This is a very personal post that just had to be written. It is intended for an audience of two. I have just returned form the LGA Conference where I have been doing more of the councillor / social media stuff which I've blogged about in the past. This post is not about that.
This post is about two gents who I have had the good fortune to work with over the last three years. Thanks to Ken Eastwood having the foresight to put a councillor / social media session on at LocalGov Camp Yorkshire and the Humber I met Councillors Tim Cheetham and Simon Cooke. Since then we have worked together across the region trying to raise the profile and discussion around all things democratic and social media. They have both visited the Council I work for to help me spread the word. Our work together has been captured and shared here.
Here's my take on Simon and Tim. Ideologically they probably couldn't be much further apart, but they have quite a few things in common. They are passionate about being a councillor, they genuinely believe in representing their communities and making a difference. They want to be representatives in a digital age and they want to support their colleagues on that journey. They are very funny and have a unique sort of chemistry. All this I have observed.
For reasons which aren't really material to this post I think today may be the last time that all three of us will collaborate. As Simon tweeted as we chatted over lunch - it had a bit of an end of an era feeling. If that's the case perhaps it's fitting we ended on the national stage at the LGA Conference.
As an officer it goes with my territory that relationships with councillors remain professional, neutral and independent. I think I kept my part of the bargain over the last three years. That said I think I can also say that we worked well together and genuinely got on - this is a good thing and something I look back on with great pride. So this is my chance to say thanks, it was a real blast.