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As you may well be aware, the Netherfield Ward by-election will be held on 4th December.

The seat has been vacant since the death of the much respected Mansfield Independent Forum councillor Derek Evans in May.

It seems wholly inappropriate that the election will now take place with the May 2015 district council elections on the horizon.

During these five months, there will be just four full meetings of the council.

Moreover, the Christmas and New Year holidays will disrupt any required training, compromising the role of the new councillor.

Equally, it has been estimated that the cost of administering the by-election will be approximately £6,000. In addition to this, the new councillor will be eligible for approximately £3,000 in allowances plus training costs, a total in the region of £9,000-10,000.

The Independent Forum are also concerned that this election will needlessly disrupt the education of Eastlands Primary School’s children, as their school will be used as a polling station.

Everyone in Netherfield Ward has the democratic right to representation by a councillor and I’m sure that the current Warsop councillors would have handled all issues that Netherfield residents raised.

Because of the reasons I have outlined, The Mansfield Independent Forum have unanimously decided not to participate in this unnecessary election.

It is disruptive and does not represent value for money.

Congratulations are in order to Councillor Kate Allsop on being selected as the Mansfield Independent Forum’s candidate in the May 2015 Mayoral election.

Kate comes with a wealth of local government experience, which far outshines her declared opponents, and will bring a fresh approach to the governance of our town.

Last Sunday, there were many Acts of Remembrance in the Mansfield District.

In my role as district councillor for Holly Ward, I joined the community of Forest Town for their annual Remembrance Parade and the ceremony that followed.

I never fail to be moved by the interest shown by young and old alike. Brownies, Guides, Scouts, St John’s, veterans, representatives of community groups and councillors all marched behind the British Legion banners to pay homage to all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Mansfield Museum also hosted a Remembrance Service at the Clipstone Camp Exhibition on Armistice Day, to remember all the fallen and particularly those who died whilst training at the camp.