Monday 25 October 2021
10.3 C
Nottingham

County Council leader talks about his first 100 days at the helm

It has been a busy first 100 days in office for Nottinghamshire County Council leader and local MP Ben Bradley.

Councillor Ben Bradley MP, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council said:

It’s fair to say my first 100 days as leader of Nottinghamshire County Council have been extremely busy – but I wouldn’t have expected anything less when I was elected in May.

In fact, my new administration has really hit the ground running when it comes to getting the ball rolling on key projects which we believe will ultimately improve the lives of people who live and work in the county.

When I was elected leader in May, I immediately set out the priorities which I believed would help to breathe new life into Nottinghamshire’s economy as we continue on the road to recovery from the devastating effects of the pandemic.

Voters told us in no uncertain terms in the run-up to May’s council elections what improvements they wanted to see where they lived, with many people voicing concerns over road maintenance and potholes.

Potholes have been an age-old problem and is an issue that can’t be fixed overnight, but one of the first things I did as a leader was set up a cross-party Highways Review Panel to look at how we repair and maintain the county’s roads.

By carrying out this review, I firmly believe it demonstrates we are listening to our residents and are ready to act and do something.

Our highways play a crucial role in unlocking employment and development opportunities in the county to bring in millions of pounds to the region’s economy.

We have already secured £24.3 million from the Department for Transport for major road improvements along the A614/A6097 between Ollerton and East Bridgford to ease congestion and boost access to more than 1,300 new homes along the route.

In addition to this, we have set aside £48 million to spend on improving the county’s network of roads in the next 12 months – a programme which will also support schemes to protect our communities from flooding, as well as helping to further promote walking and cycling.

When I was first elected as leader, questions were asked as to whether I could do this role in addition to my work as Mansfield MP.

But having passed the 100-day landmark of my leadership, I can honestly say I now feel more directly involved as an MP than ever before.

In fact, having the dual role enables me to take county council matters to the heart of Government to potentially unlock investment opportunities to bring significant economic benefits to Nottinghamshire.

And that is exactly what we are doing, knocking on the doors of Ministers asking for further support for our area.

We have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling on the Government to back our ‘levelling up’ agenda, which would pave the way to deliver 84,000 jobs, up to 10,000 homes and add £4.8 billion to the Nottinghamshire and regional economy.

The proposed HS2 Hub Station at Toton forms a key part of this vision and we’ve made a very strong case to Ministers that this should be included in the wide-ranging, jobs-boosting project.

As I’ve made clear, we’re not hanging around in our drive to deliver on our pledges to galvanise the county and make it an even better place to live, work and to visit.

And as part of our commitment to do this, we have also launched our biggest ever consultation process to hear residents’ views on the county’s future.

The Big Notts Survey will ensure that we are tackling the issues most pressing to you and will ultimately help us and our partners to make Nottinghamshire a more successful and vibrant county.

Finally, I am extremely honoured to be leader of the county council and, while we have hit the ground running in my first 100 days, I’m fully aware that the hard work has only just begun ahead of more key decisions on a whole range of issues being made this autumn as we continue to rebuild after the challenges of Covid-19.