Mansfield mayor proud of the care people have shown for each other during Covid pandemic
For me, the highlight of the year has been how Mansfield people have come together to help those most in need during this pandemic.
Whether it has been setting up food clubs to help people access good quality food at low cost, or befriending an elderly person with weekly phone calls to help them feel less isolated, Mansfield has demonstrated one thing clearly – it cares.
I am also extremely proud of how the council has stepped up to meet the many welfare and humanitarian needs and challenges thrown up by Covid-19.
Since April, the council has called 596 vulnerable council tenants and received more than 75,000 calls to its contact centre, delivered more than 200 food parcels and 137 prescriptions, helped 17 rough sleepers off the streets, set up three new FOOD (Food On Our Doorstep) clubs and distributed more than £21 million in Covid-19-related grants and payments to businesses.
The pandemic has shown that the council is resilient, flexible, adaptable, and can react rapidly to an ever-changing situation with expertise, focus and good humour.
Who can forget the joy bin crews brought to people by dressing up as superheroes during the first lockdown?
The biggest downsides to 2020 have been the human and financial impacts of this virus.
So many families have lost loved ones, many people are still on the road to recovery, while others have lost their livelihoods.
There are the huge losses of income to both the council and the local economy.
It will be some time before we know and understand the full impact of that.
But we will continue to work with our partners and look for innovative solutions through the creation of a Masterplan and the Future High Streets and Towns Fund bids.
We have also successfully demonstrated just how much can be achieved online.
We’re live streaming council meetings and decisions and our ever popular events programme – including Christmas in Mansfield – went online.
The council has shown that where there’s a will, there is always a way.
If we face whatever the future may bring with the same spirit we have tackled the pandemic, Mansfield is destined for success.
I wish you all a very safe and restful Christmas, and a healthy and more prosperous new year.
Andy Abrahams is mayor of Mansfield.