IN today’s column The Fly professes to love animals but doesn’t go ‘weak-kneed and gushing’ at the sight of cute kittens or cuddly puppies.

I have to confess, I do!

Whether it was my pet German Shepherd which used to guard my pram as a baby that first got me gooey over all things furry I don’t know.

But over the years I’ve been privileged to grow up with dogs, cats, budgies, hamsters, fish, a rabbit and even a snake – although that was an experiment to get over my fear of them but it didn’t work and said reptile was pretty soon back in the pet shop.

I’d also like to point out that these pets were ‘one-at-a-time’ in case people get the impression I lived on Noah’s Ark.

Most of the pets I’ve owned have been rescue animals and taking on one of these animals is a massive commitment.

You never know for sure what the animal’s background is and very often they have baggage, so to speak.

I once had an agoraphobic German Shepherd that barked when people left the house, not entered it.

And a few of the kittens I’ve adopted have cost me a small fortune in the vets thanks to their susceptibility to cat flu because of their poor start in life, i.e. being born in a shed.

It’s one of the reasons why, a few years ago, I decided to help a local animal charity by becoming a trustee.

I desperately wanted to do something worthwhile for a cause I believed in and I thought, with my journalistic and managerial background, I could bring some valuable skills to the table.

It would be very rewarding for me personally I thought, and great for my own personal development.

What I realised after 18 months was that the most important thing that this charity needed was my time – and that was something I was struggling to give.

The saying ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’ isn’t always true when other things, like the day-job and family, take priority.

So when I read last week that Northwich town councillors have been pulled up over non-attendance of meetings I could relate to the frustration.

Town mayor Clr Bob Robinson raised the issue of absenteeism at the last town council meeting.

There are 21 members and the lowest count was 10 at the February meeting.

It’s worth pointing out that parish councillors do not get paid a salary, just expenses.

They give up their time presumably because they are passionate about the community in which they live and want to make an active and positive contribution.

I’m unaware which councillors haven’t been attending meetings, but I imagine that most, if not all, had legitimate reasons for not doing so.

But that doesn’t help the rest of the committee who are putting in the hours in a bid to make Northwich a better place.

When you stand for something like this – be it a trustee for a charity or a council – it’s a big commitment and you’re not doing anyone any favours unless you can physically give it the attention it needs.

The only way committees of any sort can function affectively is if all members work together to make a difference.