Christmas Disco Fun

Christmas Disco Fun

I am doing four kids/family discos over the Christmas period, for different good causes and organisations. These are:

Orchards School Kids Disco – 9th December
Newton Village Hall Family Disco – 10th December
St Peters School Kids Disco – 14th December
Queen Mary Centre Charity Family New Years Eve Disco

Although I never charge for charity and local group discos, some of them are making a donation to  the Mayor’s Charity fund, which is nice.

Hope to see some of my local friends and their families at some of them. It’s going to be a great Christmas!

Delightful Fellows

Delightful Fellows

And this, Ladies and Gentlemen, is why it is called “Hatefest.” :) A couple of lovely chaps, one, in my view, getting himself excited over the prospect of my death and one apparently wishing he could kill me. Quite a lot of hate for somebody who they (“they” meaning other members of the Hatefest forum) refer to as “an insignificant, small, fat guy.”   :)

I have met John Boldan, who used to be called John Town, and he knows where I live if he wants to “hunt me down” with his keyboard as a weapon.

And Anthony Bucknor, Son of the lovely Mrs Bucknor. Also a delightful fellow. :) :)

bucknor-and-boldan-threats

So.  Remind me again where the name-calling and nastiness originates?

Sometimes We Are There

Sometimes We Are There

We had a great Citizens’ Patrol tonight.  We were slightly light on numbers but we still fielded two teams and covered a fair bit of ground.

One of the things I find rewarding is the way the people out and about on their nights out hail us and say “hello” as we pass.  It’s great because we are around often enough to have become something people notice and recognise and also because its mostly pretty warm and friendly recognition we get.

I think this proves both that WCP is well embedded now and also that our non-confrontation and friendly approach works.

The best result of tonight was Samantha Hoy who found a purse in the middle of the street on St. Peters Road. it looked like somebody had dropped it as they got out of their car and so we were fairly sure it must have come from the house the car was parked outside of.

The people in the house saw our torches and came out to see what was going on. We verified that the lady was the purses’ owner by checking the ID from one of the cards in the purse and safely returned it to her – with its valuable contents all safe and sound.

Sometimes we are there when something might happen and because we are there it does not happen. Sometimes we are there when somebody needs a little help. And sometimes we just find lost and valuable things. It’s all good! :)

Thank you to the volunteers who came out tonight. You were great.

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Are The Labour Party Finished?

Are The Labour Party Finished?

Paul Nuttall (UKIP’s new leader) wants to replace the Labour party.  A statement which is interesting on many levels.

Nuttall Attacks Labour IRA Sympathisers: “I Want to Replace the Labour Party”

It’s interesting on a national level, because the weakness of Corbyn as a Leader and the regressive policy moves of the party under his Leadership appear to actually make this possible.  Okay, only remotely possible, but stranger things have happened.

It’s interesting on a local level because the Labour party pretty much HAVE been replaced here by UKIP, already.  The tiny group of Momentum-types led by Sue Marshall are virtually indistinguishable from UKIP.  They petition together, they hand out leaflets together, they stand aside so as not to run candidates against each other.  UKIP, the “Independents” and Labour in the area are all the same, as far as I can see.

Nowhere is this more tragic than Waterlees, a fact that was underlined by a doorstep conversation I was having this week with a die-hard Socialist on Bath Road.  The gentleman said he would never in his life vote for UKIP, a party which he thought the epitome of nastiness.  I was encouraging him to go out and vote Conservative next week, instead.  To be fair to him he considered it, but said in the end he would stay at home.  “What makes me angry though,” he said, “is that I don’t have a Labour candidate to vote for.  They can’t be bothered to stand one.”

Quite right.  Years ago, Labour were front page of the local paper telling the Bucknors that they were “coming to take the seats back” next time and not to get too comfortable.  In a ward which has the highest number of Labour voters in the whole of the Wisbech area, you’d think they’d be trying to win it back.  Nope.  UKIP had a free ride last time and have been given another this time.  Don’t believe the guff about “honour”, there’s no honour in letting UKIP drop a new candidate into a ward where your voters are crying out for you to give them somebody to support.  There’s definitely no honour in letting a ward with perhaps 25% Eastern Europeans be faced with the misery of another ‘Kipper telling them how unwelcome they are and how they are to blame for everything.

Nuttall reckons Labour’s Northern seats are there for UKIP to take.  That’s certainly what they did here.  With the collusion of some “Independents” they have given the Labour party an electoral kicking and then made them say: “Thank you” for it.  Now, Labour are forced to wander aimlessly around the Market Place trying to scaremonger about the NHS, while people try to get on with their shopping.  “I’m sorry, I can’t stop, I got one of these leaflets last week from UKIP and I threw that one in the bin too.”

I Need A Weekend To Recover From The Weekend

I Need A Weekend To Recover From The Weekend

Thursday through to Sunday last week was about as manic as its possible to be.  Thursday night I had a work project I could not delay any longer and I ended up doing an all-nighter to clear it and didn’t finish until Midday on Friday.  After a couple of hours sleep I was back out working again (different job) until the small hours.  Saturday morning I was out campaigning and then off to Peterborough to do a Wedding disco.  Got home about 2AM, walked the dogs did some paperwork and stuff I’d been putting off.  Then up a few hours later to spend all day helping at the Christmas Light Switch On Event.

When we finally got finished cleaning up, had some dinner and stumbled home to bed.  At that point I must have looked like a refugee from a Romero movie.  I am getting too old for these sort of schedules.  :)

Monday now, a new week ahead, and it’s wall-to-wall work and campaigning again.  I’ve already been out today to help three different residents with local issues and then collected a needle that was a concern for some people on the Wisbech Discussion Forum.

