New Nottinghamshire County Council leader Ben Bradley's vision for 'forgotten' Worksop
The new leader of Nottinghamshire County Council says he is keen to ensure residents in ‘overlooked’ towns like Worksop and Retford feel part of his vision for the future.
Ben Bradley who has also served as MP for Mansfield since 2017, was appointed leader after the Conservatives seized full control of the authority following the election on Friday (May 6).
The 31-year-old has already faced backlash over accepting the role while carrying out his duties as an MP, but claims he is up to the challenge and will ‘make it work’.
Outlining his plans for Bassetlaw, Mr Bradley said a big priority was ensuring ‘forgotten’ areas in the northernmost part of the county feel included in its future.
He said: “I’m the MP for Mansfield, where many people also feel they have been overlooked, so I completely understand that notion.
"But I’m committed to ensuring everyone in this county feels part of it. We have a great team of Bassetlaw councillors already working to achieve this.
"I want to get my head around it before I make any big statements but there’s certainly a lot of levelling-up to do across the entire county.”
A day of sweeping wins for the Conservatives on Friday saw half of Worksop, previously seen as a Labour stronghold, turn blue.
The real shock of the day came when Labour group leader Alan Rhodes was toppled from his Worksop North seat by Tory newcomer Callum Bailey.
Mr Bradley added: “There’s a culture that spans back decades, but I think Labour voters have recognised that the party doesn’t represent them anymore.
“The Conservatives appear to be speaking their language and it’s important that we now repay that trust.”
Mr Rhodes, who served as Nottinghamshire County Council leader from 2013 to 2017, went on to blast Mr Bradley for accepting the dual role, tweeting: "It should go to a county councillor from the ruling party who will give this important role 100 per cent.”
Mr Bradley said: “It’s going to be incredibly busy but I don’t think it’s as unprecedented as some of the opposition leaders are wanting to make out.
"It a great opportunity to tie together local and national priorities.”