Mansfield Independents select mayoral candidate to take on Andy Abrahams

The Mansfield Independents group at Mansfield Council has confirmed its candidate to run for elected mayor in next year’s local elections.

Wednesday, 27th July 2022, 1:40 pm

Coun Mick Barton, who represents Maun Valley, will stand as the mayoral candidate in the May 2023 election and is expected to go head-to-head with the current mayor, Labour’s Andy Abrahams.

Coun Barton has sat on the authority since 2003 and is currently the leader of the opposition at the council.

He has served on numerous council committees including planning, personnel and licensing, acting as the chairman of the licensing committee between 2007 and 2015.

Coun Mick Barton, Mansfield Independents mayoral candidate.

He was also deputy mayor from 2015-19, when Kate Allsop held the post, as well as portfolio holder for community safety until the group’s election loss three years ago.

Coun Barton said: “I am passionate about everything I do and would welcome the opportunity to make some big improvements to the town we all live in.

“Over the coming months, residents will see my ideas in leaflets through their doors, on social media and in the local media.

“I have some exciting ideas for the town centre and our surrounding district.

“The Mansfield Independents are a friendly group of like-minded individuals, just ordinary people who want to look after and improve the areas they serve.

“My manifesto will be a ‘people’s manifesto’ based on residents’ and the Mansfield Independents’ ideas combined.”

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The Mansfield Independents, previously known as the Mansfield Independent Forum, controlled the council between 2003 and 2019, with Tony Egginton serving as elected mayor until 2015.

He was succeeded by Mrs Allsop, who lost to Mr Abrahams in May 2019 by just two votes.

Voters in Mansfield will return to the polls in May for another round of elections.

Mansfield is, however, unique in that, alongside electing councillors, voters can decide the directly-elected mayor of the district.

This role acts as leader of the council and has the ability to select their own cabinet to control decision-making at the authority.

If a vote is split in the council chamber, the mayor also has the casting vote.

The post was created following a public referendum in 2002. As of May 2022, there are 26 directly-elected mayors in England.

The council pays the mayor about £60,000 per year, however, Mr Abrahams currently gives a third of his wages to charity.