Decision on market future to be finalised in the new year

Mansfield Market Place.
Mansfield Market Place.
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A decision on whether any changes will be made to Mansfield’s market plans is to be taken in January.

The plans came under close scrutiny again during the second part of the adjourned select commission meeting at Mansfield District Council.

Councillor Stewart Rickersey from Mansfield District Council

Councillor Stewart Rickersey from Mansfield District Council

The second part of the meeting saw Coun Stewart Rickersey, who has devised the controversial plans, come under fire once again as he was forced to answer more questions from committee members.

He had already been put under the spotlight the previous week but the meeting had to be adjourned.

And as a member of the Mansfield Independent Forum (MIF), Coun Rickersey came under fire from the Labour councillors on the committee who are opposing the proposals, which includes moving the stalls off Westgate and onto the Market Place and scrapping the market on a Monday.

At one point during the meeting, Coun Rickersey described some of the points raised as “political nit-picking”.

Once again the issue over the public consultation was raised after only 717 responses were used from 4,426 public responses.

The remainder were ignored after Coun Rickersey who said they were presented as a ‘Save Our Market’ campaign when there was never any intention of closing the market.

Coun Sonya Ward described the plans as a “flight of fancy” that “reads like a day dream”.

At the end of the meeting, six members of the committee said they agreed with the plans with five disagreeing.

Two reports will now be prepared for Coun Rickersey before January 7, detailing the reasons for and against the changes.

Coun Rickersey said: “It will not be possible to satisfy everyone but I will consider all the relevant information.

“The market is at the heart of the town centre. The benefits will be felt by everybody.

“There’s no question in my mind it’s the right thing to do.

“You can’t please everybody all of the time, but the decision we are hoping to make will be for the benefit of the community, the market traders and the town centre as a whole.”