Off out shortly with a team of colleagues to campaign in Waterlees.  Blooming by-elections.  I blame UKIP.  Which I do for most things, but this time it’s actually true!

Never mind.  I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

 

Devolution Deal Is Backed

PRESS RELEASE

CAMBRIDGESHIRE AND PETERBOROUGH BACKS DEVOLUTION DEAL

Councillors from across the county have voted to progress a devolution deal for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough that will see more than £600million in new funding put into the hands of local communities.

The unanimous approval will unlock millions of pounds of new government funding alongside decision making powers to improve transport, create much needed housing and boost local jobs.

The decision made by the seven councils comes after an agreement from the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (GCGP LEP) to back the deal. This follows a public consultation as well as overwhelming support from local businesses.

  • The devolution deal includes significant benefits for the communities of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough including:
  • A new £600 million fund (£20 million annually for the next 30 years) to support economic growth, development of local infrastructure and jobs
  • A new £100million housing fund to be invested over the next five years to build more homes in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough including affordable, rent and shared ownership
  • A new £70million fund to be used to build more council rented homes for Cambridge over the next five years because house prices are so high in the city
  • Councillors have also agreed for their council to become a constituent member of a Combined Authority for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough which would include a councillor from each of the local councils and a representative from the GCGP LEP. This ensures that democratically elected representatives of local communities are making decisions about how and where the money is spent.
  • In order to receive new funding and to make a greater number of decisions locally, Government has been clear that a Mayor for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will need to be elected by residents to chair the Combined Authority. This was also supported in the public consultation carried out by Ipsos MORI and by businesses.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Steve Count, Chairman of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Devolution Partnership, said: ” The deal, which has been described by Government as one of the best in the country, is just the first phase. Devolution for the area will mean we can make the decisions and have the money to start tackling our transport and housing issues that hamper our growing economy. Further phases could see the Combined Authority looking at more funding and powers that will directly improve the lives of our residents, create jobs and tackle deprivation.

“The decision by all seven councils and the GCGP LEP to back the devolution deal will put powers and decisions over funding into the hands of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough communities and away from Westminster. Approval by all members involved is testament to a joint vision and represents the support from residents and businesses through the consultation saying they want a greater number of decisions to be made locally.

“This deal allows us to grow the local economy and improve quality of life for our residents. Cambridgeshire and Peterborough needs more investment in housing and infrastructure and this is what this deal will deliver.”
Now that all partners have agreed to the deal it is expected by the end of the year that:

  • a final written letter of consent from partner organisations will be sent to the Secretary of State,
  • a draft order laid before Parliament
  • once given the green light by Central Government, the formation of a Shadow Combined Authority.
  • Mayoral elections are also set to take place in May 2017.

Campaign Trail In Waterlees

Campaign Trail In Waterlees

So the By-Election campaign has begun.  I was out with teams of volunteers most days last week and over the weekend.  This week we have a whole bunch of campaigning too.

It’s good to find a candidate willing to really campaign hard, and I think Billy Rackley is in with a good chance.  It’s a tough ward, a “UKIP stronghold” as it were.  The only reason the Bucknors (Independents) were elected at all is because UKIP didn’t stand anybody against them.  If they had done so, there’d be no Bucknors on either Council.

But times change and moods change and the right candidate is still in with a chance.  Billy is well-known, well-liked and well-respected.  He’s got a good team helping him and he’s working hard.  We may not be “favourites”, but we are in the race.

Good luck Billy!

Know Your Stuff

Know Your Stuff

I’ve been trying to encourage some careful consideration as to whether a Public Space Protection Order PSPO might be right for Wisbech.  My gut rebels at these sort of powers, but I try and put personal feelings aside when local people feel strongly about an issue.  So in a poll and debate on Facebook I tried to encourage debate and get the take on how people might feel about it.

Up pops Cllr Virginia Bucknor, who I don’t recall ever opposing additional powers and controls on anything in the past, trying to argue about it.  She seems to oppose even the suggestion that we should investigate these new powers.  She’s in a massive minority on this one and I kind of feel like the only reason she’s really opposed is because I have brought the idea up. :)

Nevertheless I was concerned that a District Councillor, who sits on the Licensing Committee at FDC, doesn’t seem to know the difference between a Cumulative Impact Zone (CIZ) and a Designated Public Place Order (DPPO).  As evidenced in the message below, where she seems to think the CIZ gives the Police powers to remove alcohol from people behaving badly.  It doesn’t.  That’s a DPPO.  Easy mistake for a member of the public to make.  Odd one for somebody who seems to regard themselves an “expert.”  But there you go.  Maybe that’s why she opposes the investigation of a new PSPO?  Because she doesn’t actually know what it is?  Or maybe she’s just found her inner Libertarian?  If so, no complaints from me.  Better late than never. :)

ginny-wrong

Mrs. Bucknor aside – I still think that it is an idea for the local Councillors to consider if a PSPO could work here.  Whether we want a total ban on alcohol in a few key areas or not is the question.  Many members of the public support it.  But I’m sure others would oppose.  Also we need to question if it’ll just move drinkers to another area, and whether it will unfairly penalise people who are doing no harm to anybody.  I don’t know the answers, but I don’t think we should shy away from asking the questions.  How else do you plan the best course of action for the community?

More information about Cumulative Impact Zones here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/98123/cumulative-impact-policy.pdf

More info about DPPOs here: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100413151441/http:/crimereduction.homeoffice.gov.uk/alcoholorders/alcoholorders016a.pdf

More info on PSPOs here: https://www.askthe.police.uk/content/Q837.htm