Guest columnist Cllr Sonya Ward calls on communities to work together

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This week, I want to highlight recent projects where Labour councillors have worked with volunteers and local businesses for the benefit of our communities.

While donations and volunteers cannot fill all the gaps left by government cuts, we can come together to improve our local area, and together we achieve more than we do alone.

In my own ward, Bull Farm and Pleasley Hill, Crescent Primary School and their hard-working friends’ group have been fundraising to transform a courtyard into a fun and educational natural play area with a mud-kitchen—but they needed a skip.

I approached UK Construction Ltd, who are building homes next to the school and they kindly offered to supply a skip free of charge to enable the volunteers to start clearing the space.

Meanwhile, Manor Ward’s Cllr Katrina Atherton has been working with Mansfield 2020, the Mansfield Area Partnership and local businesses to run the WrittenByMe short story competition for young people.

Katrina was a judge and co-host of the awards. Our area has so many young people with great potential, and this is a great example of partnership work to promote local talent.

In Warsop, Netherfield’s Cllr Sharron Adey is working to support budding entrepreneurs as well as new and established businesses.

She has set up a Local Networking Business Group in Welbeck, supported by Chase Trade Autos. The group aims to provide opportunities for networking, support, advice and to explore options for business growth.

The group had its first meeting in June, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. The next meeting is tomorrow (Thursday July 9) at 6.30pm in The Three Lions, and then on the second Thursday of each month.

In Mansfield Woodhouse, Cllr Amanda Fisher has just completed an impressive project, re-vamping Vale Court’s sheltered housing communal garden.

Although well cared for by green-fingered residents, it needed a few changes to become a private, peaceful haven for users.

Cllr Fisher approached local businesses and was delighted when they offered to donate materials to the project. The transformation was very much a joint effort.

Fences, trellis-work, a gate and an accessible bench were kindly provided by Just Concrete. Vale Paints donated paint to brighten up and protect the new woodwork. Mansfield District Council supplied some beautiful hanging baskets, and Cllr Fisher and local volunteers did much of the hard graft!

These are just a few of the many projects your Labour councillors have been working on in the last few weeks.

I would like to thank all the volunteers, groups, and businesses who have contributed.

If you have a great idea for a community project, or would like to help, please email me on sward@mansfield.gov.uk or write to me at the civic centre.