GUEST COLUMN: Commendations were great...oh yes they were, by Mansfield Mayor Kate Allsop

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Last week I went to see the Mansfield pantomime, the atmosphere was great and I really enjoyed myself.

The characters are wonderful, very funny and gave their all to the performance. The dame’s costumes were incredible.

I would like to thank the pantomime stars for coming to Mansfield this year and producing such a great performance of Aladdin for us all to enjoy and also the Palace Theatre staff who work so hard behind the scenes to make it all happen.

At December’s full council meeting I gave out some Mayoral Commendations to very worthy unsung heroes within the community.

I know there are many more within our communities, this is why I am going to carry on with the commendations to reach to as many of those special people as I can.

This month’s commendations were to the following people: Ben and Tom Birchall, Team Mansfield, the brothers are world sidecar champions.

They have so many accolades this year alone they have won three trophies at the TT races. They are Mansfield champions and a credit to the district.

Andy Tuft and Mat Knight work at the council in the housing works department. They are such brave young men, whilst they were working in Ladybrook an elderly lady was shouting for help, her house was on fire with her husband trapped inside. With no thought for themselves they entered the house with a neighbour and carried the man to safety. The gentlemen was in a coma, but has thankfully now recovered. Another worthy winner was Joe Martin who has been the Royal British Legion honorary Poppy Appeal organiser for the last nine years.

Joe has not taken a holiday in all of that time to enable him to put all his efforts into the appeal. Joe has raised thousands for the Royal British Legion to help veterans’ families. Mansfield 103.2 team have worked so hard over the last few years to raise thousands for the Sir John Eastwood Hospice and for the King’s Mill Christmas Toy Appeal. If you would like to nominate anyone to be considered for a commendation, please email me at

Since the Scottish referendum we have heard a lot about devolution and sometimes it is easy to question what this really means and how it may benefit Mansfield. I am a firm believer that local people know what’s best for our communities, we live eat and breathe Mansfield and we know what needs improving whether it is better transport links, a more co-ordinated bus services, better quality affordable housing, more opportunities for our young people and more jobs for our district. I am working with all 19 local authority leaders in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and with central Government to devolve powers so that we can have a greater say in these key areas.

I would like to wish everyone a very merry and happy Christmas, also try and remember those within the community who are vulnerable and lonely. A kind word, a card can make all the difference to some.