Worksop 'needs to know we are still here' Labour leadership contender Lisa Nandy says during visit to town

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Labour leadership contender Lisa Nandy told a packed out Worksop Town Hall the town ‘need to know we are still here’ during a speech this morning.

The comment came during Wigan MP Ms Nandy’s visit to outline her vision for empowering Labour in local government - after her party lost Bassetlaw to the Tories for the first time in 90 years.

During the December 12 vote Labour was defeated by the Conservatives’ Brendan Clarke-Smith in the biggest electoral swing of the entire election.

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Ms Nandy started her speech by apologising for being over 20 minutes late as ‘the person who booked my travel arrangements was not from the north’.

Labour leadership contender Lisa Nandy speaking at Worksop Town HallLabour leadership contender Lisa Nandy speaking at Worksop Town Hall
Labour leadership contender Lisa Nandy speaking at Worksop Town Hall | JPIMedia

Speaking about losing Bassetlaw and other strong Labour seats nearby during the election she said: “We lost popular MPs because of the national leadership.

“We’ve become disconnected from people we represent.

“The base of our power has completely collapsed between our feet.

“If we had put it to the country we would have known that falling turnouts in places like Mansfield did not bode well for us.

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Labour leadership contender Lisa Nandy speaking at Worksop Town HallLabour leadership contender Lisa Nandy speaking at Worksop Town Hall
Labour leadership contender Lisa Nandy speaking at Worksop Town Hall | JPIMedia

Simon Greaves (leader of Bassetlaw District Council) saw the collapse of our Labour base long before many others - but he simply was not heard.”

Speaking about Worksop she said the town had known difficult times ‘over and over again’ however she said “I believe in the power of this community and the council that runs it”.

She said: “I want to empower councils to deliver real industrial progress.”

Ms Nandy said for 40 years investment had gone into big cities rather than small towns - leading to the loss of working age populations in small towns and their skills bases.

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Labour leadership contender Lisa Nandy speaking at Worksop Town HallLabour leadership contender Lisa Nandy speaking at Worksop Town Hall
Labour leadership contender Lisa Nandy speaking at Worksop Town Hall | JPIMedia

Speaking to the Worksop Guardian after her speech she said the town had been snubbed when it came to investment money from local enterprise partnerships.

Much wealthier towns like Newark had received a meaningful share of the £12 billion fund while Worksop had not.

She told how this money should be handed over to councils instead so they could allocate it to projects which would make a difference - bringing jobs and life back to places like Worksop.