KATE ALLSOP’S COLUMN: Mansfield comes first, second and third...

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I was lucky to be invited to open the brand new exhibition that celebrates the industrial heritage of Mansfield.

The arcade focuses on the town’s major past and present employers and industries of the town.

It features artefacts, photographs, film and audio about Metal Box, Shoe Co, Mansfield Brewery, Barrs Soft Drinks, hosiery, precision engineering, mining, foundries and quarrying. There are also interactive activities including an electronic beer mat flipper, fabulous for the youngsters.

I was at the Festival of Remembrance on Sunday it was so moving and quite rightly so, the Palace Theatre was packed to the rafters with some of our bravest men and women and their families. The music was outstanding and the standard bearers, as ever, bringing pride and respect were strong and straight.

A display of young cadets bought a lump to my throat, so proud of Mansfield who were the first town outside of London to have a Festival of Remembrance.

The launch of the Poppy appeal was a huge success, I can tell you the hand-knitted poppies that we saw at the launch which volunteer ladies have made where amazing, with Joe Martin at the helm leading Mansfield campaign to raise as much as possible for the British Legion.

This being a centenary year makes this year’s campaign particularly poignant. Good luck to Joe and all his team, I shall be wearing my poppies with pride.

Whilst talking of campaigns, Mansfield Independent Forum have selected me to stand as Mayor at the elections on 7th May next year.

I am overjoyed to be selected and know I can do the job having already had 12 years on Mayor Egginton’s Cabinet, and having during that time brought forward several big projects including the Interchange which won a National Prize for ‘Community Benefit’ just last week and the Queens Place which is the one of the most Iconic buildings and again an award winner for Mansfield.

There have been a raft of smaller projects across the district all of which have bought Mansfield forward, ensuring we do the best for our district.

As an Independent, it means I can listen to you, hear what you say and deliver what you want.

Earlier this year I was given some recommendations from a task and finish group, because the proposals would affect the town centre so profoundly I arranged a consultation and I was delighted with the response, I asked your opinion and you gave it to me loud and clear!

I always put Mansfield first, second and third and don’t have to do what a political party tells me to do. I have been able to listen to what you want and will be taking a decision before Christmas to support the market traders continuing to run marketing campaigns and events.

I will, after the decision to release the money, propose new stalls and canopies bringing a fresh new look.

I have many ideas some of which I will consult with you on before implementing, I can’t consult on every little decision but the big decisions that affect the majority I want to hear your views.