GUEST COLUMN: Time to reflect on 2015, by Coun Sonya Ward, leader of Mansfield Labour Group

As the end of the year approaches, I find myself reflecting on 2015. It’s been a year of many challenges, but your Labour councillors have worked hard in their communities, and some of their hard work is now coming to fruition.

I’m delighted to hear that after the excellent community campaign in Warsop, supported by work from our local councillors Sharron Adey, Peter Crawford, John Kerr and Andy Wetton, that the plans are soon to be submitted for a new supermarket in Warsop, which will hopefully be completed in 2016.

Councillors Sean McCallum and John Smart are both armed forces veterans, and they have been working hard to ensure our local ex-service people get the support and recognition they deserve. Coun Smart works with the Royal British Legion every year to raise funds and promote their services, whilst Coun McCallum has recently secured support for volunteers who want to keep our war memorials clean, and he is also looking at ways of developing better co-ordination of support services for ex-service people and their families locally.

In Mansfield Woodhouse, councillors Amanda Fisher, Joyce Bosnjak, Lee Probert, Lesley Wright and Katrina Atherton have worked hard to support residents and local community projects, to improve local parks, allotments and green spaces, and Coun Fisher deserves a special mention for her work on the resident’s garden at Vale Court.

The town centre is an area which we all have an interest in, and which we would like to see flourish. A number of Labour councillors have been supporting the Mansfield market traders, who are keen to have their voices heard about proposed changes to Mansfield Market. We feel very strongly that listening to people should underpin everything we do and that the council works best when it works in partnership with those who have an interest.