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Leader of South Kesteven District Council discusses Bourne in Lights and Stamford Mid-Lent Fair

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Spring is underway and hopefully we find the temperature increasing as we move towards the warmer months, allowing us to get out with our loved ones and explore everything the district has to offer, writes Kelham Cooke, leader of South Kesteven District Council.

Covid-19 certainly has left its mark on our lives, not only by subjecting many to isolation and stress, but also changing our routines, including how and where we work. That is why it is more important than ever to get out and about, connecting with nature and prioritising our physical and mental health. It is so easy to underestimate the benefits exercise and fresh air can have on our wellbeing, and we are blessed in South Kesteven with amazing parks, open spaces, and community events.

Last month, thousands filled North Street in Bourne to witness incredible light shows and engage with interactive exhibits in an evening of colour and community. The Bourne in Lights event, which was made possible by the Government’s Welcome Back Fund in partnership with Bourne Town Council and others, really emphasised the importance of community and it was so heartwarming to see such numbers of local residents reunite after so long apart.

Coun Kelham Cooke at the fair
Coun Kelham Cooke at the fair

The following week, the Welcome Back Fund also allowed us to host the Youth Fest, which saw a free pop-up skatepark and activities for our younger residents. The younger generations, who thrive on social interaction, have been hit particularly hard by the disruption and unpredictability of the last few years, so it was great to see so many children getting out and enjoying themselves. And last but not least, we also enjoyed six days of fun in the town as the Mid-Lent Fair returned after two years postponements, I strongly recommend the views across Stamford when on the high rides!

It has been amazing to see so many of our residents and visitors fill our high streets again and reconnect after so many years of distance. I was so proud, not just to see the incredible work done by the officers at SKDC in organising these great events, but also to see first-hand the community spirit that continues to thrive in and around Stamford, in spite of the challenges we have all faced in the past few years.

Don’t forget that the Literary Festival in Market Deeping also commences on April 27, which will showcase the works of established writers from across a variety of genres and will allow local writers and book enthusiasts to attend sessions. Please do book as soon as you can as I know tickets are selling fast. Of course my thanks for this goes to Coun Judy Stevens and her dedicated team in putting on what will be a fantastic festival.

Personally, I am excited to see what the communities in each of our towns have planned for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June, an historic day for our country, and I think the combination of warm weather and patriotism will see our streets truly come alive. Please keep an eye out for the summer edition of SKToday for information on the Jubilee, and please let us know your plans for this unprecedented event.

l Send details of events to: smeditor@stamfordmercury.co.uk

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