Mayor’s column: still just as proud after 11 years

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Well folks – it’s 11 years tomorrow since I became Mansfield’s first directly elected Mayor and I can tell you that I still feel as proud and privileged today to serve you, the people of the District of Mansfield, as I did back in 2002.

My eleventh birthday also coincides with the election of the 6th youth mayor with candidates contesting to be the voice of Youth all across the District. It was one of my first manifesto pledges to try to get the youth of Mansfield involved in democracy and help them shape service provision for the younger people right across our District.

The three candidates this year are:

l Jade Booker – from Queen Elizabeth’s Academy

lTanna Nita – from Samworth Church Academy and

l Thomas Richardson – from the Manor Academy

l Sticking with the youth of the District, this Saturday sees the Oxjam Festival taking place in many venues across the town, so please purchase a wrist band and enjoy a great variety of music.

l This Thursday is International Credit Union Day which aims to promote new services and boost membership. The commemorative day has been celebrated on the third Thursday of October since 1948 to mark the achievements of Credit Unions. This year has been a particularly noteworthy one with the Government providing £38 million cash injection by the Department for Work and Pensions to help modernise the sector.

Credit Unions are co-operatives, owned and managed by the people who use them and often serve their local community. You may have read over the last few weeks some rather “politically driven” negative comments from people seeking to add your name to a petition. If the people seeking your support to “Save the Nottingham Credit Union” on Regent Street had asked you to open a savings accounts rather than play “politics” the outcome would be more positive for local vulnerable people.

I opened an account last week and echo the sentiment from Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform, who said: “Credit Unions can offer exceptionally high quality, good value, financial products and provide an important service to many people – that’s why I joined my local credit union”. 
So go along and open an account.

l Opening a new business or celebrating success with businesses across our District is always a highlight for me and last Friday I went along to Plastek on Crown Farm Industrial Estate, who continue to grow their workforce in these times of austerity.

Later today I open a new barbers shop opposite our soon to be opened “eco-friendly” office and retail development on the former QueensHead Site. Whilst in the Queen Street area of town I had a very positive meeting with the new manager at Beals Store – the former Co-op, who are embarking on a major re-building exercise for the store.

l With announcements of an 8% increase from energy suppliers, residents can get free advice on how to keep their homes warm this winter and save money on their energy bills – if you are interested in receiving advice, a FREE energy audit please call 01623 463472.