It may have been overshadowed by the calling of a General Election in June, but voters will go to the polls before that to elect local councillors.
All seats at Nottinghamshire County Council are up for election on Thursday, May 4.
The council is currently made of 67 councillors, across 54 divisions.
Although officially under No Overall Control, it is led by the Labour Party, who hold 32 seats, ahead of the Tories with 21. There are also five Liberal Democrat councillors, four Ashfield Independents and two Mansfield Independent Forum members and three Independents.
After the election, 66 councillors will represent 55 divisions.
Voters in East Mansfield will elect two councillors to represent them. We asked them all to submit some details about themselves in the run up to voters going to the polls.
Alan Bell (Lab)
Alan is currently vice-chairman of the adult socal care and health committee at Nottinghamshire County Council. In his role he has overseen the development of both two extra care housing locally projects one in Mansfield, at Poppy Fields, and at Hucknall. Alan is working on and playing a key role in the development of the old General Hospital site to extend further our extra care housing for elderly people in Mansfield.
Alan worked as a support worker at Mansfield District Council for 10 years, working with vulnerable people which held him in good stead for the position he now holds. While working at the district council, a position he also held was that of Unison Branch Secretary. This position gave him deep knowledge of the workings of Local Government and how we can deliver better services locally, something he believes we have done over the last four years.
Colleen Harwood (Lab)
Colleen has been a resident of Mansfield East for the last 19 years. She is mum to three teenagers and is proud to have been a Labour county councillor for the last four years. Colleen has a solid local knowledge of the Mansfield East area, the issues the community faces and also the reasons that the community has to be proud. She has worked in local schools as a dinner lady and kitchen assistant, and at a local holiday camp as a housekeeping assistant. Colleen is a proud member of the GMB trade union and has been for the last 17 years. She is proud to have worked as chairman of the county council’s health scrutiny committee working with our local NHS Hospitals to help them to make the changes needed to offer better support and care to residents. Colleen vows to support the community of Mansfield East and tackle the issues that matter to residents.
Vaughan Hopewell (MIF)
I was elected in 2011 for the Oak Tree ward in Mansfield. I have worked closely with Mansfield District Council to oversee the gas installation and a new play park. As a resident in the East Mansfield ward, I question what has been achieved in the last four years and also what needs to be done. The next four years will see traffic increase to our already busy roads with the Lindhurst project starting. Therefore, Mansfield’s infrastructure needs addressing. We currently have a bus service that in some areas finishes before 7pm. We need to look at providing a later service so our town can encourage new investment and ensure residents can travel to work or into town. I’m standing for election in East Mansfield as it’s time for change, it’s time for me to campaign from within the county council instead of from the outside.
Tom Hunt (TUSC)
I am a nurse at Mansfield Community Hospital and chairman of Unison’s Dukeries Health Branch. I see the effects of the county council’s cuts in adult social care. The NHS is increasingly being taken over by profit-hungry corporations. We know the Tory government is making these cuts to help their big business friends. But why does Labour’s Nottinghamshire County Council pass on cuts, like local health visitors’ jobs being axed this year? As a councillor I would oppose all cuts in public services and all privatisation. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition includes the transport union RMT, the Socialist Party and other union activists and campaigners. Most Labour MPs and councillors don’t agree with the anti-austerity message Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour leader on. That’s why we’re putting a socialist alternative forward.
Christopher Morris (LD)
Christopher has roots in both Nottingham and Eastwood. Apart from when he was away studying military history in Wales, he has always lived in the county and cares deeply about its future. He currently works for a forklift truck company.
Martin Wright (MIF)
Since being first elected to public office in 2009, I have built a reputation as a hardworking, approachable, community councillor, always contactable and responding to all queries and complaints, never ignoring a constituent. An East Mansfield county councillor from 2009 to 2013,in partnership with the late councillor Bob Cross, I have maintained lasting working relationships with officers at the county council. I am standing for election because I feel I have “unfinished business at County Hall” and much more needs to be done in East Mansfield. There has been a vast population increase over the last four years and with it has come congested schools, doctor’s surgeries and of course roads. Potholes are not being mended quickly enough, although the Labour election manifesto says they will be repaired quicker after the election, why not now? I want to take Independent Forum values to County Hall, honesty, transparency and hard work to achieve the best possible outcomes for East Mansfield and its residents.
Con – The Conservative Party;
Lab - The Labour Party;
LD - Liberal Democrats;
MIF – Mansfield Independent Forum;
TUSC – Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.