Six years ago, I had just been elected as Mansfield’s Member of Parliament, becoming the first ‘blue brick in the red wall’, and the first Conservative ever to be elected here.
A normal first term for an MP elected in 2017 would have only just ended last year, so it’s safe to say a lot has happened and it’s certainly not always been ‘business as usual’ down in Westminster!
Despite this, I’ve worked hard to sort through some of the chaos at times and ensure that Mansfield is always at the forefront of Government plans to invest across the East Midlands.
I’ve helped to tackle many issues that had often been overlooked for this area, such as investment into sports facilities and Miner’s Welfares; and better plans to deal with rough sleeping, which has has fallen significantly over the last few years.
Although I’ve been banging on more recently (and rightly so!) about our game-changing ‘Levelling-up’ and ‘Towns Fund’ investments totalling over £50 million so far, there’s still plenty of investment already underway in Mansfield that is helping to grow our economy too.
The Rural Mobility Fund, worth £1.5 million across the county, has helped drive a ‘Bus Revolution’ enabling more people to make use of public transport and visit our town centre.
We’ve secured £30 million of funding to finally improve parts of our road network, such as A614 and Ollerton roundabout, with work commencing on this towards the end of the year.
And we continue to develop business cases for Robin Hood and Maid Marian rail lines, to finalise funding secured in November 2021 to link up places like Warsop to wider Nottinghamshire, opening up job opportunities further afield.
I’ve also helped to secure - alongside Lee Anderson MP – one of the first new Community Diagnostic Centres in England which, through the use of cutting-edge technology, will help an estimated 117,000 patients a year to get the checks they need as soon as possible.
Our local college has had an amazing journey too, coming back from the brink five years ago to now being an amazing asset to Mansfield and the wider community. Just last week they received their latest Ofsted report, now rated ‘Good’. A massive achievement!
Most recently they've built a new Post-16 Centre with Government funding, and set off on a game-changing partnership with Nottingham Trent University to turn Mansfield into a university town!
Educational performance and outcomes are continuously improving in our area, and when you add to that the news that FOUR local schools are going to be rebuilt in the next few years, Meden, Garibaldi, All Saints and Yeoman Park, things are really looking positive!
I’ve only been able to list off a handful of things improving our transport, roads, education, healthcare and communities, but it’s clear that in just six years a lot of positive stuff has happened for our town that we can all be proud of.
I’m looking forward to seeing more of this investment become a reality in the years to come!