Zumba with a difference

Councillors Angie Wilxon (left) and Marjorie James doing the Zumba. Picture by FRANK REID
Councillors Angie Wilxon (left) and Marjorie James doing the Zumba. Picture by FRANK REID

ENERGETIC councillors are encouraging residents to join in with the latest dance craze at a ward surgery with a twist.

Hartlepool councillors Marjorie James, Pamela Hargreaves and Angie Wilcox, who represent the Owton ward, are hoping to attract younger residents to their surgery by combining it with a zumba dance class.

Residents will be able to join in the fun and talk about any issues or concerns they have while dancing alongside the Labour members this Friday.

Or they can take a seat and enjoy watching other residents learn new Latin dance moves.

It is the second time that innovative councillors have held a ward surgery with a twist.

Earlier this summer they took part in a game of carpet bowls with residents – a move which proved popular.

Every month there will be a different activity and people are encouraged to come up with new ideas.

Coun Wilcox, who was elected in May, is the brains behind the new drive to get more people at the meetings.

The mum-of-one said: “The idea of holding a zumba ward surgery was put forward by a resident at the last meeting.

“It is something a bit different and we are hoping it will prove popular with people.

“We especially want to encourage younger mums and dads in the Owton ward area to come along.

“I have never tried this before but we are willing to give it a go.”

There will be an element of competition too as scores will be awarded for the best zumba dance.

But councillors are keen not to put anybody off going if they do not want to dance.

Coun Wilcox added: “If people do not want to dance then that is fine and they can sit down and discuss their concerns with councillors as normal.”

Coun Wilcox said she draws the line at football and rugby but is willing to give anything else a go.

She added: “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.

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

“The feedback so far has been very positive and people have said it is better than everybody sitting behind a desk.

“It should be an interactive and fun session.”

The ward surgery will be held at the Manor Residents’ Association building, in Kilmarnock Road, Hartlepool, on Friday, September 9, from 2pm.