Wisbech play area improvements

FENLAND DISTRICT COUNCIL
PRESS RELEASE
December 10, 2018

Wisbech play area improvements

Children and families in Wisbech are benefitting from new play equipment following more than £30,000 of investment in three of the town’s play areas.

Fenland District Council has delivered a number of improvements in Wisbech Park, and play areas in Jasmin Close and Burcroft Road, with new equipment installed to offer more activities for a wider range of children to enjoy.

The programme of works was developed in collaboration with Wisbech Town Council and funded by Section 106 monies given to Fenland as part of planning agreements.

The improvements include a new play frame at Jasmin Close play area, a new see-saw and swing at Burcroft Road play area and a new zip wire, play equipment and back board for the Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) at Wisbech Park.

Cllr Peter Murphy, Fenland District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Parks and Open Spaces,said: “The Section 106 funding allows something to be given back to the local community
and provides some great additions to the existing play facilities in the area. I hope children enjoy playing with them for years to come.”

A Wisbech Town Council spokesman said: “The Town Council is really pleased to see these improvements to the play area provision in various areas of the town; they meet an identified
need. This situation has been achieved as result of a positive collaborative approach involving the District Council and the Town Council.

The Town Council hopes that the improved and new play facilities will be enjoyed and that there will be further opportunities for such partnership working between the two councils in the future.

One Thing, Then Another Thing

One Thing, Then Another Thing

I’ve had very little time to blog recently and so all sorts of stuff has passed by without comment on this page.

The Christmas Light Switch On went perfectly, despite a few hiccups behind the scenes, the whole event was fab and the turnout broke records, again.  Each year we have to move everything up a notch and more and more people come along.  Yes, there was the usual handful of whiny political moaners, but they did nothing to dim the success of this amazing event.

Meanwhile our MP became Brexit Secretary sparking a great spectacle of emotion, opinion, joy and fury.  From the point of view of Hard Brexiteers like myself, its disappointing.  But I’ve known Steve Barclay a long time and I just don’t buy the idea that he’s “sold out.”  I hope and believe that he is playing a long time, smiling along with the Prime Minister while knowing full well this ridiculous deal will never get through Parliament.  If this is how things go then he’ll be an important man, negotiating our way through the inevitable No Deal situation.

Tomorrow, we have royal visitors.  Prince Charles and Camilla will be coming to Wisbech to visit St. Peters Church and meet representatives from many local voluntary organisations and heritage organisations.  Wisbech Castle has a stall, as do many others.  The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are, of course, VIPs on a massive scale and preparations are well underway for the big day.  I won’t personally be meeting them, I ceded my place on the stall to allow an extra volunteer to go.  But I’ll be outside the Castle at the appropriate moment with other volunteers, hoping to catch a glimpse.  A great day for our Town.

I’ve got to get my November newsletter out this week (running out of days in November) and we are still wall to wall meetings and planning for Christmas events so there’s really no spare time before Christmas at all.  Never mind, who needs sleep? :)

The NHS – Safe In Conservative Hands

The NHS – Safe In Conservative Hands

The Conservative Party were the party who first proposed the NHS (and the Welfare State) and so it is fitting that the Government now commits the largest ever increase in its funding, £20.5 Billion.

Next time some Lefty tells you “The Conservatives want to sell off the NHS” laugh at them, remind them it  was Labour that sold off a hospital, and that only through good economic management can huge increases like the current one be possible.

 

Puzzled

Puzzled

Why is it that so often when people lose elections, it can’t just be because they weren’t the best candidate?  It can’t just be because they weren’t very good.  Increasingly it always has to be some grand conspiracy or other.  It’s always somebody else’s fault, or something happened that shouldn’t have happened.  Never the slightest chance that they lost, fair and square?

I am often surprised, amused and intrigued to hear pronouncements from sources which make the most outlandish claims.  Anybody with a little intelligence can simply do the math, apply a little logic and see that it simply cannot be what they say it is that caused them to lose.  The numbers don’t add up.  But they don’t want to do the math, because that would mean acknowledging and admitting the truth – that the loss that has so outraged them was entirely fair and reasonable and nobody’s fault but their own.

We see this in International Politics and we see it at a very local level too.  Don’t want to admit you were beaten?   Make some silly claims, stick your head in the sand and pretend it was in some way crooked.  Anything appears to be better than just graciously accepting you lost.

It particularly tickles me when an election result goes a different way to what some people think it should and they cry “foul” saying “democracy is broken.”  They might blame the Russians, or London, or the “Wisbech Mafia” or whatever, the truth remains the truth.  Democracy is only “broken” if the complainers get to revisit the result in order to have another crack at winning.  And sometimes even then, they lose again.

One of the things I’ve learnt, from personal experience too, is that things just don’t always go the way you would like.  It’s not the Illuminati at work, it’s just the way things go sometimes.  Get over it.

 

Good For You, Sam

Good For You, Sam

I saw the details of my friend and colleague Sam Hoy’s conduct complain reached the newspaper this week.

In my opinion (and the whole of this post is just my opinion,) Sam Hoy is the hero of the piece, and I know the local people who are affected by the situation in question agree with that.  Because it would be easy for a Councillor to bow out of a neighbour’s dispute, where one person is allegedly bullying their vulnerable neighbours.  It would be easy to think “this is too difficult,” or “this person might make my life difficult if I get involved.”  That’s what a poor or cowardly Councillor would do.

