My wife and I live in St James South Elmham, one of the 25 rural parishes in the Bungay electoral Division. We keep a few sheep and some chickens and are doing our best to restore and improve a timber-frame Suffolk long house. Rachel is the Church Warden and we both help with village events.
I have been a County Councillor since 2009. Recently I was appointed as the Deputy Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care with special responsibility for adults with learning difficulties and long-term mental health needs. I believe that it is a sign of a civilised society that we look after those who are less able to look after themselves. However, doing so uses a very large part of the budget and controlling costs is as important as ensuring that the people we help can live the fullest possible lives.
I am also a Councillor at Waveney District Council where I am the Cabinet Member for Planning and Coastal Management. I became a Councillor because I wish to be a strong voice for all the rural parishes. Council work takes up most of my time – it has become a full-time occupation. When not working, I may be seen with a chain saw, or hedge cutter, looking after the meadows and the garden, and making sure that we have enough logs for the wood burning stove which heats the house in winter.
I can be contacted at David.Ritchie@suffolk.gov.uk