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Summer festivals, green spaces – and a big month ahead for our climate future

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Column by Councillor Kelham Cooke, leader of South Kesteven District Council

I opened my column last month talking about the arrival of September, and Autumn with it; but it seems Summer isn’t done with us yet as we’ve enjoyed a great spell of weather in the last few weeks – which has given me the chance to get out and enjoy some great events across the district.

Most recently, I attended the Langtoft Festival in my own Casewick ward with Coun Rosemary Trollope-Bellew to enjoy the great music, food and crafts on offer from the local community.

Coun Kelham Cooke (49817041)
Coun Kelham Cooke (49817041)

I’m proud that the festival was supported by a community grant from South Kesteven District Council – one of many that have been distributed to local charities, projects and groups to support them in what has been a particularly difficult couple of years.

Elsewhere, I paid a visit to Stamford Diversity Festival, where I joined Stamford mayor, Coun Gloria Johnson, in enjoying a wonderful celebration of world music, arts, food and drink.

Both of these events – and others like them that I have attended this summer – make use of the great green spaces we are blessed with across South Kesteven.

Our parks have been a lifeline to many of us since the Covid-19 pandemic and protecting and promoting them in the years ahead is important, not just to give us spaces to enjoy; but also because they play a crucial role in a much bigger issue – the future of our climate.

In the month ahead, the UK will host the UN’s Climate Conference, COP26. Climate change is an issue I’m personally passionate about and it will be a crucial moment for governments across the world to unite in the face of climate change – which poses an undeniable threat to our future.

While climate change is a global issue – every individual, business, council and community must play its part.

That’s why in 2019 South Kesteven District Council declared a climate emergency, to put the issue at the centre of our agenda as a local authority and set out the changes we must make to reduce our environmental impact.

While a step in the right direction, the work must continue and more details of our district’s climate progress will be shared in our upcoming Climate Matters report – so keep your eyes out for that and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have thoughts on what we can do as a district to promote our climate agenda.

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