Lee Anderson Column: Plans delivered via a different method and are not rejected

Readers of the Chad will be aware of my endeavours to secure extra funding for Ashfield since being elected.

By Lee Anderson
Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 4:00 pm

This has resulted in £62.3 million being secured through the Towns Fund (the highest amount in the UK) £6.25m from the Future High Streets Fund and £2m to increase the size of the A&E at King’s Mill Hospital, as well as a new diagnostic centre at King’s Mill.

I have also lobbied successfully to get two schools rebuilt as well as more than £550,000 to get extra CCTV and security measures installed in and around the New Cross area.

The Maid Marian project which will see train services returned to Selston and see a new station at King’s Mill has been a pet project of mine since being elected after the previous failed bids by Ashfield Council.

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Lee Anderson, Ashfield MP.

I managed to persuade the council to put a bid in through the Restore Your Railway Fund, but they did not want to put the bid in. I had to push them all the way.

So, you can imagine my dismay at recent headlines by the Ashfield Independents stating the Maid Marian bid has been rejected.

This is not true at all.

Maid Marian Line plans will now be worked up through our development of Integrated Rail Plan/Toton work instead of through the Restoring Your Railways fund.

‘Maid Marian Line plans will now be worked up through our development of Integrated Rail Plan/Toton work instead of through the Restoring Your Railway fund’, writes Lee Anderson.

This makes perfect sense as it allows local decision makers to make the case for this new line and the Department for Transport has given us £1m – to our East Midlands Development Corporation – to do all of that detailed work.

So, it’s not ‘rejected’ at all, it’s just been delivered through a different method.

I spoke with the rail minister, Wendy Morton, on Friday at length who confirmed the Government is looking at plans for a direct Mansfield-Toton-London route, via the Maid Marian Line, to bring forward.

How can the Maid Marian Line be 'rejected' when the minister herself has said, in writing, they are looking at using that route for this direct London service?

The Ashfield Independents have got this completely wrong and sent out the wrong message to constituents.

Nowhere in the letter does it say the scheme is off.

In fact it even says the work is going to be done, just not by the council alone and thank goodness for that .

With the council being £100m in debt, I would sooner trust my colleagues further up the food chainto spend this money wisely and get this job done.

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