Mansfield Mayor's blog

Keep up to date with what the Executive Mayor of Mansfield, Andy Abrahams, is focusing on.

Latest blog post

We’re busy, busy, as Christmas approaches

This year we have a series of community-focused events to look forward to rather than the Christmas light switch on event, which usually attracts a very large crowd to the Market Place. This will help to keep Mansfield’s residents safe while COVID-19 infection rates remain high.

We have still got lots of festive fun planned. There will be a free family winter festival in Titchfield Park, as well as entertainment, live music, and Christmas market chalets in the town centre. A giant inflatable snow globe where people can take free selfies with Santa and elves will tour neighbourhoods including Pleasley, Warsop, Oak Tree, Ladybrook and Bellamy estate. We want to encourage everyone to come to Mansfield district, support our local businesses and have a good experience but stay safe. The annual Remembrance Parade through the town centre on Sunday was well supported and a perfect example of people being sociable but respectful and courteous at the same time.

If you are able, please help us support local families by donating to our Secret Santa gift appeal. For full details of this and Christmas events, visit our Christmas webpage.

Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year because it is awards season. Last week’s Chad Awards was an opportunity to admire and celebrate the entrepreneurial and community spirit, resilience, creativity and excellent talent in Mansfield and Ashfield. It was a truly humbling and inspiring experience.

I would like to thank everyone who has so far expressed their ideas as part of the ongoing consultation on the town centre masterplan. Consultation events are taking place across the district. There’s one today at Forest Town Methodist Church and one tomorrow outside Mansfield Library on West Gate. Have your say before 5pm on 23 December. For more information, visit our planning consultation webpage

The effects of COVID-19 on our finances continue to be a challenge as the government only refunds us 75% of our lost income so balancing the budget hasn’t got any easier. We have been working with all of the districts plus the city and county councils to try to get more funding and devolved powers through a county deal so we can continue our ambitious plans to regenerate the town centre and the surrounding district.

Hopefully the council will receive £2.94m from the Towns Fund to improve existing facilities and create new attractions to make Berry Hill Park our first destination park. Please give your feedback and ideas on our Berry Hill Park survey webpage.

Lastly, panto is back at Mansfield Palace Theatre and tickets are selling fast. Be quick so you don’t miss out!

Date: 17 October 2021


Previous blog posts

Mansfield is Green for Go

Mansfield’s town centre masterplan has been unveiled and it has now gone out to the public for consultation. The masterplan sets out our vision for the town centre over the next 15 years and I hope it will fulfil my pledge to regenerate the town centre creating a green and family-friendly environment, making the most of our historic Market Place and preserving the town’s industrial heritage.

Construction work has already started on the old Bus Station site, with a hotel and three food businesses being built. Along with the green landscaping, this will significantly enhance the appearance of this major gateway into the town and along Stockwell Gate. 

The town centre masterplan looks at potential options for each quarter of the town as well as specific buildings including the Town Mill, Beales and the Four Seasons Shopping Centre with a view to redeveloping brownfield sites and bringing more homes to the town centre. Our aim is to build a residential development to the 2025 Future Homes Standard with homes that would be energy efficient, reducing residents’ fuel bills to a minimum and providing more environmentally-friendly greenery and open spaces.

Mansfield has already taken its first steps to becoming a University town, Vision West Nottinghamshire College, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, are offering degree courses to our young people. Working with partners, private developers and investors we hope to create a mixed use town centre with more food and drink, work space, employment, cultural, leisure and educational uses that will increase the number of visitors. 

With online shopping being the final nail in the coffin for the big department stores, we are also looking at options to move council, health and employment services back into the town centre. We also aspire to make this a place for business innovation hubs, town centre working accommodation and entertainment.

Of course this will not be achieved overnight but with the masterplan endorsed by the Place Board, made up of representatives of Mansfield’s public and private influencers, we will be submitting our proposals for £20 million of funding once the Government announces the date for the second round of the Levelling Up funding. 

Mansfield is bouncing back after the pandemic with help from business start-up grants, new entrepreneurs are sprouting up all over the district and as confidence returns I am convinced these public/private initiatives will increase the life opportunities and prosperity of our residents.

Date: 18 October 2021


We don’t want to be top of Covid charts

For weeks Mansfield has been listed as one of the most infectious places in England for COVID-19, with further coronavirus-related admissions to King’s Mill Hospital along with, sadly, more deaths.

Despite having all-day ‘no appointment needed’ vaccination centres at the hospital and the old Wickes site on Chesterfield Road, and bringing the vaccination bus to hard-to-reach communities, more than one third of adults under 30 in Mansfield have yet to have their first coronavirus jab.

With infection rates expected to rise as children head back to school, I fear for this area’s residents unless we all play our part. The advice is simple: get vaccinated. We should also all continue to wash our hands regularly and wear a mask when inside public places.

Many have endured terrible times during this pandemic, but there have been positives. We’re particularly proud of how we’ve cut the number of people living on the streets. Through various initiatives, including securing government funding for our First Steps project, we reduced the number of street homeless from 22 in 2019, to just two earlier this year.

This fantastic humanitarian work is far from over. Together with our wonderful volunteer organisations, who operate collectively under our new Homeless Charter, we’ll continue to support remaining rough sleepers, many of whom have multiple complex physical and emotional needs, to help break any cycles of criminality.

