More good then bad despite ‘shameful’ activities

I do try to present the good things that go on but in the news this week have been some pretty shameful activities, not in themselves life changing, but nevertheless a bad reflection on our society, writes Liberal Party city councillor Chris Ash.

Sunday, 26th May 2019, 6:50 am
Damage caused to the exhibition. Photo: Market Deeping Model Railway Club

The Welland Academy in Stamford has become a big talking point and hit the national news. The wanton vandalism that occurred to people’s work on Saturday has not shown the school nor Stamford in good light and brought shame.

While the time and effort lost cannot be regained it was good to see people have rallied round with donations and support came in for the club including that from the entertainer Rod Stewart.

Another incident that reflects extremely badly on our society is the recent trend for assaulting campaigners. It seems to be a nationwide trend orchestrated by those who clearly have an unhealthy disrespect for democracy and the right of people to air their legally held views. These actions debase the cause they allegedly serve.

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I am not sure if I should hide away from the continued Brexit debacle or face up to it and mention it.

I don’t think we are spoilt for choice. We have Remainers who want to by-pass the referendum result or pin their hopes on yet another to stay in the EU at any price.

Then, on the other hand we have those wishing to Leave at any cost, and worry about what we do later.

And finally, there are those who seem to be like headless chickens and really can’t decide what they should do.

We should have by now, like it or not, left the EU cleanly and amicably. However, our leaders can’t even sort things here. I do wish to add that in my view the suits at the EU aren’t up to much either.

What to do? Perhaps we need, as has often been suggested a ‘none of the above’ box to select. However pointless you might think it is, I do urge people to vote

I agree with those that say reform of the system is urgently needed.

Talk though is usually confined to a better voting system or reforming the House of Lords. I think all that is doing is still cobbling the system together

It would if serious debate moved onto a wider reform – not kick them all out. Tempting, but a major review of the whole set up to make government more meaningful to local people.

It is not good that turnout in local elections is so low, and interest is not encouraged by the national press and TV who are wanting local elections to be a sort of referendum on national issues.

We need to have more decision making nearer to the people that matter – that’s you and me.

There is a dangerous trend to move a lot of decision making to a higher level away from local areas.

That will make local elections even less meaningful to people. All central government seems to do is fiddle around to suit its own ends.

I fear that with the combined authority of Peterborough and Cambridgeshire we will find that decision making will continue to be pushed away from local areas.

That has happened in Cornwall and is about to happen in Northamptonshire. My worry is that some areas don’t seem important to those in the ivory towers and will get forgotten.

My year as mayor came to an end on Monday. It’s been a good year and I have with the mayoress met some good people who do so much for the city – it’s been a great honour for us both.

The last event was to attend the Organ Donor awards. It’s an honour for us to have been able to have attended this for the third time and an honour for the council to be asked to host it once again.

The awards are a tribute to families and solace for them knowing that a deceased loved one has given life to another.

Perhaps we should all think about carrying an organ donor card. Mind you I am not sure if my aging bits would be up to much.

We have also met many groups who raise money for locally based charities – and it really is good to know that there are many out there who work to support others.

I am sure many are willing to give up their time without seeking fame, but a thank you goes a long away

You never know, one day we may need support ourselves.

I started out condemning a couple of very distasteful actions but there are hundreds more - I’d say most people - willing (if able) to do a little bit extra making life better all round, working together to make our city a fine place.