Electioneering will be reaching a climax as you read this and it will be clear as to which Party will retain or gain power on June 8th. Not only should campaigning focus on National and International policies and pledges, but also on what it means to be community. We each have our own communities that we relate to and identify with, but within the larger ones are also the smaller ones, such as our families, our friendship circles, our pub, our schools, our churches, and our workplace communities. The way of defining a community is not a new thing that we in contemporary society invented. It began when people started grouping together share the responsibilities and burdens of survival.
Identity comes not from a particular grouping or activity, but from community and one thing that the early tribes recognised was that they were stronger together. People from the Cities and larger Towns who visit our area often comment on how lucky we are to live in a village because there is every chance that you will know who your neighbour is and that people have time to recognise a face and are prepared to help somebody. We may feel we are electing the future Prime minister on June 8th, but I also hope you will be choosing a candidate who wants to make a difference to the life and well being of our local community as well, whether it is improving the resources for Social Care, enhancing our excellent schools, encouraging more affordable housing or encouraging employment and apprenticeship opportunities for people.
Well Dressings, Community Carnivals, Produce Shows, Fetes etc all showcase community life and activity at their best, but every year there are increasing concerns that there is a shortage of people to run them, be on Hall Committees or to give some time to develop a potential activity or campaign for a concern. We are all part of a community in one way or another, but the quality of the life of it can only be enhanced by the energy, enthusiasm, time and commitment put in by those who value it.
The murder of the Batley and Spen MP, Jo Cox in June 2016 rightly shocked the Nation and to recognise the legacy of her commitment to bring people together of all backgrounds, creeds, cultures, ages and gender to work together to create communities that are safe, tolerant, caring, active, welcoming and inclusive, over the weekend of June 17-18 for The Great Get Together is being held for communities to come together to celebrate all that we have in common. How they chose to do this will be entirely up to them. It might be a street party, a shared barbecue, a bake-off competition or a simple picnic in the park. If something is happening in your area, please support it. If not, then please consider how you can serve your community.