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Bull in China Shop

I’ve just been talked into serving as chairman of a local charity, the Esher Neighbourhood Fund, and I’m already starting to fret.  Dominic Raab, Conservative MP for Esher and Walton, was my sponsor for the position.  All I can say is, on his head be it.

I don’t mean to sound as if I’ve been dragged into the job kicking and screaming, but I did feel obliged to warn him that I know nothing about how such organisations work, let alone how they ought to work, and that I may therefore find myself knocking over the shop china.  Having always operated in the business world, where the objective was usually clear, if not the means of achieving it, I dread finding myself having to untangle a mare’s nest of conflicting priorities, a task for which I do not bring the virtue of patience.  Dominic seems to think that is a good thing. 

I hope he’s right.

The ENF’s principal task is to raise enough money to attract partly-matched funds from the local council.  The focus is on an area known as Lower Green, representing a pocket of economic deprivation in a borough statistically qualified as one of England’s most prosperous.

Nothing in the management of human affairs being simple, even before my first meeting, I was given a foretaste of political complexity.  When I mentioned to a committee member that someone from the Lower Green community ought to attend our meetings, she warned that a person generally recognised by the committee as a community leader is a rather unpopular figure, the area being riven by what she described as ‘family feuds’.

Wish me luck.

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