Keep politics out of Paxton

THE coming parish council election for Little Paxton, on May 1, is in danger of being railroaded by candidates who, by their own declaration, may not bring their individual and non-political contributions to the council, but who appear already to have for

THE coming parish council election for Little Paxton, on May 1, is in danger of being railroaded by candidates who, by their own declaration, may not bring their individual and non-political contributions to the council, but who appear already to have formed an allegiance to one another. This could, in my opinion, change the village for the worse, not the better.

Little Paxton is fortunate enough to have an active parish council that is run for the good of the whole village community. It has through recent efforts retained vital services, overseen improvements in facilities for the young, something which is ongoing, and has been instrumental in winning awards in village of the year competitions. In short, the village is a better place to live in, thanks in no small part to their efforts.

As with most things in life, one or two proposals prove controversial, particularly to those in closest proximity. Efforts to alleviate problems in one area can inflame opinions in another. The only way to achieve any progress is therefore to take a balanced approach, something that the present council is at pains to do.

Some of the new candidates putting themselves forward for election to the parish council appear to have been dissatisfied with some of the council's decisions of late and have been quite vociferous at public consultations and forums.

While discussion and debate are always good things, it should be noted that, according to the parish plan, the opinions expressed, in these instances, have been at odds with the majority of our village community. If elected to office, would these candidates find it difficult to separate the interests of our community as a whole sufficiently from their own? One has to hope not.

Looking at the statistics: there is a degree of inevitability involved. It is therefore important that as many people engage in the election process as possible in order to achieve a truly democratic outcome. The choice is simple, a parish council that has an excellent track record of striving to achieve as much as possible for the village as a whole, with the minimum of impact on public funds, or one that promises us "democratic change"? A confusing offer when we already have the former and do not appear in need of the latter.

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It goes without saying that opinions on this will differ from mine, and consequently the impending changes may not be of concern to some. The populus of Little Paxton would however do well to consider the wider impact beyond immediate allegiances and their own door step. Democracy is only effective if the majority of people engage in the process. The alternative is rule by a minority, under a banner of democracy, but is in fact something quite different.

IAN RHODES-ELSON

Hayling Avenue

Little Paxton

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