North Kesteven

Richard Wright: Hopefully our young people can see past the current state of national politics

This week has been a very important week in North Kesteven. Not only have we celebrated the contribution made by our community champions, but we’ve also held two events for schools in Sleaford and at NK Academy to celebrate Local Democracy Week.

With all the bravado, rhetoric and despondency being published on a daily basis around our national and international politicians, it is extremely important that the next generation of voters and possible representatives of our communities have the opportunity for an insight into what democracy is meant to be about.

The pupils who attended the events were given the opportunity to run their own mini campaigns and wait anxiously to see who would be ‘elected’. Alongside this, they were given a brief history of the evolution of democracy in the UK. It is when you see the various dates displayed, such as voting rights for women, that it brings home just how short a period modern politics has existed in a country that prides itself on democracy.

Hopefully our young people can see past the current state of national politics, where plotting and ill thought through comments seem to fill more press space than the serious issues being debated on the national and international stage.

In addition, it also gave an opportunity to explain some of the role our local authorities play in the life of all residents, including younger people.

Sadly, statistics show that the under 25s are still not engaging in council elections in the numbers that we would want. This is something that we need to change, as local authorities play such an important part in the everyday existence of residents that they need to be truly representative of every demographic.

This subject was at the forefront of NK’s Executive Board this last week, as items passed on the agenda included the financial strategy for the next three years, the NK Corporate Plan and the localised Council Tax Support scheme.

We welcome residents’ views on the plan, especially on the fifth priority of Our Environment, which has been given a status of its own to demonstrate our appreciation of the issues affecting our green and beautiful District.

On the Council Tax Support Scheme, there are several options that require consideration and we would appreciate comments on these, regardless of if you receive support or not.

It was a pleasure to see the vast wealth of volunteering, caring and dedication and devotion displayed once again by our Community Champions.

The very worthy finalists and winners represent the huge number of nominees, who generally without a thought for themselves give thousands of hours for others in our district.

From years spent running sporting clubs or hours spent every week helping keeping communities clean and tidy, to caring for others and running hugely successful village shows, these are the people who deserve our gratitude and recognition.

The awards are the authority’s small way of turning the spotlight on the selfless many who contribute to making our lives so much richer in North Kesteven.

They really are the champions of and from our communities.