Mayor's Column: We still need to protect our NHS and keep doing the right thing
As we have learned throughout the pandemic, the choices we make individually and collectively make a difference to our health and quality of life, writes Mayor of Mansfield Andy Abrahams.
Alongside our hard-earned freedoms, we all need to continue behaving responsibly and doing the right thing to overcome the increasing infection rate and protect our NHS.
When I was elected, my guiding principles were also governed by doing the right thing. This included policies to address poor health outcomes, reduce homelessness, support voluntary organisations, build more affordable council homes, invest in Mansfield and adopt measures to tackle the climate emergency.
The Covid crisis has placed great demands on the council’s resources and made maintaining high standards of service delivery challenging. But, at the last full council, I was pleased to announce we would be starting construction of over 100 affordable homes across three sites before the end of the year.
We are proud these homes have been designed to the Future Homes Standard, with higher quality heating systems and insulation. They will be energy efficient, have reduced bills and produce 75 per cent less carbon emissions.
All the council’s activities are being reviewed to reduce our carbon footprint, wherever practicable. We are also setting the standards for those who want to work with us via our new procurement strategy.
The strategy has been put into practice for the construction of four ultra-low energy council homes on Saundby Avenue. Developer Robert Woodhead Ltd will provide local training and employment opportunities, involve schools and organisations, reduce carbon emissions by planting trees and by recycling a high percentage of construction waste as part of the contract.
At June’s Full Council, members voted to send a letter to the Government requesting it accepts the conclusions and recommendations of its own cross-party Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee that conducted an inquiry into the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme.
The report recommended the Government hands the £1.2bn it is due to receive from the Investment Reserve back to miners, not only because it is their money, but because it is the right thing to do.