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Local Elections: Why would anyone want to be a councillor?

Andy Mann Andy Mann

Sunday, May 18, 2014
9:00 AM

As a councillor, you can face criticism from residents, the press, political opponents and even supposed allies, so why would anyone want the job?

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“I wanted to become a councillor to do my bit in the community and make a difference, Collier Row,” said Andy Mann, 43, who was elected in 2002 as a Conservative but left the party in 2006 to join the Residents’ Association.

“Some councillors, when elected, choose to do nothing for years, but I spent many, many hours in the town hall. If you divide the salary into the hourly rate, I wouldn’t have got the minimum wage.”

And the more vocal councillors will always draw attention, sometimes negative.

“You get people writing to the Recorder moaning, but you need thick skin,” said Andy. “If you’re going to be a politician, it’s what you expect.”

He left the council in 2010, after losing his seat to the Conservatives. He is now a Scout leader but said that people still ask him whether he will stand again.

“People ask about me coming back but I’m not. I’ve done my time on the council. Now I want to focus on Scouting in Romford,” he said.

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