Congratulations – just for standing

A personal view
A personal view

There might be some members of the public suffering a little election fatigue who sighed when Theresa May’s big announcement last month was to return the country to the polls.

But I wanted to use this column to salute 40 men and women who started on a journey just by sticking their head above the parapet.

Yesterday, that journey ended with their own local election as they bid to represent St Edmundsbury on Suffolk County Council.

Thumbing the list of 40 candidates across nine areas, I know some of the candidates very well and some I don’t know at all.

This doesn’t mean I am suggesting some could have done better, and been more vocal, in their campaigning.

But St Edmundsbury is a relatively big area and I am naturally drawn to those who are in my own close vicinity and those I have been hugely impressed with in the past.

This is not a column for naming names, for proclaiming one candidate over another – not least because the result should be known by the time you read this.

This is actually a collective congratulations to everyone who has stood in the local elections.

I know it takes a lot of determination, hard work and sacrifice to even decide to stand, let alone to be elected.

Each candidate will have their own reasons why they put themselves forward but I am sure they all feel they can make a difference to their communities. That alone should be praised.

If I have one wish, though it will come after polling day, it is that the victors are the ones that have already achieved tangible success or will do so in the future.

I don’t focus on what party they represent. For me, the clue is in the title. ‘Local’ elections are about fighting for local issues not party politics. I imagine it can be a thankless task when national politics understandably gets brought up on the doorstep.

But for those who were successful and for those who just fell short, I thank you for having the desire to do something.

While elections will continue to dominate the headlines, this desire and commitment to improving our local community can be seen every week in the pages of the Bury Free Press.

Within a few days either side of the weekend, I was supporting the launch of a £200,00 fund-raising campaign to build a new pre-school premises in Horringer and then attending the Hardwick Fun Day on Bank Holiday Monday. Very different events, but both encapsulating the volunteer spirit and the can-do approach. The fun day was a fantastic success and I am sure the pre-school campaign will follow suit.