GUEST COLUMN: Great to see Mansfield on TV, by Coun Martin Wright, leader of Mansfield’s Independent Forum

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It was extremely good to see Mansfield featured on the Sunday Politics Show on East Midlands TV recently, the programme was very positive towards our town highlighting the fact council tax had not increased for six years, extra care housing was being built and shortlisted for a national award and an investment of £100K to uplift Mansfield Market.

It was so disappointing to hear the negative comments from the current leader of the Mansfield Labour Group, saying that a rise in council tax would help preserve services, there are none under threat, protect Mansfield’s parks and green spaces, already protected under the emerging Local Plan and incidentally, Mansfield has some of the best Green Flag accredited parks in the county.

Then we were treated to a finger pointing rant from a Labour MP who labelled all Mansfield Independent Forum members “Tories” and went on to say that the Independents have done nothing to improve social mobility, low pay and skill levels in Mansfield, all of which are a directly influenced by poor education.

Our town has one of the lowest educational attainment levels in the country with some schools struggling to achieve an average rating, never mind good. Maybe, the Rt Hon member should have bitten his lip, education is the responsibility of the Labour controlled county council, his political colleagues at County Hall will not thank him for highlighting their failure to deliver on our young people’s futures.

Those of the far left seem to think anyone who is not a supporter of the Labour Party must be a Conservative and thus an enemy, what absolute rubbish. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to be able to work with all members of the Labour Group, not just the few members who do see the advantage of putting political views to one side and working with us to achieve for their constituents.

The month long crackdown on littering in Forest Town has gone very well with individuals and businesses joining in and many fixed penalty notices handed out to litter droppers and those who dump waste from cars.

The 1st Forest Town Scouts came forward, unprompted, and offered to do their bit for the local community and spent a very wet and windy Sunday morning gathering litter in and around Forest Town. It was my pleasure, as chairman of Mansfield District Council and local councillor, to present certificates to the scout troop to express my thanks and those of the Forest Town community to them, they are a shining example to us all and a credit to the local Scout movement.