

Cllr Hughes – who is offering to take her guitar along on Wednesday and hold an impromptu jamming session – said the aim was to move away from the image of councillors holding dull surgeries in dusty community centres.

She said:

“Of course, if someone wants to discuss a private issue, then we will deal with that in a respectful way.

“But I hope the surgery on Wednesday will be the opportunity to have a bit of fun.

“Most people email me with any issues, but there is still a traditional group of people who think councillors are just available at their surgery times.

“It’s not as if we are a different breed of human.”

Source – Northern Echo, 29 May 2015

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