Local Democracy Week

Today’s guest blog is from Alderwoman Marg Hickman, who was conferred with the title on Tuesday – after representing Lawrence Hill for ten years and also serving in my Cabinet and as Leader of the Bristol Labour Group – as we mark Local Democracy Week 2021.

Her ceremony and speech at Extraordinary Full Council is available to watch back from 32:35 and reproduced below.

“Being made an Alderwoman is a real civic honour, though not nearly as much of a privilege as I found serving the people of Lawrence Hill for ten years.

“I most enjoyed getting to know the communities of the ward and would like to think that, feeding in that daily local intelligence, I was able to help us make a positive and lasting difference to their lives.

“This is surely the only real reason why anyone stands for election.

“I am proud to have seen Marvin re-elected to continue to do just that,
and I am proud to carry on serving as a trustee of Felix Road Adventure Playground, which continues to go from strength to strength.

“During my time on the council, I met lots of dedicated councillors and council officers – all trying their best, all trying to do much more with far less over the past decade. Over the past eighteen months of the pandemic, Bristol’s local authority key workers have rightly, at long last, had some of the wider recognition that we know they richly deserve.

“One of my lower points may have been getting overheard, unmuted, during my last Budget meeting – but I console myself that it was not as bad as Handforth Council’s webcast, or the Department of Health’s CCTV!

“I was also proud to serve on the Women’s Commission, and I know that we still have more work to do to make this chamber look like the city it’s there to serve – especially in terms of female representation.

“Having chaired and then led the Labour Group for a number of years,
I want to thank party colleagues and workers for their support.

“As well as Marvin, and my friends being conferred with titles today, it feels right to take a moment to reflect on the contributions of those who have not been honoured today – I am thinking particularly of Ruth, Carole, Tom, Gill, Kye, Afzal, Celia, and Jon.

“While I might not always make it to the Aldermen and Alderwomen’s bench for every Council meeting, I do hope to be there when Full Council confers the status posthumously on the late, great Mike Langley.

“Finally, I’d like to share one of my favourite quotations from Maya Angelou:

“‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.’

“Thank you.”