Gloria De Piero’s MP Column: Ashfield needs to claim its fair share of funding

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I’m always saying that our area deserves more lottery funding. Although we have some great facilities in Ashfield there’s always room for improvement and I’m sure everyone could name a gym, a park or a community centre which has seen better days and is need of some TLC. 

That’s why I’m so pleased that Mansfield Hosiery Mills Sports & Social Club, just off Huthwaite Road, had been awarded a grant of £50,000 from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund.

The good news means they will be able to construct a brand new changing room pavilion. There’s cash out there - apply for it. Look on the National Lottery website to find out how.
You know that my job isn’t all good news. One disabled lady from Sutton had to get in touch with me because she was having problems with her boiler grant – a grant which she was fully entitled too.

The agencies she was dealing with were being less than helpful. What annoyed me is this isn’t the first time I’ve had to step in on a case like this and it shouldn’t be happening during the cold winter months when folk are reliant on their heating.

Needless to say I made this point very clearly to bosses who have promised me the work will go ahead very shortly.
I was disappointed last week when the Government rejected calls for tighter controls on Fixed Odds Bettering Terminals or as they are more commonly known, high stakes gambling machines.

I’m not against betting shops BUT what the plans would have done is give local authorities like Ashfield District Council the powers they need to decide whether to stop the spread of these machines, cut their number or ban them altogether if there is local concern.

In Ashfield there are around 14 betting shops with roughly 56 of these machines where people can bet up to £300 a minute. This was a real missed opportunity. 
I know lots of people in Kirkby are concerned about the long-term future of the Nags Head clock. I’ve already written to council bosses to raise this issue and they’ve advised me the clock has been removed as part of development works for the town which will begin this spring.

I’m told a new location has not yet been decided, but rest assured I’ll continue to stay on top of this and let residents know as soon as I get any info