GUEST COLUMN: Award is feather in cap for council, by Coun Martin Wright

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Mansfield District Council finished a creditable third, behind the City of Manchester and West Lotion councils in the category of Outstanding Local Authority of the Year at the 2016 Chartered Institute of Housing UK Housing Awards.

This category was open to any local authority and recognises the role of councils in shaping local housing markets, through regeneration or development, meeting local housing need and/or preventing homelessness. This award is a real feather in the cap for our town and recognises the ongoing commitment of the Independent coalition administration and our excellent council officers to provide homes for people with Mansfield connections and at a time of severe financial pressures.

The new market layout is proving to be a success, the information I have received from visitors and traders alike is very positive. To those who are yet to venture and take a look, please do so and spend some money at your Mansfield market.

Fly-tipping in Mansfield District is on the increase on our country lanes and even on urban streets and alleyways. Nationally fly-tipping increased by more than 27 per cent during 2014-15, up to an outrageous 900,000 incidents, mostly on public land and with the council tax payer footing the bill.

Surprisingly, there was only 1,810 prosecutions with just 82 per cent receiving fines and only 21 receiving a custodial sentence. Mansfield District Council will always prosecute those they find illegally dumping waste and also those who employ unregistered waste carriers who use fly-tipping as a way to make easy money. Fly-tipping, I feel, will increase following Nottingham County Council’s introduction of a county wide registration scheme for all visitors to their recycling centres. Starting in September, any resident who visits a county council recycling centre will not be allowed entry unless their car/van is registered and the named driver a Nottinghamshire resident. The county council says their recycling centres are being used by Nottingham City and out of county people at a cost of £200K to Nottinghamshire residents. My fear is some people will not bother to register, plus those with untaxed, unregistered or uninsured vehicles will also not register, leading to more fly-tipping in Mansfield and district. Good news, Penniment Lane now had a barrier installed to stop vehicles travelling along its length and depositing fly-tipped waste.