Lee Anderson column: Ashfield has never received an investment quite like this
Last Saturday I got a call from Local Government Minister Luke Hall MP to give me the great news that my sponsored Towns Fund bid for £62 million, to redevelop Sutton and Kirkby, had been accepted and approved.
I was then invited to meet the Secretary of State this week to chat about the finer details. I cannot express how proud this makes me. The hard work between myself, the Discover Ashfield Board and Ashfield District Council has paid off as we will now see our area transformed for the better after decades of decline.
When elected in 2019, I made a promise to myself, my friends, family and constituents that I would fight for every penny for Ashfield and Eastwood and, with the £6.2 million I secured through the Future High Streets Fund and the £1.5 million Accelerated Towns Fund, the total amount secured now is more than £70 million.
Ashfield has never received an investment like this, and I will continue to keep making a nuisance of myself in Westminster.
They all know me now and some even say ‘Ey up mi duck’ as we pass, so you can be assured that Ashfield is being noticed and will continue to be noticed.
Good news for Eastwood as well as, on Friday, I signed off a submission for extra investment for the town in a deal that could be worth more than £10 million for the area.
Eastwood has always been the forgotten part of the constituency and again I will do all I can to bring the investment in.
I have said it before, it’s personal to me as this area is where I am from. I have never lived more than a few miles from where I was born and I never intend to, which is why great news like this feels even better to me.
I spent the majority of last week knocking on doors in the Central and New Cross area, talking to residents about local issues.
Residents feel they are being ignored. Some streets are filthy, there is fly-tipping, rats, crime and anti-social behaviour and nothing seems to be done.
I do have some very challenging conversations with ADC over this area and they have assured me that more will be done to clean up the area and clamp down on the culprits.
I do not want to be in a position where I am bringing millions of pounds into the area to help reverse decades of decline while areas like the New Cross are left even further behind. I will continue to let residents know they have not been forgotten.