Monthly Archives: July, 2017
North Ward / Waterlees By-Election, Part 2
This post has been submitted by a guest contributor. This particular Guest Post is written by Cllr Sam Hoy, Leader of Wisbech Town Council.
The Future Of Wisbech Castle
This morning I attended the assets committee at Cambridgeshire County Council with my colleague Steve Tierney to present the business case I had written for Wisbech Town Council. We both gave presentations, aware that the outcome of this committee would be vital to the future of this valuable community asset.
I am so pleased to say that the committee supported our bid in its entirety. Now we can go forward to protect and maintain the Castle as a community asset and as a vital part of the towns heritage for residents for many years to come.
FENLAND DISTRICT COUNCIL
July 28, 2017
All aboard for bus service launch
It was all aboard in Wisbech as the Wisbech Tesco Bus Service celebrated its official launch.
Three weeks after the No 68 service went into operation, civic dignitaries and business representatives gathered at the Horsefair Bus Station on Friday, July 21, for a special launch event.
Guests were welcomed by Councillor Simon King, Fenland District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Transport, who told how the service had been designed through the authority’s Wisbech Bus Service Project using Tesco S106 funding.
Created following the withdrawal of the failed Tesco 66 Service last year, the project was set up to develop a community-led approach to a new bus service design and offered a genuine opportunity for local residents to influence a new route and timetable.
Belinda Pedler, the Council’s Wisbech Bus Service Project Co-ordinator, also provided guests with an insight into her work with the community, public transport providers and organisations over the last few months to design and plan the new service.
Feedback from bus service users before the 66 service was withdrawn revealed what wasn’t working and where improvements could be made, and gave the Council a strong focus to make the new service work better.
It meant the 68 service would not only provide access to Tesco Extra and other businesses in Cromwell Road, but also to local healthcare, education and community facilities, as well as residential parts of South and North-West Wisbech not served by other public transport.
Guests also enjoyed a trip on the bus service to Tesco Extra, where they enjoyed refreshments from Tesco and Costa and a speech from Wisbech Mayor Steve Tierney.
Cllr Tierney said: “The Wisbech Bus Service Project is a unique approach putting local customers’ needs at the heart of bus service design. At a time when many public transport services are being withdrawn, the decision to maximise the potential of the Tesco S106 funding this way is very important.
“It is great to see a project delivered with such a strong emphasis on local engagement. No one knows better what local peoples’ needs are than local people themselves. To focus on a community-led design for a new local bus service will surely make all the difference in ensuring it becomes a successful, long term service.”
Passengers who had travelled on the new service since its launch on July 3 were also entered into a prize draw to win a luxury hamper from Tesco. The winner, announced at the launch event, was Lucy Moody, of Wisbech.
The bus service will initially run as a 12-month pilot and if successful will aim to become a permanent local bus service. It is operated by Fenland Area Community Transport (FACT), although you do not need to be a member of FACT to use the service.
For more information on timetables, routes and fares (free to concessionary bus pass holders), visit: www.fenland.gov.uk/wisbechtescobus
Also keep a look out on Twitter (@FenlandCitizen) and the council’s Facebook page in the coming months for more bus service competitions and offers.
Love Your Home with seaside crafts
Residents young and old can enjoy seaside themed arts and crafts when the latest Love Your Home event is held in Wisbech.
The community event is held at the Queen Mary Centre on the second Tuesday of every month from 10am to 1pm, with the next one taking place on August 8.
Visitors will be able to try their hands at making sand pictures and seaside themed jewellery, painting pebbles and sewing a fishing game, and Anglian Water representatives will be presenting ‘Mad Science’.
The Love Your Home events invite residents to have a go at DIY, decorating, crafts, gardening and more to help them pick-up valuable skills.
They also offer a pop-up paint store and scrapstore from CCORRN (Cambridgeshrie Community Reuse and Recycle Network), a gift swap shop, guest contributors and help and support to get online.
Entry, activities and refreshments are free and there are also five free annual CCORRN memberships up for grabs at each event.
The events are organised and delivered by CCORRN with support from Fenland District Council, and are sponsored by Making Money Count and The Big Lottery Fund.
Like the ‘Love Your Home events’ Facebook page for updates on each month’s themed activities.
Anyone wishing to volunteer to share their skills at a future event is also invited to go along to a session to see what’s involved and have a chat with the team. Alternately, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This evening I was proud to represent Wisbech at the Norfolk County Council Summer Civic Reception at Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse Museum.
It was a nice event which including a young soprano opera singer, speeches and presentations for retired Norfolk Councillors all in the amazing setting of the Museum building and estate.
If you have never visited the Workhouse Museum, it’s definitely worth a look, capturing the essence of history in a number of innovative and interactive ways.
Refurbished Town Park Bandstand
The Mayoress and I joined Cllr Peter Murphy, Cllr Viv McRae, Cllr Carol Cox, Mr Peter Humphreys, plus users of the St. Augustines Day Centre and other local people for the grand opening of the Wisbech Town Park Bandstand.
The project featured involvement from various local groups and was funded by WREN, s106 Money from Fenland District Council and with design assistance from Peter Humphreys.
The bandstand looks amazing. It took a while due to a series of manufacturing delays, but it was well worth the wait. It is now the highlight of the park and looks incredible.
Thanks to Roy McManus for his lovely music, which everybody enjoyed. Also thanks to Franks for the refreshments. A very pleasant afternoon and a brilliant new feature for our town.
(Photos courtesy of Lynne Gillings. Cheers!)
Onyx Court Car Park
I had the meeting with Circle today, as discussed in the previous update.
Circle are trying to balance the competing views and interests of residents, who support permit-parking, and other residents/shoppers/businesses who value the free public car park that the area is currently used for.
As reported last week, Circle are still being very reasonable. They have rolled back from an immediate implementation of a Permit Only plan in that car park (although they will be continuing it in the other areas that they specified.)
They have looked at all information received from myself and local businesses and car park users and have monitored the car park and noticed that it is rarely full.
I found the company to be open and helpful. They have chosen to place the plan for that specific car park on hold until the end of August or into September, with a view to trying to find a compromise which will satisfy both sides and not dramatically disadvantage anybody.
So, there’s no panic in the short term, and I am reasonably confident that the outcome will be a fair balance between the needs of both groups who are interested in the future of this car park.
I will be having another chat with them towards the end of August and I know they also intend to talk to those local people who have personally objected to the proposal. I am impressed with Circle’s approach to this and I think it bodes very well for the future.