N.E.C.C.A. Office Move

N.E.C.C.A. Office Move

I’ve spent most of the day with my friend and colleague Chris Boden in the new NECCA office; moving furniture around, unpacking boxes, setting up equipment.

By the end of the day we had managed to get it mostly finished and everything working.  It’s a great new office which looks better and is more functional than the old one.

We’re just along the corridor from the new office of the MP Steve Barclay, which is helpful.

Just as well we have a nice new premises and a bit more space given the hundreds and hundreds of new Conservative members that are flooding into the party since the EU Referendum.

Samaritans A.G.M.

Samaritans A.G.M.

I’ve just returned from a Deputy Mayor invite at the Samaritans AGM in Kings Lynn.

They have a great team over there and are getting a new building thanks to a generous donation.

I was impressed by their commitment and organisation.

They do some truly important work and can potentially be the last line before tragedy, my hat is off to these wonderful people.

AWOL

AWOL

Earlier in the year you might remember that the “Independent” Councillors (Bucknor, and Bucknor) “called for the resignation” of Cllr Stephen Brunton.  They got most of their facts wrong, but their demands hinged on the fact that Stephen Brunton had moved away to live with his girlfriend.  (He still owned property, regularly returned to and worked in the area.  He was one of four Town Councillors for his ward and felt he would still be able to keep up with the job.  Town Councillor is an unpaid voluntary role.)

Local Labour Party members jumped on the bandwagon too.  As did the local newspaper Editor.

Since then Stephen Brunton HAS kept up with his casework and his duties.  Just as he thought he could.

Meanwhile, County Councillor Gordon Gillick (UKIP), infamous for his unpleasant remarks about children in care, his refusal to answer emails from constituents, and who thought that Councillors should be paid for being filmed during council meetings, also seems to have moved away.  To Lincoln.

Now, Dear Reader, given that a County Councillor earns thousands and thousands of pounds, and represents a huge division – in this case Waldersey, don’t you think that the “Independent” Councillors (Bucknor, and Bucknor) should be equally outraged?  Shouldn’t they be demanding his resignation?  I mean, they got very hot under the collar at Stephen Brunton’s love affair and subsequent relocation and his role costs the taxpayer nothing.  Gordon Gillick, on the other hand, holds a well-remunerated and important post.

The Bucknors are always telling people that they are “Independent” and above party politics.  So where is the fury and the strident claim that a resignation should be imminent?  Any word from them at all about it?  Doesn’t it all seem a bit hypocritical?

Frankly, I don’t care.  Though I do not know if he is or he is not doing much work, If Gordon Gillick is doing the job from Lincoln then fair play to him.   What gets my goat is the usual double standards from the usual people.  Some of whom we expect it from, and some of whom should know better.

Campaign to help victims of domestic abuse

Campaign to help victims of domestic abuse

A week-long campaign to raise awareness of all forms of domestic abuse and encourage victims to report it will be launched next Monday (July 4).

The Fenland Community Safety Partnership (CSP) will be distributing leaflets in all four market towns and encouraging businesses to display posters.

The Luxe Cinema in Wisbech will also be showing an advert produced by the CSP for two weeks, from July 4-17.

The term domestic abuse is used to cover all kinds of domestic violence – physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual.

The campaign leaflet says: “Abuse comes in many forms so don’t suffer in silence – speak up and report it to get the support that can change your life.”

A key part of the campaign will be to promote the CSP’s new Advice Chain website, www.advicechain.co.uk. It is an online directory of local and national organisations that provide support for victims of domestic abuse and other forms of exploitation, including human trafficking.

Councillor David Oliver, the CSP’s chairman, said: “It is vital that people not only recognise how widespread domestic abuse is but also that they can spot the signs and have the confidence to report it.

 “Essentially, anyone in a relationship who is forced to alter their behaviour because they are frightened is being abused.

 “We know that this is a serious issue in Cambridgeshire as a whole. But the number of incidents recorded by the police in Fenland is higher than in the rest of the county. What’s more, it is believed to account for at least 24 per cent of violent crime here.”

The CSP is also promoting a 30-minute online course that helps people recognise the signs of abuse and explains how to report concerns.

The course can be found at www.cambsdasv.org.uk/website/elearning_module/92616

Goodbye My Friend

Goodbye My Friend

My eldest Jack Russell, Toblerone or “Toby”, was put to sleep tonight.  He was Eighteen years old.  I have had him since he was small enough to fit in the palm of my hand.  He has been a truly special canine companion for so very long.

I remember when we took him to the beach and he saw some divers and tried to follow them underwater.  He just jumped in fearlessly and tried to swim down.  What dog does that?

