MP’S COLUMN: Thrilled at new role but town remains my priority

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It’s been an eventful week or two since Parliament returned.

In the Prime Minister’s reshuffle I was offered a role trying to turn around the Conservative Government’s engagement with young people. I was delighted to be asked and to be able to work on an issue that I’m really passionate about. That said I want to reassure people in Mansfield that whilst this new role will make me very busy whilst I’m in Westminster, it won’t affect the work I’m doing locally. My priority is and always will be working on the issues that I have laid out in Mansfield, including our town centre regeneration, improving our local transport links, and working with both Government and local schools to make sure we’re offering the best opportunities to local people. I actually hope that Mansfield can benefit from my new role, as it can give me more profile and access to raise our issues .

With those key local priorities in mind I will be meeting soon with the chief executive from Mansfield District Council to go over their plans for the future of the town centre, and the ‘vision’ that I hope they have for the future. We need to make the most of our assets like Sherwood Forest, and we need to support those who want to invest. I’m particularly looking forward to seeing plans for major hotel developments progress this year, as they could be the key to revitalising and rebuilding.

Next week I will welcome the Secretary of State for Transport to Mansfield to meet with local businesses, and to visit some key sites for our transport infras-tructure. That connectivity is another huge factor in our redeve-lopment and if we can find some answers (and some cash!) to unlock the traffic jam then it will make a huge difference to the whole area.

This week the Government have committed to a 25 year plan for the sustainability of our wildlife and our environment, including ending the excessive use of ‘single-use’ plastics that clog up our oceans. The 5p plastic bag charges brought in back in 2015 have been successful in cutting the number of non-recyclable carrier bags by more than 9 billion, so it’s clear that we can make some serious inroads in to these issues with fairly simple solutions.

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