Community policy as a prerequisite for comfortable living
Fryslân is a big but close-knit community. For years, research has been showing that the residents of Fryslân are some of the happiest people in the Netherlands. This is because of the way we live together, the way our social infrastructure works. We have an open, welcoming community, that respects other cultures and ways of life. The FNP wants to support newcomers, so that they can also contribute to and become a part of the Frisian community and culture. The past few years, the FNP has advanced the investment of millions of euros in community projects. For instance, almost every village now has a decent meeting centre or community centre. We see that the Province's Open Community Fund (Iepen Mienskipsfûns) has provided a huge boost in this respect. This is something we want to advance even more. It is that connection between people that makes a community, that makes life good.
A Youth Delegate
The FNP also wants a special Youth Delegate to be appointed in the Provincial Executive. Young people and young families should be given the opportunity to return to their motherland. Everyone should have the opportunity to become a resident of Fryslân and to become Frisian.
In addition, the FNP wants to promote local initiatives in villages and towns to become attractive for young people. We want an accessible subsidy scheme for small-scale initiatives and small businesses. This scheme can stimulate activities that improve the quality of life and generate more activity in villages. These can include bootcamps, sup academies, personal training etc.
Quality of Life office -
The centre of the community
According to the FNP it is time to take the next step. In the coming years, the FNP wants to create a province-wide Quality of Life office (Leefberens Loket). In Fryslân, we have a large number of organisations that work hard to support the Frisian community, such as Doarpswurk, Keunstwurk, Sport Fryslân and Fryslân Pop. They have a lot of knowledge and know-how that we cannot let go to waste. In the coming years, we want to create one central collaborative organisation that gathers and safeguards all that knowledge and know-how. This should make it a lot easier for residents, businesses and other organisations to set up projects or find answers to questions. Shorter lines, with everything under one roof; with the objective of safeguarding a sustainable future for those organisations.
With our provincial events policy, we want to help organisations that apply for permits find their way around the current nature conservation rules and other regulations. People organising cultural activities, sports events or village fêtes, and local associations deserve our support. Sometimes, the bureaucratic system is hard to fathom and procedures can be infuriating; that has to change. We have to remove the fear of legal reprisals, and focus on acting in the spirit of the law.
The FNP also wants a maintenance fund for town halls, community centres and other meeting places. This fund has to be filled in collaboration with the municipalities. Making those buildings sustainable is part of that process.
One other aspect the FNP is concerned about, is the number of volunteers. The Quality of Life office can provide support in this field, by offering meeting places a good and modern organisational structure. This will give the meeting centres more status. It can, for instance, also be a place where residents can go to work or study. It has to play a more central role in a community or village, also during the day. This requires high-speed internet (fibre-optic) everywhere in Fryslân. It is our ambition to double the opening hours of community centres and meeting places in Fryslân by 2024 compared to 2022.
Focus on the community to boost social life
As a final point, we want to set up a campaign to raise awareness of the detrimental effects of the modern hectic economy and society. In Fryslân, we are also seeing more and more fast delivery services popping up. In some places, they can improve the quality of life, but the FNP wants to remain loyal to local entrepreneurs. The campaign will focus on buying local and on supporting local businesses, who are the ones who make associations, clubs and cultural activities possible through sponsorship. In these hectic times, when everything has to be fast and immediate, this deserves more attention and appreciation.
The country of top sport!
With the Dutch speed skating temple (Thialf), a beautiful ice rink in Leeuwarden (Alvestêdehal/Elfstedenhal), two professional football clubs (SC Cambuur and SC Heerenveen), the oldest sports competition in the country (de PC in Franeker) and our own sports (especially kaatsen, fierljeppen and skûtsjesilen), Fryslân is an extraordinary place. In most cases, the Provincial Executive plays a hands-off role. However, where the Frisian sports are concerned, it does have a responsibility in the eyes of the FNP.
The time that the Province attracts expensive cycling events to Fryslân is in the past. The FNP wants that money to be used to strengthen our Frisian sports and sport infrastructure.
Free sports for a year for children
The FNP wants these sports to be given a bigger role in the curriculum in the coming years. In addition, the FNP wants to set up a fund to enable our youngest citizens to join a local sports club for a year at no cost when they turn seven. In collaboration with Frisian sports organisations, the FNP wants to develop a program to use athletes as ambassadors and have them visit primary and secondary schools to boost youth membership and enthusiasms about sports.