Meet Your Councillor
Name: Christine James
Ward you represent: Westham North which includes Southill.
Any committee roles? Services, Vice Chair of planning, TCG
Access group (whenever it meets again). Armed Force Champion and signatory of the AFC. (Something I am very proud of).
Tell us a little bit about yourself: (100 words max)
I’m an Essex girl, born and raised there until I moved to Cornwall in the mid-eighties. Lived there for 6 years, then moved to Wilshire; in the middle of Salisbury plain to live in married quarters. Moved to Weymouth in 1997, arriving on the day of princess Diana’s funeral. I have five grown up children and nine grandchildren who all live in and around Weymouth. So, I get to spend a lot of time with them.
While my family was growing up, I took a succession of jobs to fit around their schooling. Everything from bar work, waitressing, reception work, cashier in a bank until I finally qualified as an ADI in august 2003. And which I am still doing today. The following year I was elected to the former borough council, and then to the town council.
I’ve taken part in many different events over the years and been involved with different groups. I’ve always enjoyed sport and love my sea swimming. So much to tell from a woman of 64.
What motivated you to become a councillor?
Constantly seeing wrongs in my ward, for a long time the Westham ward was neglected and was also a deprived area. I was also approached by one of the ward members at the time who said rather than complain to the council get elected and sort the issues out. So, I did. Once elected, you realise you must actually get on and make things happen. And I know I did just that.
What do you enjoy most about the role?
Meeting people, being face to face rather than the recent zoom flurry. Seeing a result of something I’ve either started or been involved in. Attending civic functions is a good way to engage with a varied array of residents, as well as being enjoyable.
What’s the most frequent issue you deal with in your ward?
Probably, speeding traffic, even though I campaigned and succeeded in getting a 20mph scheme through out my ward when a borough councillor and brief holder.
Litter and dog mess. I have arranged and taken part in litter picks over the years as litter is one of my biggest bug bears. Anti-social behaviour used to be a big problem,
but it has eased off,
Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about becoming a councillor?
Don’t do it.
Seriously, in this political climate I’d suggest being independent, as that way you will clearly be representing your constituents rather than some false political ideal.
Make sure you have the time and energy. If you have young children, it could become too much as it can overtake your life. You need an extremely supportive partner.
You need to be committed and willing to see things through as well being seen as the face of those who elected you and will expect to see you at civic functions. We often have church and military functions so you cannot be picky.
You need a pair of big shoulders as well as a sense of humour. Not be afraid of speaking in public and NEVER be afraid to speak up even if you think something sounds silly.
How can people contact you if they have an issue to raise?
Happy to be phoned. 07749282337.
[include surgery details if held or default below goes to the councillor web page]
Contact me by visiting Weymouth Town Council’s website for more details.