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TALKING POLITICS: The PM can help with my ironing any time he likes

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Coun Katrina Atherton on celebrating achievement and why, even though she doesn’t agree with his politics, David Cameron would always be welcome to help out starching shirts...

“If you want to change something, then change it...”

I can’t remember where I heard this or who said it, but it’s one of those little quotes that stick with you when you need a bit of motivation, and it’s something that’s a mantra for lots of brilliant groups in Mansfield that I work with.

Two that stand out are Mansfield 2020 and the Mansfield Learning Partnership who, with very little external support or funding, are making a big difference to the people who live and work in our area, especially young people.

Last Wednesday saw the final of the Junior Enterprise Competition, an exciting event that encourages youngsters from schools across Mansfield and Ashfield to think about starting their own businesses. And yesterday we held the first Career Champion Celebration event, celebrating over 70 local businesses who have made the commitment to work with students and bridge the gap between youngsters and local employers and show everyone the talent that’s on the doorstep.

It’s really exciting and unique, and the partnership between local schools and businesses through the MLP and 2020 has been recognised nationally and internationally.

It’s something that should be celebrated and something I’m really proud to be involved in.

Supporting partnerships like this, and being supported by my Labour colleagues at the council makes me remember why I became a Councillor, to support and encourage good people who want to make Mansfield better and spread the word.

It winds me up when groups are accused of being political just because they get help from Councillors to support the work they do.

As Bob Geldof says, ‘shake the hand of the devil to your left and the devil to your right’ to get results, and that’s all these groups do, work with the people who want to help them.

If David Cameron offered to come and help me with the ironing I wouldn’t say no.

I don’t agree with his politics I reckon he’d be a dab hand at starching shirts.

I’m happy to continue my support of groups like Mansfield 2020 and the Mansfield Learning Partnership and you can do the same.

If you’re an employer, student, teacher or parent visit www.mansfieldlearningpartnership.co.uk and get involved.

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