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Guest Column: Getting the campaign message to everyone

Mark Spencer MP.
Mark Spencer MP.

The weather has finally started to improve and I’m happy to see – at last – that all the rain has paid off, with Sherwood bursting with green all over the landscape.

Of course, I’m doing my best to get up and down the constituency, and have been doing a fair bit of campaigning, both in our area and in neighbouring constituencies, ahead of the local elections on May 3.

Up in the Mansfield end of my constituency, there are lots of former mineworkers, many of whom have contacted me in the past about access to support regarding coal-related lung conditions. It’s estimated that there are 10,000 former mineworkers in the wider Mansfield area with mining-related health problems.

After plenty of lobbying of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and Department of Health, I have secured a ‘miners’ lung health summit’, which I’ll be hosting jointly with Ben Bradley, MP for Mansfield.

There will be health professionals there as well as representatives from the Union of Democratic Mineworkers, and I am hoping that it will be a real success.

I’ve also met with Edwinstowe Parish Council regarding the ongoing row about the cemetery. I made it clear that I did not feel it had been helpful or constructive. I am very disappointed that the parish council does not feel it is necessary to hold a public meeting on the matter, but would nonetheless encourage residents to get in touch and make their feelings known on the matter. This can be done by emailing info@edwinstowe.co.uk.

Last month, I spoke about how I had visited the Rolls-Royce site in Hucknall to see how its apprentices are getting on. Keeping with the theme, I was delighted to see the opening of the Harrier Park Business Park on the Rolls-Royce site.

Whilst this isn’t in Mansfield, this is another excellent opportunity for businesses in Sherwood to operate, and continue the momentum I’ve seen in the local economy recently.