Wednesday 22 May 2024
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Bench unveiled to remember key workers commitment during COVID

Hucknall has gained an extra seat to remember key workers who went over and above the call of duty in Ashfield’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The new bench, the first of 4 benches to be unveiled by Ashfield District Council has been placed next to the Miner’s Statue on Station Road in Hucknall.

The bench was one of the last wishes of former councillor – Jim Blagden, who sadly passed away at the end of July.  It is based on designs by pupils at Holgate School, Hucknall who helped cut the ribbon.  The idea for the benches came from the Council’s former COVID-19 Response and Recovery Panel, of which Jim was a leading member and former Chairman.

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Councillor John Wilmott, a Hucknall North councillor and lifelong friend and colleague of Jim said,

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“Finding a way of commemorating key workers who did so much for us during successive COVID-19 lockdowns was one of Jim’s final wishes.

“We’d like to thank the children at Holgate School, Hucknall, whose designs the bench is based on for their help.  During the pandemic, our key workers including our doctors and nurses and key emergency services did so much for us.

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“This is our way of remembering those who gave so much at the most difficult time imaginable.”

The benches have been commissioned by Ashfield District Council and paid for by Nottinghamshire County Council’s Councillors Divisional Fund.  Other benches will be placed in Kirkby, Selston and Sutton.

Councillors Dave Shaw, Lee Waters and John Wilmott used part of their fund to pay for the bench.

Ashfield District Council’s response to COVID-19 was nationally recognised in an Independent report by the Local Government Association who described a “Golden thread running through the Council” as all councillors and staff worked together to provide key services for residents during the successive lockdowns.

Ashfield District Council was the only Council in Nottinghamshire to have maintained a full bin collection throughout lockdowns.

The Council actually enhanced its service, offering extra collections to help residents cope.

Councillor Lee Waters, who attended the unveiling said,

“We’re delighted to remember not just our key workers during COVID but also the amazing contribution that Jim made. The work of the committee he helped lead made a huge contribution to maintaining services throughout the pandemic.

“I would encourage Hucknall residents to enjoy the bench and use it as a place to remember those who did so much for us.

“I will use it to remember Jim’s extraordinary, decades-long contribution to make Hucknall a better place.”

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