Having lived in Lincoln for over a decade three residents of the picturesque city of Lincoln will stand as independent candidates in the forthcoming May 2014 local elections.
Mrs Zivile Zuokiene, Jacek Musialik and Krzysztof Lisiecki wish to work with the City of Lincoln Council, and more importantly, the people of Lincoln to affect the necessary change in a way that benefits Lincoln. They believe that the city is stronger when people work together.
In these challenging times, Lincoln needs to have the best quality councillors for its culturally-diverse communities. Running up to the May 2014 local elections, it is vital to acknowledge the important work of local councillors and in so doing the candidates believe there are opportunities for new councillors to be considered, offering an even wider service to the city’s ever-changing cultural landscape.
Mrs Zuokiene has been married for 10 years and has two children. She attended the University of Siauliai (Lithuania) until 2000 when she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences. In 2002 Zivile gained a Master’s degree in ‘Rehabilitation and Nursing’ at the Lithuanian Academy and a qualification as a physiotherapist. Mrs Zuokiene worked with children as a physiotherapist until 2004 before moving to Lincoln. She has since worked tirelessly with Lincolnshire’s elderly and young adults with physical disabilities.
I can speak Lithuanian, Russian and English. I like to spend time with my family, do crafts and I am interested in innovations in healthier lifestyles. I have much to offer Lincoln. I believe I can bring a different perspective rather than the older, middle-class viewpoint. I look forward to changing the public’s perception of what type of person a councillor is. Rejuvenating local democracy so that public services can help communities to meet people’s future needs and aspirations, and rebuilding democratic participation is something very close to my heart, Mrs Zuokiene stated at a recent cultural event at the Lincoln Drill Hall.
Krzysztof Lisiecki moved from Poland to Lincolnshire in 2004 and worked at various jobs until he identified a gap in the market and set up a car repair garage, beauty salon, and more recently a small chain of specialist supermarkets across the north of England. His is a story of ambition and hard work. He currently employs 29 people and plans to increase this to almost 60 by the end of 2014.
‚I am young, but I am very determined. I have a strong sense of shared experience with many of the younger people in my community: a cultural awareness and an understanding of their background and heritage. This means that I speak from a particular vantage point and am able to convey messages between the community and the Council. It is time for Lincoln to reflect upon her future as well as her rich, cultural past; this beautiful city is a better, stronger city when we open ourselves to new ideas, to new people; to new opportunities. Together we are stronger’, he said
Jacek Musialik studied economics at the University of Agriculture, Szczecin, Poland and graduated with a Master’s degree in 2004. Later that year he moved to the UK. For the last five years he has been providing help and specialist advice to the citizens of Lincoln and Lincolnshire as a Citizens Advice Bureau adviser. As well as solving individual problems, Jacek has identified many issues within the law that have had a negative impact on ordinary citizens’ lives, and is taking every opportunity to influence the policy makers through the social policy tool.
He says, ‚Lincoln is a fascinating, expanding city with a great heritage and I wish to contribute to its future growth. Councillors need to reflect the communities they serve, empathise with local residents and communicate effectively with them. Only by ensuring there is a good range of councillors can we hope to do this. It is vital that the City of Lincoln has a good stream of new, capable people coming through the ranks, to ensure that those who hold seats do not become complacent.’
It is well documented within local government circles that the pool of talent from which councillors are elected is a key challenge for local government. Igor Kartel, Campaign Manager added, ‚Lincoln needs more councillors who are capable, vibrant, energetic and engaged, with a commitment to local people, local issues and a passion for change. Ensuring that the City of Lincoln Council better represents its electorate is not simply a case of encouraging more diversity in terms of age, gender or culture, although that does play a part in making councils more relevant. The most important thing is raising the quality of all councillors. We believe that Lincoln needs different kinds of people willing to stand for election so that parties and more importantly, the people or electorate, get a choice of quality candidates.’
As Mrs Zuokiene concludes, ‚It’s about finding people who are ordinary enough to be representative, but extraordinary enough to be representatives.’