Become council ‘warrior’ in Skegness and make a difference...

Coun John Byford and Skegness Mayor Coun Sid Dennis in Skegness' twin town Bad Gandersheim. They were there as ambassadors for the town during  the 100th anniversary commemorations of the end of the First World War  and also for the reading of the names of the fallen displayed in the telephone box exhibit designed  by artist Coun Byford. ANL-190901-170652001
Coun John Byford and Skegness Mayor Coun Sid Dennis in Skegness' twin town Bad Gandersheim. They were there as ambassadors for the town during the 100th anniversary commemorations of the end of the First World War and also for the reading of the names of the fallen displayed in the telephone box exhibit designed by artist Coun Byford. ANL-190901-170652001

Residents wanting to make a difference are being invited to stand for Skegness Town Council. The local elections take place on Thursday, May 2, which could see a change in the councillors who make decisions about the town. Skegness Town Council is calling on residents, passionate about their community, to attend a drop-in event to find out more before tonight’s meeting from 5.30pm to 6.45pm (Wednesday, January 16). Here’s what two councillors say about the role...

A Skegness councillor is urging Facebook Warriors to put down their keypad and take action instead - by becoming a member of Skegness Town Council.

Local artist John Byford, who has represented the Seacroft Ward on the town council since 1999 and is also a district councillor, said he knew nothing about politics when he was encouraged to stand.

“It all started when I saw an article about a big company coming to Skegness,” said Coun Byford. “I’d laughed about it and next thing I was being contacted by the local paper.

“Then I had local councillors knocking on my door inviting me to stand.”

He says it’s been one of the most rewarding and challenging things he has ever done. “I was a local photographer back then, and knew nothing about politics, so it was nerve wracking to say the least when I was elected for the first time.

“Not everyone understands the powers the different councils have, so you have to accept you may come in for criticism over things you can’t help with, like potholes.

“But you can make a difference, and I’d tell the Facebook warriors to stop complaining and have a go when the elections come around.”

Coun Byford still has to decide whether he will stand again, but says it would be good to see some new blood on the council.

“We have some very experienced councillors and we need them to give guidance,” he said. “But we need some new blood and younger councillors because it’s their future and they will have the power to change that.”

HERE’S WHAT MAYOR COUN SID DENNIS SAYS

I have loved every moment being Mayor and feel it a great honour to be given the role - but I would be lying if I did not say it has had its difficulties, in that managing the time required along with family, prior commitments, work etc is not easy.

However, the benefits and rewards of meeting like-minded people who are making every effort to give their time and energy to their fellow residents and communities, is reward in itself.

So much so, I would recommend to anyone that they too should get involved.

It’s a win, win, situation for all concerned.

All the individuals, community groups and organisations I have met and spent time with, have never failed to amaze me, and by their efforts have inspired me to push on.

Skegness is a wonderful place to live, and I suggest that we all get involved and show our respect, appreciation, and support of the place we call home.