On Thursday, the local elections were not held. The lockdown put an end to this year's local democratic process. We will do a catch up next year (assuming the lockdown process is, by then, lifted.) Thursday marked something of a milestone for me. It was 33 years to the day since I was first elected to Gateshead Council at the age of 23, gaining my seat from the Conservatives. I have been re-elected since then 9 times, each time with over half the votes cast. I had not necessarily planned to be on the council for nearly a third of a century back in 1987. I had aspirations for a career in politics, either as an MP or working for the party. I ended up doing the latter but decided to stay involved with local politics in Gateshead.
Quite how much longer I continue in local politics is a decision that is not yet taken, either by myself, or by the good people of Whickham South and Sunniside. I am next due to face re-election in 2023, when I will be 59. I would have done 36 years by then. I will have to ponder the question, do I want to do 40 years? Or will I end up keeping going and wondering in 20 years' time whether or not I should do another term to take me to 60 years! I wonder what the record for continuous service is in local government?