Mansfield Mayor's blog

July 2021 - August 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

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