In Praise of the Unsung and a Wonderful Councillor
|Published: 10th July 2012 17:02|
This month will see an outpouring of pride for winners, and gallant losers, at a series of sporting events, from Wimbledon to the Olympics. Long gone are the days when our top sportsmen and women were amateur, fitting in their training for elite performance around everyday jobs. It is quite right that they are able to dedicate themselves in such a way, though it tends to make their back stories not quite as romantic as in the past. And the rewards for success can be extraordinary in financial terms.
But it's also a month when we can celebrate those lesser known, but whose contributions to our own community life have more immediate impact. The Olympic torch has highlighted these, and those who organise, for no financial reward, the huge number of local festivals, village shows and fetes at this time of year create the tapestry of the English summer that we would all miss if not there. Do say a really heartfelt ‘thank you' to those you meet at such occasions.
Cllr Jon Clarke (deceased)Langford lost such a man the other week. Jon Clarke took his community contribution into the difficult world of local party politics as a Councillor. Like everyone else I have been shocked and deeply saddened by his death. He knew his village well, fought hard for it, but with a warmth and generosity of personality that left a remarkable impression. That the public benefitted from precious family time which he gave up should remind us all of the sacrifices made by those in similar positions in local life. I hope the response of the public has been of some comfort to Gill and her family.
We are all quick to criticise our councils and councillors - I do so myself - but few take their grumbles and concerns into active involvement. Jon's death has brought me up short. So I want to praise those, of all parties, who are locally active, from the elected to those who deliver their leaflets and stand on your doorsteps. But for them we would only be left with central dictation from Whitehall and Westminster.
ALISTAIR BURT MP
North East Bedfordshire
0207 219 8132 / 01767 313385