It may have been overshadowed by the calling of a General Election in June, but voters will go to the polls before that to elect local councillors.
All seats at Nottinghamshire County Council are up for election on Thursday, May 4.
The council is currently made of 67 councillors, across 54 divisions.
Although officially under No Overall Control, it is led by the Labour Party, who hold 32 seats, ahead of the Tories with 21. There are also five Liberal Democrat councillors, four Ashfield Independents and two Mansfield Independent Forum members and three Independents.
After the election, 66 councillors will represent 55 divisions.
Voters in South Mansfield will elect two councillors to represent them. We asked them all to submit some details about themselves in the run up to voters going to the polls.
Steve Garner (MIF)
I have represented Mansfield South for the last eight years, seen out and about in the division on a daily basis engaging with and working for the residents and voicing their concerns. Vote for me and my colleague Andy Sissons to ensure our continued commitment to deliver the best services to Mansfield South as your county councillors. Your votes will also enable us to carry on supporting the many groups from childminders to senior citizens and conservation volunteers we have helped thrive. You have two votes, please use them for Andy and me, so we can carry on working for our community.
Charles Hammersley (Lab)
Charles recently retired as a chartered town planner having worked in local government since 1992. He has worked at several councils in Nottinghamshire, including Nottinghamshire County Council. Charles has lived in Mansfield since 1980 with his wife Linda. They have two sons and a daughter who were educated at Brunts School. In May 2011, Charles was elected as the local councillor for Ling Forest Ward, where he became involved with school governing bodies, local community groups and several voluntary sector organisations. If Charles is elected as county councillor for Mansfield South, he pledges to respond promptly to all requests from local residents regarding issues such as – school admissions, road repairs, street lighting, Children’s Centres, care for members of our elderly and most vulnerable in our community, anti-social behaviour including speeding and any other concerns raised.
Darren Hunt (Lab)
Darren’s family has lived in and around Mansfield for generations. Growing up, Darren lived on Little Carter Lane and went to Windmill Ridge and Sherwood Hall schools. After leaving school he worked for a mining company, before setting up his own business. In recent years, Darren has worked for an advice agency whilst also caring for his mum. Darren believes looking after the elderly and vulnerable should be a priority. He believes the older generation looked after their children as they were growing up and he feels that it is now time to be looking after them. Darren is committed to ensuring rate payers get good quality and good value for money services. He is also committed to supporting local businesses. Darren pledges to listen to and act quickly on all concerns reported to him. He will also hold weekly surgeries in Mansfield South to ensure that people in his Ward can reach him easily and quickly.
Dean Malpass (LD)
I was born and raised in Mansfield and attended The Brunts School. I am a registered mental health nurse and have recently co-founded a local business. I believe the interests of Mansfield have been sidelined at the county council by political squabbling along Party lines. I pledge to fight for Mansfield by seeking to improve our schools, social care, and our local economy. I live in Berry Hill, with my fiancée, and two sons aged eight and one-and-a-half.
Anita Prabhakar (LD)
Anita is a qualified solicitor with two Masters degrees, in constitutional law from Bangalore Law College, India, and, in corporate law from Nottingham Trent University. She has worked in several different areas and has huge experience in all aspects of life. She was the Liberal Democrat’s parliamentary Candidate in Leicester South in the 2015 general elections. Anita has two grown-up children, a boy, and a girl, who have followed their father’s profession and are engineering graduates of Loughborough and Leicester universities. Anita believes a good education is the backbone of every society and it is one of the basic rights of for everybody. Every child in our society matters, they deserve the best education possible and post-18 they need to have either further education, or a high-quality apprenticeship so they can flourish to the best of their ability. It’s the duty of every government to provide this. Anita is passionate about human rights and women’s issues like inequality and domestic violence. She thinks we need to tackle Labour’s crippling PFI system that has left our hospitals with millions of pounds of debit to pay before they spend money treating the sick. Mansfield, like everywhere else, is desperately short of affordable housing. Everyone should have their own place to live, no one deserves to be in left in a shelter or on the streets without their own place to live. Anita says: “I am specifically concerned about homeless hospital patients who do not have a place to go after being discharged from hospitals. No one should be discharged from hospitals with nowhere to go. I will be working to lessen the disadvantages of poverty and inequality in our society.”
Paul Saxelby (Con)
A military veteran of 20 years’ service, Paul was born and raised in Mansfield and went to the Manor school. He works locally too at a Mansfield Auction House and has been the chairman of the Ashfield and Mansfield Conservative Federation for several years now, working hard for our communities. Paul would like to see more investment in our roads and pavements, and support from County Hall for more local services in our town. As the local Conservative Party chairman Paul has built strong networks and relationships across that county, to ensure would be a strong voice for Mansfield at County Hall and could work well within a Conservative administration to have a big impact.
Philip Shields (Ind)
I live in South Mansfield so what happens in South Mansfield matters to me. I am an experienced councillor who sat on the mayor’s Cabinet as portfolio holder for the environment from 2011 till 2015 so have no fear of making important decisions. I stood for mayor in 2015 and achieved just under 10,000 votes, unfortunately not enough to beat the Political Parties. Unlike other Candidates, I am totally Independent – I do not belong to any Political Party.
I would like to see a free permit parking scheme. I will work to ensure roads are safe and repaired. I will work with the police and crime commissioner to ensure our area is properly policed. I will have regular meetings with the mayor, her cabinet and district councillors to ensure I am up to date with all developments across our area. I will help protect our parks and open spaces from development. I will support all community and volunteer groups. This is only a snapshot vote for me and you get total commitment and effort. Thank you for your consideration.
Andy Sissons (MIF)
I have been honoured and privileged to serve South Mansfield as your county councillor for the last four years, working alongside my co-councillor Steve Garner to deliver the best services to you for social care, education and highways improvements, while also working in partnership with our Mansfield District Council colleagues for the betterment of Mansfield for us all.
Living in the electoral division, we would like to carry on representing gives us an insight into the issues which matter to you that some of the candidates from as far away as Huthwaite and Newark could not possibly have.
Mansfield is a great place to live and raise a family, together we can make it even better. Your votes on May 4 for Andy Sissons and Steve Garner will enable us to make that difference.”
Con – The Conservative Party;
Ind – Independent;
Lab - The Labour Party;
LD - Liberal Democrats;
MIF – Mansfield Independent Forum.