I have a greedy five wishes for New Year
Column by Lee Steptoe, Labour councillor on South Kesteven District Council
2020 was awful and we move into 2021 desperate for good news and basically some hope that things can get back to some semblance of normality.
Traditionally, New Year is about personal resolutions, but I have some hopes that will be shared by many Labour supporters and far beyond.
I am going to be greedy and make five wishes; I am under no illusion that they will be met.
But as the saying goes, we can all dream can’t we?
1. A competent Prime Minister and Government that keep their promises. As the vaccine is rolled out – giving genuine hope to millions – we still await the ‘world beating’ track and trace system promised in May.
Johnson’s latest bluster has us believe that 13 million doses of the vaccine will be administered by mid-February.
That’s two million a week. Draw your own conclusions.
2. Certainty for our young people who were due to take exams this summer, following the chaos and U-turns of last year.
As somebody who has helped hundreds of local teenagers into university and apprenticeships as part of my day job, my heart goes out to them.
Oh, and by the way anybody that thinks teaching remotely is an easy number should try it for a week.
3. Locally, I hope the Tory administration ends its obsession with the Thatcher shrine and concentrates on the pandemic.
The underwriting of £100,000 for the unveiling ceremony as the pandemic ravages lives and public finances is a disgrace; what a truly warped sense of priorities!
Fat chance of them reconsidering; they are obsessed.
4. That Kelham Cooke and his complacent administration properly compensates the poor residents of the Riverside flats, who have still experienced some heating problems for the fourth consecutive Christmas.
This whilst an independent audit basically put SKDC’s housing department into special measures.
The local Tories are so quick to claim credit for twee things like best kept villages, how about serving the basic needs of the most needy in our town?
5. That wonderful local organisations such as GRACE and Susan Swinburn at Prosperity4Grantham get far more recognition and, dare I say, financial support from SKDC.
These people are the beating heart of our community and stop it collapsing during the catastrophe we are still in.
I won’t be holding my breath, but wish all Journal readers a Covid-free and successful 2021; things can only get better.