Giving up the day job for the Shire Hall shift
THE new year will bring a new look for one Stratford councillor’s life after he decided to park his career as a marketing director to concentrate on his work at Shire Hall.
Cllr Tim Sinclair said he has given up his job after finding himself working 80-hour weeks juggling his professional life with Warwickshire County Council commitments.
As a family man, Tim said he just couldn’t accommodate everything, so he resigned from work, sorted out the finances and changed his priorities.
The council – and of course family – are now the main feature.
Tim, who has represented Stratford North for just seven months – he won his seat in May 2021 as a Conservative candidate, said: “My job was as a marketing director running a team of about 40 people which, irrespective of any other activity, is not a nine to five job. Then the council work is added onto that.
“What I would occasionally do is, instead of having a lunch break or any break during the day, I might attend the council meeting and then just keep working into the evening. I estimated I was doing 80 hours a week. At weekends I could easily be doing another 10 hours at least on council work.”
He added: “I got to the point where I was counting the hours, saying I’ve got this many hours for sleeping and this many for eating. It’s just not worth it. Just not pleasurable. I really want to do the council work as best as I can. I would like to do more of it, not less of it. And so, something had to give.”
A resident of Stratford for about 15 years – he moved from Reigate – Tim already knew the area a little as he went to university at Warwick.
“It felt like a natural place to move to,” he said. “I’d always had in my head that I’d love to somehow get involved in the community in Stratford, but in a way I felt like I needed to be here long enough to feel like this was now my home.
“So after a period, I thought, now I feel ready to try and do my bit locally. I’m very much a community person in Stratford, and was interested in local politics, so I started to get involved in the local political scene.”
While the council work has been demanding, it has been rewarding.
“There’s hundreds of people that have put their faith in you and believe that you can do something for them as their local representative,” he explained. “There’s no guarantee whatsoever that you’ll get that chance again, so I need to make the most of the opportunity.”
Tim, who is married with two children added: “I had three priorities when I was campaigning, which residents also fed back to me, and they were the local economy, transport in Stratford, and the protection of green spaces.”
The role of county councillor, in Tim’s view, is made up of proactive work like policy-making and the reactive work of supporting residents’ daily concerns. However, he believes there is still room for idealism in local politics.
“There tends to be a focus on doing things and not necessarily a focus on achieving things”, Tim added, “The last company I worked at was the Islamic Bank of Britain, so I’ve met a lot of people of that particular faith, and somebody said something that really stuck with me; that when you go through life, if you’re lucky, you leave your scratches. I thought that’s quite a nice way of putting it.”