Helping our residents feel safe is a priority for us and we’re pleased to have secured £432,000 from the Government’s Safer Streets initiative. This concentrates on four crimes: robbery, vehicle crime, burglary and theft from the person. Among its objectives are to increase patrols by front-line staff in hotspot areas and encourage more Neighbourhood Watch schemes.

We are particularly pleased that this funding will enable the recruitment of an additional youth worker for our district to help tackle anti-social behaviour problems among young people. There has been a 50% cut in youth services over the past five years so this investment in Switch Up - a mentoring service for young people and their families – is very welcome.

Did you know the Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking for views on changes to district council wards in Mansfield? It wants to know if the proposed changes reflect local communities. The consultation closes on 8 November. Find out more on the LGBCE's website (opens in new window).

Also, don’t forget our fabulous Palace Theatre has reopened and can’t wait to wait to welcome you back. See what’s on the theatre's website (opens in new window).

Finally, Recycling Week starts on 20 September so remember to reduce, reuse and recycle to help make Mansfield greener and cleaner.

Date: 15 September 2021


Climate Emergency – we all have to do our bit

It seems not a day goes by without some devastating climatic disaster appearing in the news. Last week’s UN Report stated ‘it is unequivocal and indisputable that humans are warming the planet – this is code red for humanity’.

Since I was elected in May 2019, we have reviewed almost every service the council undertakes with a green focus - from light bulbs to tools and equipment to housing design. It isn’t financially viable to change everything we would want to at once but we continue to back up words with actions.

The Government is not due to implement Future Homes Standard as a requirement in the building regulations until 2025 but we have taken the decision to be an early adopter when building affordable council homes. This will see homes producing 75%-85% less carbon dioxide emissions than ones built to the current regulations.

We are also building a small number of houses to the even higher Passivhaus standard. These buildings are airtight, have very high levels of insulation, extremely high performance windows with insulated frames and a mechanical air flow ventilation system with highly efficient heat recovery. These measures reduce the heat loss so much that the homes barely need any heating at all. Passive heat sources like the sun, human occupants and household appliances cover a large part of the heating demand, which means super low energy bills for residents.

We have successfully applied for the Government’s Green Homes Grant to upgrade some of our council properties. This investment in older housing stock will cumulatively have a more beneficial effect on reducing our carbon footprint per pound than building new homes to the new environmental standards. Additionally it will also help the residents of those homes by reducing energy bills.

Following our investment in purchasing the additional refuse vehicle and 50,000 new wheelie bins to introduce glass recycling in our district, we are investigating the resources required for waste food collection.

Between the 20 and 26 September the council is lighting up the Town Hall in green in support of Recycle Week. We all need to do our bit with our own recycling at home. It only takes a little more effort but the collective action of us all will make the difference in the long run. So let’s all do our bit for a green, clean and healthy Mansfield. Find out what you can recycle on our recycling page

I’m looking forward to raising a flag to support the county council in marking the first ever Nottinghamshire Day on Wednesday 25 August. You can get involved by sharing photos which show off our part of the county at its best. It could be a beautiful landscape, a portrait of a local character or a shot of wildlife captured within the district. Please post your pictures on our Facebook page (opens in new window) or email them to marketing@mansfield.gov.uk.

Date: 18 August 2021


Doing the right thing

As we have learnt throughout the pandemic, the choices we make individually and collectively make a difference to our health and quality of life. 

Alongside our hard earned freedoms we all need to continue behaving responsibly and doing the right thing to overcome the increasing infection rate and protect our NHS. 

When I was elected my guiding principles were also governed by doing the right thing. This included policies to address Mansfield’s poor health outcomes, reduce homelessness, support voluntary organisations, build more affordable council homes, invest in Mansfield and adopt measures to tackle the Climate Emergency. 

The 18-month Covid crisis has placed great demands on the council’s resources and made maintaining the high standards of service delivery to our residents challenging.

However, at the last Full Council I was pleased to announce that we would be starting the construction of over 100 affordable homes across three sites before the end of the year. We are proud that these homes have been designed to the Future Homes Standard. They will have higher quality heating systems and insulation, which means they will be energy efficient, have reduced bills and produce 75% less carbon emissions to help the UK meet its Climate Emergency targets.

All of the Council’s activities are being reviewed to reduce our carbon footprint wherever practicable. We are also setting the standards for those who want to work with us via our new procurement strategy. It may sound boring but the new strategy aims to keep money in the area by using local contractors and suppliers and upskilling our young people.

The strategy has been put into practice for the construction of four ultra-low energy council homes being built on Saundby Avenue. Local developer Robert Woodhead Ltd will provide local training and employment opportunities, involve schools and local organisations, reduce carbon emissions by planting trees and by recycling a high percentage of construction waste as part of the contract.

It is important to consider the social economic and environmental implications of choosing partners to work with, not only because it is better value for money in the long run but it is the right thing to do.

At June’s Full Council meeting, Members voted in favour of sending a letter to the Government requesting that they accept the conclusions and recommendations of the Government’s own cross party Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee that conducted an inquiry into the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme. The report recommended that the Government hands the £1.2bn it is due to receive from the Investment Reserve back to miners not only because it is their money, but because it is the right thing to do.

Date: 21 July 2021