Hoping to bowl over the public

Ward councillors Marjorie James and Angie Wilcox (right) enjoy a game of bowls
Ward councillors Marjorie James and Angie Wilcox (right) enjoy a game of bowls

INNOVATIVE councillors are hoping to be bowled over by the response from residents to their ward surgery with a twist.

Labour councillors Angie Wilcox, Marjorie James and Pamela Hargreaves are urging residents to join them in a game of carpet bowls at the surgery tomorrow.

Coun Wilcox is the brains behind the idea as she wanted to ensure her first ward meeting was a hit with people in the Owton area of Hartlepool.

She came up with the idea after finding a carpet bowls set in the cupboard at Manor Residents’ Association where she works.

The idea is to encourage more people to come along to the ward surgery meetings, which give people the chance to air any views or concerns about the area in which they live.

This month residents will be able to try their hand at carpet bowls, but next month there will be a different activity.

Coun Wilcox, who was elected to the Owton ward in May, said: “I think a lot of people don’t come to them because they are not particularly interactive.

“They do not always allow for an open discussion and so I decided to try something a little different for my first one to try and engage with people.

“I was looking in the cupboard at work and spotted the carpet bowls so I asked to borrow them. Thankfully the other councillors were up for it.

“It should be a lot of fun and I would urge people to come along; it will certainly be a ward surgery with a difference,” added the mum-of-one.

The ward surgery will be held at the Manor Residents’ Association building, in Kilmarnock Road, between 1.30pm and 2.30pm.

Coun Wilcox, who manages the association, added: “The aim will be to have a different activity every month and we will leave that up to the residents to decide.

“We will be asking them what they want to do, but I draw the line at football and rugby.

“They have always been done a certain way and the message is that it does not have to stay that way.”

At the May elections, Coun Wilcox received 625 votes from Owton residents, beating her nearest rival Peter Joyce, from UKIP, who received 113 votes.