Mayor defends Mexborough town centre consultation during pandemic

Doncaster mayor Ros Jones has defended a plan to launch a consultation on the future of Mexborough town centre during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Monday, 21st December 2020, 3:34 pm

The mayor launched ‘Mexborough Futures’ seeking views from residents over potential regeneration of the town centre.

But the move was criticised by Mexborough First councillor Sean Gibbons who said DMBC officers were ‘working behind the scenes’ with the ruling Labour party.

Coun Gibbons said the last proper contact he had on the town masterplan was in October 2019 and added he was ‘blindsided’ by the announcement from the Labour mayor.

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Mexborough, Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigations canal. Picture Bruce Rollinson

But the mayor denied this was the case and hit back at the accusation and said a consultation needed to be launched in order to be in line for future pots of Government money.

Coun Gibbons said the independent group has pushed for a master plan since 2015 and the council agreed to spend £50,000 on a consultancy firm in order to draw up rough plans in 2018.

The consultation itself will run until mid-January but DMBC bosses have said Mayor Jones will extend it if needed.

The mayor also added that consultations on regenerating other town centres in the borough would be launched in 2021 with Thorne likely the next in line for a masterplan.

Mayor Jones said: “As Government comes out with various sums of monies we can bid for and for it to be spent in small period of time, we need to know what the residents and business owners of Mexborough want to see emerge from this plan.

“This is an initial plan drawn up by specialists and we need feedback from the public in respect of this. It’s then about us being able to have the right information to bid for other sums of monies to bring about improvements.

“None of us know how long the pandemic will go on for so are they (Mexborough councillors) saying to keep delaying it? We’ve never sought to delay it, we need to be out there working on this.

“It’s not just Mexborough, we have other town centres and we’ll be going out in the future for other town centres for places like Thorne and others.”

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