Newly-elected MP Ben Bradley has called on the government to speak up for Mansfield and support the town’s regeneration and economic growth.
In his first major speech since sensationally unseating Sir Alan Meale at the General Election, Mr Bradley paid tribute to Mansfield’s long and vibrant history and referred to its coal-mining roots. But he also reminded the government that the town should not be treated as a forgotten backwater.
“The message from so many voters I met through the election campaign is a feeling that Mansfield is not on anybody’s agenda,” the Conservative MP commented after his speech.
“Locally, investment is too often focused on Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield, while nobody has been speaking up for Mansfield and banging on the doors of ministers looking for support.
“My pledge during the election was to shout up loud and often, and I intend to fulfil that promise. Mansfield has so much potential, so much to be proud of, and I look forward to serving residents and supporting them in any way that I can.”
In his speech, Mr Bradley pledged his support for the creation of a mining museum in the town centre in celebration of Mansfield’s rich heritage.
But while he felt the constituency’s economy was on the up, he admitted there was still much to be done and urged the government to promote its growth.
He said the rejuvenation of the area’s high streets was not happening quickly enough, pointing to many empty shops in Mansfield town centre and the decline of Market Warsop.
Nevertheless, Mr Bradley remained buoyant about Mansfield’s prospects and cited the excellent work that organisations such as Maun Valley Citizens are doing to tackle deprivation and homelessness, and to improve the lives of vulnerable people.
The rookie MP also highlighted West Nottingthamshire College’s role in creating a skilled workforce and improving employment prospects in the town.
Regarding the Queen’s Speech, Mr Bradley welcomed the government’s commitment to manage immigration and promised to voice Mansfield people’s desire for greater controls over the country’s borders.