Give local councillors a say on tourism around Robin Hood, don’t put me on the ‘naughty step’

The first meeting of Robin Hood and Little John on a narrow bridge over a river is immortalised in Sherwood Forest's statue outside the Visitor Centre.
The first meeting of Robin Hood and Little John on a narrow bridge over a river is immortalised in Sherwood Forest's statue outside the Visitor Centre.

At a meeting of Nottinghamshire County Council’s policy committee on February 13, councillors discussed a strategy to grow the visitor economy and create increased prosperity and jobs around tourism for Nottinghamshire.

As one might expect, Sherwood Forest, our local hero Robin Hood, and my village, Edwinstowe, are at the heart of these discussions. I support this strategy and I’ve been saying for many years that we don’t make enough of Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest, both of which are globally renowned.

However, along with the rest of my Labour colleagues, and despite the fact that I am the elected representative for the Sherwood Forest division, which includes many of Nottinghamshire’s major tourist attractions — including not only Sherwood Forest, but Sherwood Pines, Rufford Country Park and Center Parcs — I have been prohibited from serving on a working party to develop tourism for the county.

I believe the Conservative leader of the county council, Councillor Kay Cutts, placed me on the ‘naughty step’ for speaking out against the failed proposal to abolish the district councils, including Mansfield, Ashfield and Newark and Sherwood.

It seems bizarre to me that the working party on tourism will only consist of Conservative and Mansfield Independent councillors, who will make decisions affecting Edwinstowe and the other villages I represent, and the visitor attractions located within or close to them.

In respect of the tourist economy, Nottinghamshire County Council needs representation which includes the relevant locally elected councillors who have specific knowledge of the areas being discussed, and, in my opinion, it is extremely short sighted to not recognise this.

Councillor John Peck

Labour member for 
Sherwood Forest

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