… urges Rantone in response to my last offering. Awe gee, shucks, I mean: what, me?

Seriously, the last thing needed at either parish or county level is yet another old bloke. We already have more than our share of old-timers representing us, and some of them have been around a very long time. Surely the real requirement is for younger councillors to add to the mix. Not party political wannabees out to make their CVs look more impressive in 2014, mind you. No, to my mind local councils should include those who are trying to save enough for a deposit on their first house, whose kids are still in junior school, who use buses but don’t have bus passes, and who go to hospital to have babies rather than hip-replacements. But they should also be wise enough to know when it’s time to step down and make way for someone else. At the hospital elected governors aren’t given a choice. You’re allowed a maximum of three terms - nine years - after which you become ineligible. It’s a pity they don’t have the same system in local government.

(Of course, none of the above strictures apply to Rantone, whose perspicacity in spotting latent talent in an old blogger proves how wise we were to elect him - however old he is - to whichever body he represents!)

“What’s it like, being a Samaritan?”

… Asked a fellow diner the other night. It turned out that he’d seen or heard something broadcast about the Sams, and my wife had mentioned to him my own involvement. I couldn’t say much other than that he’d find it satisfying. Right now in Salisbury we need to recruit another 20 listening volunteers, and hopefully some will turn up at Monday’s information evening at the Milford Street branch office. What sort of people do we seek? Those who can listen without giving advice (and that’s not easy), who are not judgemental and not easily shocked, who are calm and reassuring but can act quickly in an emergency. They need also to be able to commit to 15 hours of duty a month. And of course they must be able to keep anything they may hear totally confidential. Interested? Call 01722 323355 and join us for tea and biccies.

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