I was really disappointed this week to hear what Labour had to say about Mansfield in their party political broadcast on TV, writes Ben Bradley, MP for Mansfield.
This area featured heavily in the broadcast, which focused on it being a place that no longer had ‘spirit and hope’.
It made me really angry to be honest, to see it.
How can Labour look to represent local people if it genuinely thinks Mansfield is so awful?
That’s not what I see!
Labour may not like Mansfield, but I do, and I think most local people are proud and passionate about the place they live in.
The town has its problems, of course it does, just like anywhere else.
But it also has great potential and a lot to be proud of and thankful for.
I believe it is slowly moving in the right direction after decades of neglect, and I’m hugely positive for the future.
Let’s have a look at just how Mansfield has fared in recent years.
Under Labour in 2007 Mansfield scored 31.8 on the indices of deprivation.
In 2015 it fared far better at 27.7.
Higher scores mean higher levels of deprivation, so these numbers show the area is less deprived and more affluent now than it was in 2007.
On top of that, practically every local school is rated more highly by Ofsted now than in previous years, and most are now ‘Good’.
Under Labour, there were 26,500 more workless households in the East Midlands compared to now.
In 2010 4.4 per cent of working age people in Mansfield were on out-of-work benefits.
Now, that figure is down to 1.9 per cent and employment is at a record high.
If anyone has let down Mansfield I’m sorry but after 100 years of Labour representation, they really need to take a look at themselves.
I’m sorry to get party political this week, but this video really wound me up.
I’m here to look to the future, not the past, and to try to help Mansfield fulfil it’s potential.
I wish others would stop trying to put us down.