Sam Hoy doesn’t do any such thing.  When she is asked for help, she helps.  When the vulnerable need a defender, she defends them.

The Conduct Complaint system is occasionally abused by people.  Abused to lay false claims for political gain, to smear a Councillor’s name, or just for revenge by petty small-minded cowards who think its a great way to “get even.”  Most of the time, the system works well and throws such darkly motivated complaints out.  Although the Conduct Committee itself has very few significant sanctions, that’s not why the complaints are made.  They are made in the hope the press will pick them up and damage reputations.  And that does sometimes happen.

In this case, I think the report pretty fair.  I very much hope the conduct committee throw out the complaint as this is the sort of Councillor we should be cheering from the rafters.  One who isn’t afraid to do the job she was elected to do and doesn’t run away even when she is becoming the victim of pretty unpleasant abuse from the usual nasty spiteful suspects.

If the Haters who are using this opportunity to pour very personal abuse on the poor lady think they are scoring tawdry points, they are wrong.  She will emerge, rightly, as exactly what she is.  A fine Councillor who wont be bullied into silence.  Good for you, Sam.

Castle Of The Dead – Finished!

Castle Of The Dead – Finished!

After three huge, sold out nights of Castle of the Dead, the event is over.  Time to move on to the next thing!

Wisbech Castle team would like to thank Tony Reader for all his hard work with our lights and electrics. Pam and Roger Rawson for being briliant with guests who needed help recovering from the fear and Unknown Beauty (Nicole Handley) for her brilliant make-up work. https://www.facebook.com/UnknownBeautyOfficial Finally we must thank Nine Lives Theatre company https://www.facebook.com/ninelivestheatrecompany/ for their incredible performances. Also Ben Prest Photography https://www.benprest.co.uk/ and David and Jess Oliver for their First Aid support. We could not have run Castle Of The Dead without these people and all the other amazing volunteers.

Most of all thanks to our incredible actors and volunteers, too many to list, who made such a fun show possible.

 

Castle of the Dead – Day One

Castle of the Dead – Day One

I’ve been going to scare attractions with friends for a few years now and I’ve often wondered if we could put one on.  I’m a game designer by trade and occasionally a writer and I’ve mulled over lots of ideas over the years.  But the first time I was able to play with them was Halloween 2017, where the Town Council brought in a haunted house fairground attraction and we upped the ante by opting to put live actors and a “story” into the mix.

Luckily, there are a fair few talented Councillors and friends of the Town Council because otherwise the idea simply wouldn’t have progressed.  But we were able to make the event work and Sorrow House was born – the story of a group of escaped lunatics who had holed in up a HMO and really didn’t want to leave. :)  One of the characters, “Big Baby”, was played by Sam Hoy who was far and away the most terrifying actor.  So much so that when we bring the same haunted house back this weekend, the plot is a sequel called “Sorrow House 2, the Revenge of Big Baby” centering on that characters continuing spooky story.

But Sorrow House is just a bit of fun.  The real opportunity to get our scare on came this year via the Wisbech Castle.  I’ve been thinking how great a scare attraction had the potential to be and working on the plot and script for some time.  What really made this possible was simply having such a lot of dedicated volunteers with a wealth of talent.  I genuinely thought we could make this a special event and provide not just great entertainment for the town but also be a cool fundraiser.

And so Castle of the Dead was born.

Preparations for Castle of the Dead have taken over a month.  Volunteers putting in their energy, skills and imagination to help develop the plot, the props, the property.  It’s been quite a journey, made no less difficult by the fact that we had to simultaneously do all the normal work around the Castle, and open it for its public tours, and open the new Cafe.  But somehow, thanks to a tireless group of very dedicated people, the project took shape.

It appears that the Town was hungry for something like this because by the time the week of the show came we had all but sold out of every timeslot.  We had space for a handful of walk-ins but otherwise there were no more tickets available.

Tonight the Castle of the Dead open its doors for its first evening (of three) and the guests – or should I call them “official observers” – began to arrive.

Our team is as varied group from teenagers to pensioners, from every walk of life.  Three members of the team are autistic in one form or another.  Two are disabled.  Yes we do also have a few more experienced actors, but many of our volunteers have never ever done anything like this before.  In fact quite a few never imagined they WOULD do anything like this.  And yet – wow.  They just knocked the ball out of the park tonight.  The opening night could not have gone better.  It really couldn’t.  You could hear the screams for miles – but when the survivors of the Zombie Onslaught emerged from their final encounter with Wisepenny the Clown and moved into the Castle for hot chocolate and cake, it was all laughter and smiles.

I am so proud of the team.  You can feel when something just goes well – the buzz, the click, the feeling that there’s an energy to what you are doing.  Yes, we were scaring people – in the best possible way.  But it was a whole lot of fun and everybody said so.  Tonight the Wisbech Castle Working Party, volunteers and Friends Of the Castle put on an incredible, sold out, blockbuster of a first event.  Not a penny of public money was spent, rather we have raised a considerable sum for Wisbech Castle.

Not only that, but I feel we may have a new annual event on our hands.  Because when you have this much fun doing something the first thing you begin to think about it “how can we make it better next year…”

We still have Thursday and Fridays shows to get through.  I can’t wait.