By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter
Mansfield will become the “go-to place” for businesses investing and people moving to the district under ambitions set out by the council’s new chief executive.
The Labour-led authority appointed its new CEO, Adam Hill, to the post earlier this year, with the Mansfield-raised boss starting in the role this month.
He brings with him 33 years of experience in the public, private and voluntary sectors and recently left his post as deputy chief executive at Swansea Council.
Now, speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service as he settles into the role, he has revealed plans to work with businesses, council staff and residents to transform Mansfield in the coming years.
He has launched a 60-day plan and, during this period, he says he will engage and communicate, listen to concerns, begin to understand the ‘context’ of the authority’s current position and set “new horizons”.
Short-term goals include supporting residents with post-pandemic help and guidance through the cost of living crisis, as well as developing skills and supporting businesses with investment.
In the longer term, however, he wants to play a leading role in addressing poverty and energy crises by helping residents with carbon reduction, energy-efficient housing and exploring new technologies in the housing sector.
This, he says, will make people’s lives “better and more self-sustainable”.
Speaking on Monday (August 15), he also touched on ongoing regeneration projects in the town – including the £12.3m Towns Fund package from Government and the Stockwell Gateway development at the old bus station.
He says these plans, alongside the proposed new public sector hub at the derelict Beales department store, will help to bring people into the town and show the district is the “place to be”.
And he believes the devolution deal currently being negotiated by East Midlands leaders, bringing powers and funding for major policy areas and projects, will help to spur the district forward “nationally and internationally”.
“Mansfield will be the go-to place, especially once we’ve got the devolution deal,” he said.
“This will prove what we can do in terms of regeneration, as well as what we’ve already done with the Towns Fund deal and the skills and education work we’re doing with both Nottingham Trent University and Vision West Notts.
“It will be a partnership that any business, anyone out there will be going ‘Mansfield’s a place to invest, Mansfield’s a place to move to and live, and it’s a place where I know I can get a good education and progress through’.
“It will be a great place to live, visit, work or invest.”
He confirmed the first two weeks of the role have involved conversations with council staff, local partners and communities to discuss the current state of play in the district.
These conversations, he said, involved “good and bad” truths about how the district can be improved, pressing that the council can only move forward if residents are on board.
“We need to make sure we can hear the public’s voice – that’s very important moving forwards,” he said.
“We need to have the lived experience, understand the views of the community and ensure they get behind it.
“My message to the public is this: let’s get behind Mansfield, let’s unite together to look where we can all promote and push the district into that future.
“The only way we can do this is if the people who live here, work here and those who visit can see just how amazing Mansfield is and will be well into the future.”
Upon taking on the role full-time, Mr Hill succeeds the authority’s previous permanent chief executive, Hayley Barsby, who left the council in January to spend more time with her family.
Alongside his work at Swansea Council, he has also held posts at Ashfield and Broxtowe councils and The University of West of England, having started his working career in Mansfield as a pool lifeguard.