I remember him playing tug with socks every time I was foolish to leave one on the floor.

I remember when he used to play football, really rather well.  He could be counted on to run into a game and steal the ball from the players, which nobody ever seemed to mind because it was so charming.

On at least two occasions Toby should have died.  Everybody thought he would die, but he was as tough as old boots (and simultaneously as soft as cotton wool) and he survived and bounced back every time.  Miraculously.

But Eighteen years took its toll on my fluffy friend.  He was going blind, he was mostly deaf, he couldn’t walk very far and he spent most of his time eating and sleeping.  His heart was no longer physically strong, though you’d never know it.  He aged well and was still his normal self until Christmas, but its been a slow decline since then.  We knew the score.

Tonight he took that turn for the worst that we knew was coming.  At Midnight we took him to the emergency vet, who confirmed there was no coming back this time.  We took the decision to let him go to sleep.  Even then, it took three tries with the needle before he was at rest.  Like a Jack Russell version of John McClane, that dog.

For Eighteen years Toby has been barking at the door when I went out, and waiting for me when I get home.  He wasn’t just a dog, he was my dog and I will miss him.

Goodbye My Friend.

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Old Toby Face

Non-Referendum Stuff On Referendum Day

Non-Referendum Stuff On Referendum Day

I was invited by the specialist school On Track Education Services to their end of year award ceremony.  It was interesting because it was the first even I’ve been at which required the full Deputy Mayor robes.  I helped to give a pile of awards to students who have battled individual difficulties and challenges to achieve a very great deal at the school, with the help of their dedicated staff.  I really enjoy these sort of functions, it is part of the Deputy Mayor role which is so rewarding.  This school is a hidden gem and a valuable facility that catches students that might otherwise fall through the net and puts them on track again.

This evening my wife and I visited RAF Marham for their formal reception.  It was fascinating to see inside the base and we enjoyed the hospitality very much.  It was an opportunity to meet civic leaders from across the region, senior RAF Officers and representatives from the business community.  It was an honour to represent Wisbech at the event.

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Emneth Roars

Emneth Roars

Tonight I attended the Lion King production put on by Emneth Junior School at the TCA, in my role as Deputy Mayor of Wisbech.

It really was quite extraordinary.

You would never believe they could put on a show as professional and impressive as this with a Junior School. Just UNBELIEVABLE.

There is another show on Friday. There are no tickets on the door, you need to get them from the Emneth School Office. If you love great kids’ productions, or if you have a young person of your own who you want to get enthusiastic about taking part – get a ticket. Go along. Trust me on this.

Michael Clayton’s blog about the production is a great read and can be found here.

My Crazy Run

My Crazy Run

On Sunday September 18th I intend to try and run to March and back.

I’m doing it for three reasons.  The first is that I will ask for sponsors to raise money for the Mayor’s Charity Fund.  I feel it is the least I can do to support the Mayor, my friend Cllr. Garry Tibbs, in his efforts to raise cash for good causes.  The second reason is that I have begun to try and get back into shape and its a worthy target to aim for.  The final reason is that nobody seems to think I can do it.

I was not always a fatty.  In my time I have been a Martial Arts Instructor, a competitive Martial Arts fighter, a 100m runner with a respectable time, an amateur bodybuilder.  Recently, a health scare has made me painfully aware that I need to get back in shape and stop with the excuses of being too busy.  When people tell me they don’t believe I can do something, it makes me more determined to do it.

So, on that Sunday in September I intend to “run” to March and back.  It’s around 24 Miles I think.  Yes, it’s a lot.

I am not setting any “time limits” on it, except that it must be done in one continuous exercise within the same day.  So, I start and finish on Sunday, however long it takes.

Now I don’t want to lie.  When I say “run” what I really mean is run as much as I can, then walk, then run again, then walk again and probably eventually crawl until I collapse :)  But I will start at the Town Council chambers and I will run to the top of March High Street.  I have not yet decided the route, but will do so in due course.  Then I will turn around and run/walk/crawl back again.  Or, at least, that’s the intention.

Before anybody moans at me – yes, I will take all necessary precautions in regards to safety, my health etc.  Yes, I will get checked by a Doctor before I do it.  Yes, I will make sure I have the correct fluids and nutrition.  Yes, I will be training hard from now until then in order to have some chance at doing this.  I will be asking people to sponsor me “per mile” or “overall” as they choose.

I accept that I may fail.  I accept that some will ridicule my attempt, given my present physical condition.  But I am going to give it my best shot nonetheless.  And if I don’t make it, well, at least I will have tried.