LETTER: Pointing out political fact

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I write in reply to two letters regarding my first column as the Leader of the Mansfield Independent Forum published in Chad(June 4th).

Firstly, Geoff Stafford wrote chastising me for “not checking the accuracy of my facts” regarding upgrading council housing to a “Mansfield Standard”.

It is my understanding that all council owned properties, where the tenants were willing for work to be undertaken, have had this work completed where necessary.

It’s disappointing that Mr Stafford feels that his mother may not have been treated appropriately by the council, if Mr Stafford would like to contact me at Mansfield District Council or by email mwright@mansfield.gov.uk I would be happy to look into this matter on his behalf.

Alternatively, he could contact his local elected representative who should be willing to help.

Secondly, thank you to Paul Bradshaw for his thinly-veiled congratulations on my becoming the Mansfield Independent Forum leader.

His comments re “why do they need a leader if they are all making up their own minds” says it all.

It just emphasises, to those who read the Chad, that you accept that Labour Councillors do not make up their own minds but do as directed by their group leadership, thank you Mr Bradshaw.

His letter refers to a “Political Group Leader’s Allowance”, there is no political element, group leadership is not about political parties but about groups of like-minded people.

Being leader has additional duties and responsibilities attached, where the Independent Forum is concerned my duties do not involve invoking a “whip” to our members unlike Labour’s leadership.

The amount of allowance was not a decision of councillors but a recommendation of the “Independent Remuneration Panel” which is unconnected to Mansfield District Council, incidentally, the Labour Group leader receives in excess of £8,000 but you seem happy to accept that.

Moving on to Medan Valley Making Places (MVMP), Mr Bradshaw reinforces the point that I made by saying “not a single brick laid in ten years” at Pleasley Hill and Brownlow Rd. He may recall that Pleasley Hill was only demolished in 2013 and residents were still living in Brownlow Road until around 2010 .

By voting out of existence MVMP the Labour Group set back the development of Pleasley Hill by as much as two and a half years, it is likely that the 151 dwelling site would have been nearing completion if MVMP had been supported instead of being liquidated.

My comments were not “political point scoring”, as Mr Bradshaw puts it, just pointing out political recorded fact for all Chad readers to consider.

Councillor Martin Wright.