I stepped down from Seaton Town Council. Here is why.

 Now that the Seaton Town Council (STC) team are aware I can announce that I have officially stepped down from STC. 

I have to admit, before I joined STC I was one of those who would moan on social media about them not getting anything done, about them not appearing to take an interest in the wants and needs of the constituents and about the may issues Seaton faces. Since joining though I have a new found respect for both the councilors and the office staff. 

STC work extremely hard, you may not see it but I can assure you they do.

The office team are under a lot of pressure juggling many different projects and elements involved. There is just so much that we as constituents of the town do not see and so it is hard for us to understand and appreciate. 

The councilors are humans, not robots. Being unkind about them and personally attacking them, both in person and online, doesn't help. (and yes this does happen, I've witnessed it) STC do not have the powers you think they do. It is not as easy to get things done as you think it might be. STC don't own all of the land in Seaton and so many of the things you think STC can do they in-fact cannot and responsibility lays with either East Devon District Council, Devon District Council or Highways. STC members are also individuals, each with their own core interests, views and opinions and so it is understandable that not all will agree on everything all of the time, this is a good thing. There will of course be situations where not all members agree, this is why there are a number of them so voting can take place. Another thing to remember is budgets are not endless, everything costs money and unless you all want your council tax increased not all the projects you want funded can happen straight away. Another key fact, one that many forget is STC are volunteers. They DO NOT get paid! 

That being said STC are doing their best and have done so many fantastic things in the past 2 years especially. The town is looking smart, thanks to council members and staff who have taken it upon themselves with the help of volunteers to clean up the town center. STC created a grants scheme to help support high street shops during the pandemic, to assist in funding shopfront maintenance. These efforts and many others have resulted in the town looking the best I've seen it since I moved here in 2014. 

There are many projects currently in planning stages too that are going to be brilliant for the town but everything takes time; and money. So please support STC rather than pass judgement on them. 

I stepped down from council because I didn't feel I was able to commit enough time in the coming months as the role deserves. I have academic, work and family commitments which will be taking up all of my time and so I wouldn't be able to attend meetings. There are projects I'd still love to see actioned and I'll do what I can to support them being implemented but I need to put my focus back onto my family, my academic career and my businesses. 

I am going to continue to support STC moving forward in any ways that I can. I advise that fellow Seaton constituents do the same. If you don't agree with something that's fine, let then know, talk to them, respectfully. Don't judge and moan about them. They are a great bunch if only you give them time and respect. We will not all agree with everything that is done but that doesn't mean we cannot all get along, be kind to one and other and support each other. 

There is now a space on STC, if you feel that you have the time and are willing to put in the effort I highly recommend contacting the office to let them know so they can consider you for co-option when the time is right. 

Thanks again to everyone who has been in contact with me and worked with my whilst I was a council member. I learnt a lot and I have a whole new respect for all at STC. I'm going to be focusing my time, moving forward, on my family, my businesses and my academic studies. 

Take care all, 

Kerri-Ann Betty