Over the past six weeks I’ve been working with Councillor James Bond, the newly elected, Independent Councillor for the Headstone North Ward to launch his blog – Bond with the People.
Headstone North or North Harrow as it is widely known, is the area that I grew up in and James is well known for his sterling work at the local train station. When James stood for election as a councillor, it was heartening to see his campaign bring the local community together and engage in politics, which culminated in James ousting the Mayor of Harrow (apologies for the Foursquare reference). It was inspiring to hear James’ story of wanting to serve the community and follow in his late father’s footsteps. So much so, that I wanted to help.
Once James was elected, I eventually met up with him after his extensive induction period and explained how a blog could be a great tool for him to tell people what he’s up to as a councillor, share his thoughts and most importantly, create a place where local people can engage in conversation with their councillor – all of which I’m convinced will help generate trust.
James’ election campaign was very much a traditional offline campaign, however I think his communication can be enhanced by taking an integrated, on and offline approach – and his blog is one part of this.
James seemed delighted to receive the offer of help, so I set about securing the blog domain, populating it with content and have recently produced a blog policy and initial guidelines for James to follow. For the foreseeable future, I will continue to manage James’ posts, moderate comments and come up with more in-depth guidelines. It is important to point out that James will be writing all the blog posts himself, I’m merely introducing him to some tools which I feel he can utilise as a councillor.
Once you meet James, it comes across immediately how dedicated he is to the people of North Harrow – James in not a careerist or subject to party whips, he just wants to serve the local community. I’ve been delighted to get involved with politics at this hyperlocal level and try to help James communicate with his constituents.
Whilst, the world of politics at Westminster Village can seem miles, if not worlds away, it has been a pleasure to get involved in politics in this small way. It has been interesting journey for me personally, as I’ve gone from never having to voted to now assisting a local Councillor in a matter of weeks. You can find out more information about James from Bond with the People.