One to One with Keith Vaz: Luis Fonseca

Wednesday 08th August 2018 06:19 EDT

Luis has to balance the needs and interests of his constituents and the Council. Listening to his constituent's issues and delivering, is part of his job. Besides these they also contribute to the implementation of Councils policy.

Luis is also a Vice-Chair of the Health and Well-Being scrutiny commission and a scrutiny member for the Neighborhood services and community involvement scrutiny commission. Scrutiny is about monitoring and reviewing Council services and decisions of the City Mayor and his cabinet and holds them to account for their decisions. Luis is involved in Licensing too. These make legitimate demands on our time, on top of the demands and needs of our personal and professional lives. But Luis loves his job.

1 Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home

Leicester, United Kingdom. All are made to feel welcome in this great historical city. It is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the UK in particular. The bonhomie and camaraderie exuded by this city is second to none. At times of crises, it stands united to deter the troublemakers.

2 What are your proudest achievements?

Being elected a ward councillor for Leicester City Council has to be one of my proudest achievements.
Community life has always been an important part of me. The desire to work with people has always been my strength. I profess in doing my utmost to render necessary help to the constituents.

3 What inspires you?

Labour Party’s vision in terms of social justice, like Strong community and strong values, reward for hard work, decency and rights inspires me. For me, there is no substitute for hard work, dedication and taking responsibility for the work one is entrusted upon. Another aspect, I would like to bring into this equation is the importance of teamwork.

4 What has been biggest obstacle in your career?

This is not an ideal world. We would like to have everything going our way, but this is not possible.
The austerity measures implemented by the current National Government do not allow this to happen. Less money for the Local Government, the spending cuts have all contributed to a negative impact on delivery of services at times.

5 Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date?

A number of people were very influential in me taking a step into politics. My work with the community was recognised by them, and I was advised about taking this forward and working within the ward level at a much larger scale, which I did, after being elected.

6 What is the best aspect about your current role?

Working with my constituents has always been my forte. You need to be comfortable with people. Getting their issues sorted out, individually, as a group or community, by constant monitoring with the officers through meetings at their homes, offices or site visits form an important part of my job.

7 And the worst?

As I said, this is not an ideal world. At times you cannot satisfy all. There will always be someone who is not too pleased. There are habitual mourners. We need to have thick skin and not really be affected by negative criticism at times. Try to do our best to alleviate bad outcomes.

8 What are your long term goals?

To continue working as a councillor for some more years at the very least (provided I am elected one).
Being involved in some kind of charitable work in due course is very much on the agenda. I am sure that I will do my level best to achieve this goal.

9 If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change?

Well, unfortunately, I do not aspire to be one. But I am very much a fan of Human Rights and the nine protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010. This should be adhered to strictly at all cost no matter what.

10 If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why.
Martin Luther King Jr.

He was a Baptist Minister with strong Christian belief. I admire the way he worked for the advancement of civil rights through nonviolence, inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and civil disobedience resorted to by him which in the long run changed the course of history. I admire him.

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