Wednesday 24 April 2024
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County councillor selected as Tory candidate for mayoral contest

The Conservative Party has selected its candidate to contest the Mansfield mayoral election next spring.

Councillor Andre Camilleri, who represents Mansfield South on Nottinghamshire County Council, will contest the election when voters go to the polls on May 4.

He will be against Cllr Mick Barton, of the Mansfield Independents, and the current Labour mayor Andy Abrahams.

The Conservative councillor was selected by Tory members in the town this weekend and, following his selection, he says he wants to end decades of Labour and Independent leadership of the authority.

Cllr Camilleri, who is currently deputy portfolio holder for finance at County Hall, has also been the cabinet member for public safety on Mansfield District Council and sits on the police and crime panel.

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He said: “Being a local man, who was born, educated, and who has worked and owned businesses here, I am well placed to deal with the serious issues facing our district today.

“Problems include the high levels of crime and antisocial behaviour, improving our town centres and the terrible state of the finances at MDC.

“My background in the area and my experience as both a businessman and councillor means I will be uniquely placed to tackle these issues that have sadly been neglected and poorly managed by the Labour administration.

“Unfortunately, neither the Labour group nor the opposition, the Mansfield Independents, have been capable of bringing new ideas and driving the council forward.

“It’s definitely time to try something different. The Conservatives have never had that opportunity, locally, to bring that change and to make things happen.

“We’ve never run the council before. It’s clear though that the old plan of voting Labour is not working.”

He added that, if elected, he would work alongside Mansfield’s Tory MP Cllr Ben Bradley, who also leads the county council, to “get our fair share of the cake and achieve great things”.

Cllr Barton has also set out his stall after being selected for the mayoral contest in the summer.

The Maun Valley councillor, who has sat on the authority since 2003 and was deputy mayor under Kate Allsop, said in the summer: “I’m extremely passionate about everything I do and would welcome the opportunity to make some big improvements to the town we all live in.

“Over the coming months, [residents] will see my ideas in leaflets coming through their doors, on social media and in the local media.

“I have some exciting ideas for the town centre and our surrounding district.

“The Mansfield Independents are a friendly group of like-minded individuals, just ordinary people who want to look after and improve the areas they serve.

“My manifesto will be a ‘people’s manifesto’ based on residents’ and the Mansfield Independents’ ideas combined.”

Mr Abrahams is yet to set out his campaign for next year’s poll but has been the mayor since 2019 when he beat Ms Allsop by just two votes.

But he previously said: “The Mansfield Independents’ constant mantra is ‘people before politics’, but it is clearly false rhetoric. My philosophy is policy and not personalising politics.

“We have all witnessed what a sorry state this behaviour has got our country in and we do not want this behaviour in Mansfield.”

The election will take place on May 4 next year alongside the wider poll for new local councillors on the authority.

All six other district and borough councils in Nottinghamshire will also go to the polls, alongside Nottingham City Council.

The mayoral role acts as leader of the council and has the ability to select their own cabinet.

The post was created following a public referendum in 2002 and, as of May 2022, there are 26 directly-elected mayors in England.

Mansfield District Council pays the mayor about £60,000 per year, with Mr Abrahams currently giving about a third to charity through his ‘Mayor’s 500’ scheme.

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