COLUMN: What does 2017 have in store for Mansfield?

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Looking back, 2016 was a monumental year for politics and the nation’s future prospect following the EU referendum result, 72 per cent of Mansfield people and 52 per cent of the UK’s population voted to leave.

The Government have reiterated time after time that “Brexit” means “Brexit” and we will be leaving the EU as soon as negotiations are started and concluded but still the opposition parties are not happy, they would prefer us to stay in the EU single market and force the UK to accept all the conditions, re free movement etc. that comes with that.

Labour and Liberal peers in the House of Lords have threatened to do all they can to delay or even scupper any deal to leave, what do they not understand about our democracy?

Figures recently released indicated that only 54 per cent of Nottinghamshire primary schools achieved the expected standard for reading, writing and maths. Schools are considered to have under-performed if fewer than 65 per cent of pupils fail to reach those standards. Overall, Mansfield is doing worse than the county as a whole, not even reaching the 50 per cent mark with just one

primary school achieving the 65 per cent bench mark although a handful of others were very close.

In sport we gained three more local heroes, Paralympians Ollie Hynd MBE and Charlotte Henshaw who together with their coach Glenn Smith recently received the freedom of the district for their medal winning performances in Rio. All top class sportsmen or sportswomen have to show tremendous dedication to achieve but our two Paralympians had to, metaphorically, “climb mountains” guided by coach Glenn Smith, to attain the skills and fitness which allowed them to achieve and perform to the standard required to be Gold, Silver and Bronze medallists at the Rio games.

So what does 2017 have in store for us, sport wise, will Steve Evans have success this year or will we loyal Mansfield Town supporters have to wait until 2018? No doubt more about “Brexit” and will we see and hear a continuation and yet more talk and arguing within the Labour Party regarding the leadership of a once great political party, now reduced to a party of protest and rapidly becoming unelectable?