Mansfield Mayor's blog

November 2021 - December 2021

What a Year for Team Mansfield!

How can one reflect on the year we have just had? Unprecedented in most of our lifetimes…the loss of loved ones, the courage and self-sacrifice of our NHS, carers and essential workers who kept going regardless of the risk to themselves. Not forgetting the resilience and support of our communities, voluntary services and businesses to stick together to come out the other side. 

I am proud of the achievements of our council workers adapting to how they carried out their jobs, working in bubbles, re-training to do whatever task was required of them to ensure continuity of all our services and dealing with the challenges of remote working.

We have promoted every initiative to get our residents vaccinated to stay safe emerging from lockdown. We have organised the vaccination bus to visit local areas of lower vaccine uptake, provided vaccination centres, testing sites and promoted continuous positive messaging through our community champions.

The council has supported businesses throughout the pandemic, distributing £30m of support grants, provided COVID-19 marshals and ambassadors to offer advice and also support from the Environmental Health, Licensing and Town Centre teams to ensure businesses have got back on their feet.

We are more than just a council doing everything we can to help get life back to as normal as possible. The additional services we deliver for our residents speak for themselves: the Palace Theatre and Museum, which returned with a full autumn programme of plays, music and our famous pantomime, the summer and winter festivals and the Full Shebang.

They have reintroduced education in schools delivering 34 workshops and providing resilience training to help year 6 children transition to secondary school.

We have pushed forward with our climate emergency agenda, designed affordable homes to Future Homes Standard, improved insulation of our old properties with the aim of tackling fuel poverty and reducing carbon emissions, brought more community allotments back into use and introduced glass recycling.

Our fantastic Housing team has dramatically reduced the number of rough sleepers and done everything it could to prevent residents being evicted from their homes by offering support and help on debt and rent arrears, relationship breakdowns and domestic abuse.

Our magnificent Parks team has achieved seven coveted Green Flag Awards again and we can’t forget our brilliant refuse collectors who have had the most challenging time with staff shortages.

The council, which spends £40m a year on works, goods and services, has introduced a new procurement strategy with the aim of regenerating the local economy by its residents earning and spending money in the area. 

We will not be deterred in our commitment to make Mansfield a prosperous, healthy and happy place to live, so stay safe and have a happy and restful Christmas.

Date: 20 December 2021

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 November 2021