Steering clear of negative drift

Cr Phill Hooper.
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Over the last couple of months, we have asked our community for their feedback on the Long Term Plan proposals. Now I have another ask of our community, or a small part of our community.

When you are district council bashing on social media, please be mindful that there are real life human beings on the end of your bashing.

I’m not for one second saying don’t comment at all, but why not try and make it constructive?

As a district council, we worked a lot of hours on the Long Term Plan trying to get to the right decisions. Hours of reading, talking to the public, listening to submissions and then deliberating.

I can understand people’s frustrations when we didn ‘t decide in their favour. We didn’t all agree with each other around the table either, but that’s democracy.

We got accused of not listening to the people around the Tinwald Pool, but only 31 per cent of submitters wanted it to be kept. That means 69 per cent of submitters wanted something else. To me, that is listening to the people.

We got slammed around our decision regarding the Balmoral Hall. In fact, two regular commenters said: “I think our council needs demolitioning”!!! (excuse my spelling, but I do want to quote them accurately) and “You bring the sledgehammers and I’ll bring the pry bars and shovels, we can do it”.

I wonder if those two people watched us debate for over three hours on the Balmoral Hall decision? Can I suggest to the two people in question, don’t worry about your sledgehammers and shovels, just bring your nomination forms for the local body elections next year.

I’d love you to join us around the table and show us the error of our ways.

I want to continue keeping an eye on social media to gauge some community feeling on what we are doing, but I fear I may drift down the same path as others and stop doing it because “it’s just so negative all the time”. And trust me, getting slammed constantly is not good for one’s mental health.

I urge you to continue having your say, but please read the full story before you do and don’t just react to a headline. Also please remember we are just 10 humans doing our community service and trying bloody hard to do the best we can for everybody in our region.

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