COLUMN: Raising Mansfield’s profile

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It’s been a pretty eventful week just gone, 
as we reflect in the wake of the political parties’ conference season.

It was an absolute honour and a privilege to speak before the Prime Minister at our Conservative conference on Wednesday morning about Mansfield, and all of the amazing potential that we have as a district to grow and improve.

The best part of it is, as well as speaking to the 3,000 audience members, and viewers on the BBC, it was also heard by the entire Government so now not one of them can say they don’t know about Mansfield or what we’re trying to achieve.

I’ll keep working on all of them to try and get investment and support for our area.

You can find a video of the full speech on my Facebook page.

Obviously the PM’s speech didn’t go to plan and I felt so sorry for her.

She’d been ill all week, and we’ve all had one of those coughs that just won’t go away, so imagine having that frog in your throat live on TV in that situation.

That said, the content of her speech was actually great and really set out her vision for our way forward.

She announced some great new policies including more money for building new schools, introducing the cap on energy prices that we promised in the election, and looking again at the outdated Mental Health Act to bring it in to the 21st century and improve the care we offer.

We’re also finally increasing the sentences for animal cruelty from six months to five years, something I’ve been pushing for since my election.

These announcements are a positive step forward and I’m backing her to deliver on it.

I also found out this week that Marstons brewery have a new beer, and it’s named after me - what an absolute honour!

I spoke about the history of the Sir John Cockle pub in my maiden speech in the Commons and they were so chuffed they decided to commission a new ale.

I can honestly say I’m genuinely so grateful for the support, and I hope you’ll go and buy it because 10p from every pint will go to charity.

I’ve chosen the Beacon Project which supports homeless people in Mansfield and try to help them access local support services.

Who would have thought that a pub in an old mining town like Mansfield would be selling blue-rosetted beer named after a Tory MP!? Times have changed. It’s a great time to look forward instead of back, and to try and make a positive difference for Mansfield.