GUEST COLUMN: Here’s to another year of progress for Mansfield, by Coun Martin Wright, leader of the Mansfield Independent Forum

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It has been a good month for positive progress in Mansfield.

There has been much discussion both in the media and within the Civic Centre about the new proposals for regenerating Mansfield Market, it’s your market and not reserved for any one groups sole use.

The majority of people I have spoken to on my ward in Forest Town are keen that at last something is going to be done to try and make Mansfield market more attractive and vibrant, somewhere for Mansfield people and visitors to enjoy. One comment I recently read from a Mansfield resident was “Mansfield market needs more zing”, I think we can all agree with that.

Of course there are some who do not like what they see and hear of the proposals, many consultations have taken place and taken into consideration, the public via the council’s website, market traders, town centre businesses and business groups plus the Mansfield BID have all been met, the bottom line is that to do nothing isn’t an option.

Contrary to what some organisations have said, the market was never going to close, quite the opposite a great deal of investment is planned with a new market layout, a designated eating area where shoppers can sit, under cover, and buy their food from whichever retailer they choose and a performance area to show off Mansfield’s local talent.

I strongly support this investment in Mansfield’s future and look forward to seeing a bustling vibrant Mansfield market attracting new lines of merchandise and rivalling our near neighbours, forget all the negatives that are being bandied about, it is your market and the current administration are committed to making it sustainable again.

In my August column, the new Flint Avenue development in Forest Town was featured, the 17 eco-friendly bungalows for the over 55 age group have now been completed and let to council tenants.

It was my privilege to accompany the Mayor and Deputy Mayor to the official opening of the refurbished Flint Avenue Community Centre recently where I met the new development’s residents.

Without exception, all were very pleased and excited about their new homes, one couple said: “It is a dream come true”.

A dream made real by the Independent led district council delivering new, good quality homes for Mansfield people and there is more good news to come with the soon to open “Poppy Fields” development and exiting plans for the old General Hospital site.

May I take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy, prosperous and peaceful new year.

Don’t forget, you can always contact me at mwright@mansfield.gov.uk