It was a huge honour to be elected to represent East Finchley, because I have lived there since I was a child, and nowhere else has ever really been "home". I remember walking down the High Road on April 12th, thinking "oh my God I represent all this!"
And in the few months I have been a Councillor, I have seen first hand all the hard work that my colleagues do, and all the issues that are important to people. Parking, school places, road safety, anti-social behaviour and the state of playing fields are the biggest issues that I confront.
But I count myself very lucky to have two excellent colleagues, Alison Moore and Colin Rogers. Everytime I canvass, people always tell me how much they like Alison, and often they have a personal story of how she has helped them. She is a repositry of knowledge and experience and there are countless mistakes I might have made had it not been for her help. Add to that she is the hardest working person I have ever met!
Colin is also excellent to work with. He has a great working knowldge of every part of the ward, and I have always found this useful when I get complaints. He is a passionate advocate for the environment and I have seen the Herculean efforts he puts in for Finchley Charities and the East Finchley Festival. He also has a top sense of humour, which manifests itself best at council meetings.
In addition to Alison and Colin, there are many others who I owe a debt of gratitude to.
I would also like to put on record my best wishes to my predecessor, Andrew McNeil. Andrew was an excellent councillor, and I agree with the many people who tell me that I have big shoes to fill. Back in 2006, Andrew trained me as an advisor at the old East Finchley Advice Service (before the Tories closed it) and I have a bit of a headstart in dealing with casework because of it. Andrew is moving to Northern Ireland to be nearer to his family and I hope he, his wife Cordelia, and dog Libby, have the time of their lives there.