TALKING POLITICS: We must attract more business

Martin Lee
Martin Lee

Mansfield Labour Leader Coun Martin Lee on why it’s vital for councils to attract more firms to our area...

Our town and district are home to some great businesses which are the life blood of our local economy. Our area has had to deal with the loss of traditional heavy industries like mining, foundries and textiles which for generations provided work for the majority within our district.

This loss has changed the character of our area. We have however shown great resilience and done our best to change and adapt. Diverse businesses, whether having their roots in Mansfield or coming from outside the district, have found this a great place to operate and grow. I established my own business here in 2001 and have every reason to know our town and district has much to offer. We have a huge pool of talented and conscientious people with a great work ethic. We have excellent transport links by road or rail. We have premises available to attract every type of business.

But we need to do more to attract new investment. The Council have a role to play in making sure that our town and district encourages new investment. That is why Labour councillors have been so keen to see what resources the Council have available are directed towards creating apprenticeship opportunities. It is why we have pushed for public funds to be directed towards encouraging new businesses to start up in our district by providing loans and grants.

Our future lies in growing existing firms and attracting new companies that provide quality jobs where workers are properly trained and paid a living wage.

That’s what the best businesses do and why they prosper.

I recognise that politicians might not always have the skills and contacts to push the case for businesses to come to our district. In my position I have been fortunate to meet many successful men and women who have built thriving businesses here in Mansfield. My job is to encourage them to be part of a task force to get others to come to Mansfield as a great place to set up businesses and create quality jobs.

The second Mansfield Garden Festival held in the Market Square this weekend, promoted by the Trustees of the Allotments for the Labouring Poor, was a fantastic success.

Thousands came along to enjoy the horticultural, craft, food and drink stalls, as well as the kids’ entertainment and musical entertainment from the Pleasley Colliery Welfare Band. Congratulations to the winners of the allotment, vegetable, flower and baking competitions.

Thank you to the sponsors Ulyett Landscapes Limited and everyone who took the time and effort to participate. A special mention is due to Sarah Nelson and her team at the Mansfield BID for their terrific work in doing all the hard work in advertising and organising the event.

Along with my fellow Trustees I am, as Vice-Chair of the Trust, extremely proud that we have resurrected a garden festival as an annual celebration for our town.

This is exactly the sort of occasion that I believe will breathe new life back into our Market Square and town centre. We need specialist events every month in the heart of our town.

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