We should be proud, not ashamed of our town

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In the last few weeks, Mansfield has achieved three huge accolades – becoming a Finalist in ‘Best British High Street’, winning the ‘confidence to invest’ from three major chain restaurants and more importantly, we’ve been awarded The Purple Flag Award.

I personally believe things are really looking up for our town - at last!

It’s so inspiring to see that ‘outsiders’ are now starting to believe in us as a town with so much to offer, a town with prospects.

To most people reading this at home, you wouldn’t believe the enormous amount of brilliant partnership working that goes on behind the scenes to make Mansfield better.

Nearly every authority and organisation possible work tirelessly to help rid us of the primitive, derogatory and unfair reputation we have been tarnished with for decades.

It was never nice to be from ‘the rough, old pit town’ – hopefully with these recent accolades, the perception of Mansfield from outsiders is changing, it is becoming increasingly positive.

One thing we could improve is our attitude towards our home town.

Something that really gets my goat and annoys me to the point of distraction are the ‘Mansfield haters’, y’know, the ones who relish every opportunity to pull our town to pieces.

‘It’s this, it’s that, it has nothing, everyone in Mansfield is a smack head’.

You’ve all heard it, it’s relentless.

Yet, these haters live in Mansfield and I really don’t get it.

How can good community spirit thrive when some people have zero pride and hold such a negative outlook about where they live?

My thoughts are this, rather than rant on Facebook about how rubbish Mansfield is, get involved - tell your MP, write to the Mayor.

Let the people in control know what you’d like to change.

Tell them what sort of place you’d like Mansfield to be.

We’ll never be Covent Garden or Kensington, of course not, but we are an up and coming town that we all should be proud to live in.

The sad truth? Most people won’t do any of what I’ve suggested and that’s the concerning part.

Most people will do nothing and that’s more the reason we should applaud the people who are at least doing something.

It’s easy to sit at home and criticise – I admit – I’ve done it myself, but how great would it be though if we could all support Mansfield, support our market, support the old and new local businesses, support the football club and most importantly, support the vulnerable amongst us?

So, next time you’re feeling negative about Mansfield, nip round and see the older folks next door, make them a cup of tea and ask them about their memories of Mansfield.

That’s where community spirit starts and you will realise just how far we have come!