Mansfield Mayor's blog

January 2022 - February 2022

Helping residents and businesses with the cost of living

Mansfield district councillors are acutely aware of how difficult it is going to be for our residents to get through the looming cost of living crisis, so we have taken various steps to help out. This includes freezing the district portion of council tax, putting in additional funding to strengthen our council tax hardship support scheme for our vulnerable residents and making a 10% cut in the councillors’ special responsibility allowance. We believe we have made the right decisions for our residents at a time when they need our help the most and we are sharing the financial burden to balance a £1.3m deficit in the budget.

Due to the unprecedented rise in inflation, energy prices and national insurance contributions, we have also written to the Leader of the County Council and asked the Police and Crime Commissioner to follow our example and not increase their elements of the council tax bill for Mansfield residents either.

We have invested an extra £30k in our economic stimulus fund which now stands at £100k. This will enable us to assist more businesses within the district. The council has worked hard to encourage new outlets within the town, making grants available to independent traders to take up vacant shop space. Like many towns and cities up and down the country, we have lost some of the big high street names but we have also drawn in retailers you won’t find anywhere else. This includes Toffee Hut on Regent Street and Robins Return in the Old Town Hall. It is outlets like these that make our town centre special – our unique selling point. 

The council is also funding six peer-to-peer sessions for retailers in partnership with Mansfield and Ashfield 2020, plus additional one-to-one consultancy advice to help them identify strategies to improve their business.

We are not complacent and we know we are going to have to work hard to encourage people back into the town centre and away from online shopping, especially now that things are starting to return to normal. There have been lots of special events taking place since the weekend to keep families entertained during the February half-term holiday, including walkabout entertainers in the town centre and activities at Four Seasons Shopping Centre, Mansfield Museum and in Mansfield leisure centres. We’ll be releasing information about our programme of events for the rest of the year very soon. There is a lot to look forward to right across the district in the coming months. More information on all upcoming activities and events will be published on our events webpage.

There is something for the whole family to enjoy when visiting Mansfield, so what we need now is for local people to get behind their town, to enjoy what’s on offer and to help its recovery.

Date: 16 February 2022

Exciting plans edge closer to fruition

Despite the setback of the Omicron variant, I am confident that 2022 will be the year you’ll see our efforts to regenerate and stimulate the local economy start to take shape. There are five projects from our successful Towns Fund bid that will have their business cases completed around April. This will provide Government funding to come through to enable detailed design work to start.

The Vision West Notts Technology and Skills project, to be constructed on the Chesterfield Road site close to the town centre, will focus on digital technologies and their application to the growth and sustainability of new and existing local businesses.

At Mansfield Woodhouse Station Gateway, we hope to start constructing 290sqm of modern workspace for light industrial use this summer. We are confident we will keep our election promise to obtain the funding to build a new health hub with swimming pool and gym in the heart of Warsop.

Design work will continue on the Berry Hill destination park, which includes scoping out the potential for a new multi-functional café/events building, disabled toilet facilities, woodland adventure play, a refurbished bandstand for events, biodiversity zones and community orchards. A further round of consultation on proposals will take place soon.

There are numerous housing developments under construction across the district. Phase two at Lindhurst, one of the largest housing projects in the East Midlands, will bring 475 new homes - 170 of these affordable - a new primary school, nursery and a local centre.

We will be starting the Bellamy Road Estate regeneration with the creation of a play area, shops and cycle track before moving on to the construction of affordable, environmentally designed council homes. We’re also completing design work for the Centenary Road development off Chesterfield Road. Several urban greening projects will also be completed in the town centre as well as the Arba hotel and hospitality development on the old bus station site.

We’ve purchased the former Beales site as a location for a new multi-agency civic hub called Mansfield Connect. It will be the council’s HQ and is expected to house a variety of other public, educational, enterprise and health and wellbeing services, alongside spaces for private sector occupants such as food and drink outlets. The business case will be ready to bid for up to £20m from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund in late spring.

Finally, sustainable flood resilience work will start in Ravensdale shortly, providing permeable paving, rain gardens and street planters that will improve the green landscape.

It is going to be a very busy year!

Date: 19 January 2022