St James Ward | About me

This is the introductory message from me in the spring newsletter to residents in the St James ward.

“I was born in Plymouth, but moved away to go to Salford University in 1974. That was the start of 30 years in exile.

“It was while at University that my career path changed. I left Plymouth planning to be a research biologist but somehow became sidetracked. I now have a career as a freelance theatre sound designer and sound engineer for a wide variety of musical styles.

“If I ever had any definite career plans, it was to return to the South-West at a stage where I would never have to leave the area again. Well, that became reality when I moved to Exeter with my wife, Rachel, in 2004.

“Exeter was a city I never really visited when I was growing up (except for visiting the judo club next to St James’ Park for area championships – now the site of the important Fountain Centre). Arriving here I was struck by what an amazing city it is. And that has continued to be, especially when I realise that I can easily walk for home to the centre, enjoy the newly developed Princesshay development, and experience the unique delights of this glorious city.

“What do I stand for and what do I believe in? I am committed to promoting the causes of the co-operative movement and mutual dependency, such as the Exeter Credit Union. In addition, I am an active member of the Friends of the Earth “Campaign Express” awareness strategy and a supporter of Greenpeace.

“I would like to think that the challenge facing not just St James’ but Exeter as a whole is we should deliver services not solely by meeting targets but by involving citizens as active partners and using their energies to improve their neighbourhoods.

“As a sound engineer I spend my working life actively listening. If elected, I would be a councillor that actively listens to what you have to say. Help me be that listening voice”

St James | Letterboxes

Out on leaflet rounds this morning – delivering my A3 Newsletter and the “Exeter Parish Council” leaflet.

As ever I am astonished by the range of sizes and shapes of letterboxes.

My favourites are always placed at waist height, no bending down to ground level. Horizontal ones always easier to use that vertical ones – not sure why. Brushes behind the flap tend to impede the process of pushing the leaflets through – all our beautiful artwork gets crumpled up.

The real danger is the secondary flap on the inside. During the campaign in Alphington last year, I heard a dog thundering up the hallway, so I quickly removed my hand. Caught the index finger of my right hand on this secondary flap and ripped the fingernail off. Spent 2 hours in casualty at RD&E on Saturday afternoon.

But the biggest bugbear is the size of the letterbox. How can students (and others) cope with a flap is barely big enough to receive a postcard?

The image above is one of the smallest on the delivery round – the A3 leaflet, already folded in to 3 (by our wonderful machine) has to be folded into half to get through the opening.

By contrast, I always enjoy using the letterbox below. It is wide enough to post an A4 leaflet sideways and high enough to take the whole delivery in one go. Certainly no trapped fingers in that one.