Politics in chaos and Mansfield Council leaving us scratching our heads

Mansfield Civic Centre, headquarters of the district council
Mansfield Civic Centre, headquarters of the district council

People have described British politics as being in chaos, what with the ongoing fiascos with the Brexit negotiations and lack of harmony in the Conservative Party.

If that isn’t enough to cope with, in Mansfield we can see our local politicians continue to have us scratching our heads wondering where they are taking us. And also whether we are getting value for money when we stump up the large sums demanded in council tax.

For example, we have Mansfield District Council spending our money on revamping the Old Town Hall in the expectation that some “high level” shop will open a retail unit there. Do the members walk round the town centre with their eyes closed? There are countless empty shops, so why add to the problem? I recall that the new retail development on Queen Street was difficult to let and remained under-used for months. Didn’t the council also say that it was going to give Leeming Street a facelift? Again at great expense. Has it happened? I cannot see any change in that area. With due respect to the traders located there, the street continues to look down at heel.

Then we have Nottinghamshire County Council spending a fortune knocking down the perfectly adequate Sherwood Forest visitor centre at Edwinstowe to replace with a soulless building which bears no relation to my hero Robin Hood except for a small statue – less than half the size of the one in, surprise, surprise, Nottingham – tucked away in a corner.

For the council to give over what should be a major tourist attraction to a wildlife conservation trust beggars belief.

Now, the people at County Hall seem to have backtracked on their misguided plans to scrap district councils and take over all public services themselves. That they were surprised when district council leaders objected to losing their positions shows how out of touch they are at West Bridgford in my view. Both Mansfield District and Nottinghamshire County councils are not fit for purpose in my opinion. I suggest, IF we do have a second Brexit vote, we in Nottinghamshire are also asked about what local government structure we want. I personally would support two councils, one for the north and one for the south of the county.

I would allow communities in the middle areas of the county, like Ravenshead, to choose which new council they wanted to be under.

We need strong leadership. Oh for times Winston Churchill stood up for the people. I’m still waiting for ‘a land fit for heroes’!

Andrew Stafford

Berry Hill Road, Mansfield

Check out this previous letter:

‘I blame council for decline in Mansfield town centre and shops’

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