FURTHER to the 'Doncaster Borough Council election preview' piece published in the Weekender on April 6, I would like to take the opportunity to clarify a couple of points which I am sure Mexborough residents will appreciate.
In the article, the Mexborough Labour Party campaign statement confirms: “We’ve already secured an exciting regeneration masterplan for Mexborough and are delighted Mayor Ros Jones has committed to delivering the improvements to our High Street and the new housing our town needs whatever the outcome of the HS2 route campaign.”
As a Mexborough Ward Councillor since May 2015, I can confirm that Mayor Ros Jones has not discussed these plans for Mexborough either with myself or my fellow elected members Cllrs Chapman and Pickering. It appears that she has been 'working behind the scenes' with her Mexborough Labour Party colleagues who are presently members of the public. They are not democratically elected members voted in to represent Mexborough by local residents as we are.
Mexborough councillors have worked tirelessly to improve services and facilities in Mexborough and have been battling with DMBC to work with us on a five year plan in order to secure much-needed regeneration and investment around employment, health, education, environment etc. This has fallen on deaf ears and it became very clear some time ago that there was no desire by the Mayor, her Cabinet and senior DMBC officers to deliver such a plan for Mexborough at that time.
However, it now transpires that Mayor Ros is committed to delivering 'A New Masterplan for Mexborough' in conjunction with her Labour colleagues but only 'if re-elected'. Please see quote from Mayor Ros on her Facebook page yesterday as follows:
“I would like to reassure you that if I am re-elected as Mayor, we will be bringing forward the Windhill estate for new housing development. I want to see substantial regeneration taking place across Doncaster’s towns, including Mexborough. That’s why, if I am elected Mayor, I have promised to deliver a new Mexborough Masterplan, similar to the one recently produced for Doncaster town centre (we will also be looking at similar developments for other towns in the borough). It will set out our aims for long term future development and act as a platform for new investment in Mexborough. I would envisage the new plan will include areas such as the High Street, railway station and Mexborough waterfront, as well as how new housing may be delivered and what would be the most appropriate types of developments, including on the Windhill Estate.”
Why should Mexborough have to re-elect Ros Jones as Mayor (and also her Labour colleagues as Mexborough councillors) in order to secure much-needed investment in our town?
Mexborough councillors have been pushing hard for DMBC to market/develop the Windhill site, build affordable homes and clear the site of ASB and fly-tipping. However, neglect on the part of the authority by officers at a senior level and lack of strategic plan for the site or the interest of developer willing to purchase the site for almost half a million....and build much needed affordable housing regardless of HS2 has resulted in an unnecessary and unacceptable delay and a substantial capital receipt in the council coffers, much needed revenue from social housing rents and council tax receipts...while thousands have had to be spent over the years tackling fly-tipping, nuisance motorcycles...and leaving the area a complete eye-sore for local residents.
Mexborough deserves much better service from DMBC and should not have to elect Labour members in order for much-needed regeneration and investment to take place. Mayor Ros has also made reference on her Facebook page to “Cllr Gibbons and his five year plan”....it is not MY plan....it is a plan needed by Mexborough and its residents!
A number of local residents have quite rightly contacted Mexborough Labour Party via their Facebook page recently asking for more information and clarity on the Masterplan and Windhill site but their questions have been deleted unanswered and those residents ‘blocked’ from asking further questions. One such resident is a Labour Party member!
I sincerely hope that the Mexborough electorate see this for what it is when it comes to local election voting day tomorrow. Mexborough councillors will continue to work tirelessly to deliver a five year plan, establish Mexborough Town Council and secure the investment and services this town deserves and needs.
Cllr Sean Gibbons, Mexborough Ward