I am sure I am not alone in sometimes feeling a sense of unremitting gloom recently when thunking about how my community is being changed and damaged by the government. I am I think considered an optimist - I believe local government can not only survive but be more important than ever in the next few years. I also believe that the Labour party can be a powerful force now and in the run up to 2015 which I beleive will deliver a Labour government. Despite this as I say the bad news just keeps coming. It's not helped by this government's appoach to policy formation and communication being less "just in time" and more "just too late".
So it's nice to have a day where I have reasons to be cheerful. In the last 24 hours I have
1. Been approached unexpectedly by a stranger wanting to join the Labour party
2. Had an email from a local trainee nurse who wants to renew her membership
3. Met with the members of Reading's new tenant scrutiny panel who have just completed thier first report - in which they praised the council while making useful recommendations - volunteering thier time to help thier fellow tenants
4. Had a good chat with a council tenant who organises the poppy stall in broad street mall - again volunteering a huge amount of his time to help others
5. Had several occassions to be grateful for the dedication of council staff
6. Attended a Whitley branch meeting where members were keen to get more done and campaign
A bit of a ramble but at the moment its important to remember that local people and councils have the power and ability to organise and make our areas better places: local politics isnt just about cuts.