What a year it has been. As 2021 draws to a close, Executive Mayor of Mansfield Andy Abrahams has reflected on another busy and eventful year.
Mayor Andy said: "2021 has proven to be another year of uncertainty and change. One thing that we can be sure of, is that regardless of the social and economic climate, Mansfield District Council has continued on its journey of transformation and improvement to grow an ambitious, vibrant and confident place.
"What customers don’t always see are the changes being made to systems and processes that make our services more efficient. The biggest driver of organisational change is the digital transformation programme."
An improved website and portal enabled around 40,000 customers each month to self-serve and access services online. In August, our website was ranked as the third most accessible council website in the country and so far this year we have 2,500 more followers on our social media feeds – all of this increases our digital reach and helps to keep our audiences informed.
Digital media has allowed us to continue to unite our community through activities including a community hub and live Remembrance Parade 2021. Our event programme took on enhanced Covid guidance and brought people back in our parks and open spaces for theatre, culture and festivals.
During the ongoing pandemic the council’s focus has been to give support to those that need it the most. In 2021, we successfully supported nine former rough sleepers to re-enter our community in accommodation with wraparound support. Our Housing Needs team prevented 617 people from becoming at risk of homelessness and through the ASSIST programme over 1,000 safe and well checks were carried out. 127 homes have received disabled adaptations and 26 new boilers were fitted in council properties.
As an authority, the environment has been high up on our list of priorities to create a cleaner, greener Mansfield. Council-owned residential projects are a great example of how we can lead from the front through decarbonisation of our housing stock at Bellamy Road and building Passivhaus homes that are future proof in Saundby Avenue.
You can help to do your bit by joining the green rewards scheme and demonstrate how you are helping to keep Mansfield clean and green. The online platform was launched in September and more than 270,000 points have been earned in the district with 1,460 people in Nottinghamshire taking part in environmentally friendly activity.
2021 has been a year of laying foundations for a positive future for Mansfield. £12.3m has been secured from the Towns Fund to bring about transformation to the district including a skills and technology hub in Mansfield, a new health hub in Warsop, improved business space at Mansfield Woodhouse Gateway, SMART infrastructure and the creation of a destination park at Berry Hill.
Further to the local plan, a consultation took place on the draft town centre masterplan, which sets out a blueprint for the economic regeneration of Mansfield over the coming decades.
Two key projects that are clearly visible are the improvements to Walkden Street which sit alongside the much anticipated Stockwell Gate North hotel and leisure development.
We want Mansfield to be a place where people can achieve, succeed and have a good quality of life. This year work has started to provide major new housing schemes in Bellamy and on the outskirts of Mansfield town centre to provide a better quality of life for local people.
In surrounding parks, hundreds of trees have been planted to create community orchards and seven of our parks have been awarded the prestigious Green Flag. We emptied 1,200 litter bins twice a week and collected more than 1,800 tonnes of street sweepings, fly-tipping and litter. A whopping 1,500 tonnes of glass have been collected for recycling since the successful launch of the kerbside glass recycling scheme.
We can’t forget that this has been a tough year for the local economy and we are pleased to see that Mansfield continues to be resilient. Alongside the Covid grants that we have issued on behalf of the Government, we have provided nearly £100,000 in retail support and improvement grants, and provided 200 businesses with much needed advice and support including Brexit readiness.
In our communities that need us the most we have provided health and wellbeing programmes including FOOD clubs, Holiday Activity and Food projects, events and cultural activities and welcomed back customers to our theatre, museums and leisure facilities. This year we have launched a new START portal to help young people build their online portfolio needed to enter the world of work or higher education. We have given opportunity for four young people to work with the authority through the Kickstart progamme along with 10 apprentices.
Mayor Andy said: "As 2021 draws to a close, we look forward to what 2022 has in store for Mansfield as many of our physical regeneration projects come to light – Mansfield will look and feel revitalised, positive and hopeful for the future. We look forward to more opportunities to host and put on events and make Mansfield a place that people are proud to call home."
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