Monthly Archives: October, 2017

A Weekend Of Allsorts

A Weekend Of Allsorts
I’ve had something of a hectic weekend. On Saturday I was involved with the organising of the successful Wisbech Spooktacular event (if you were there, I was the masked DJ). At 4PM I had to break off being a DJ in order to don Mayoral robes and chain and judge the Horsefair’s Fancy Dress competition, which was a lot of fun. Then, after a parade around the Market Place with all the costumed people, it was back to spooking it up in front of the House of Shadows.
 
It was good the clocks changed giving us an extra hour because I was dead tired (no pun intended ) and the extra sleep worked wonders.
 
Today I was off to Huntingdon for the Mayor’s Civic Service. The service was very nice and afterwards I joined the rest of the Civic guests for refreshments in the Town Council chambers.
 
It was dark by the time I got home. I guess Winter is coming, as it were. :)

Work begins to identify targeted services aimed at children’s needs in Cambridgeshire

Press Release: Cambs County Council

Work begins to identify targeted services aimed at children’s needs in Cambridgeshire

Cambridgeshire Children’s Centre are to benefit from funding targeted to support more families   – following last week’s council decision to refocus the services to areas of highest need.

After Full Council reviewed the results of the council’s consultation –the largest response ever to a Cambridgeshire County Council consultation   – an originally planned £1m saving was reduced to £900k.

Of this additional £100k, 7% (£65,995) is going back into the pot for front line delivery.

The additional re investment, of more than £34k, which completes the £100k, will be used for management and business support, building and infrastructure costs of Children’s Centre service.

Work continues with communities to shape where this reinvestment will be made but initial plans allow for

  • the creation of 10 extra apprenticeship positions,  providing further services on the front line
  • more flexible use of existing staff within  a new  outreach approach.
  • more targeted support aimed at vulnerable families particularly in the north of the county.

“Over the coming weeks and months we will be able to firm up the ideas of how this re investment will be used – but currently our emphasis is working with communities to see what they need and where our more flexible approach will pay dividends” said Simon Bywater, Chairman of the Children’s and Young People’s committee.

A short film based on the Broadleas Children Centre in St Ives showing a possible blue print for this new service can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1D8MccBNnd0

My Mayor’s Civic Service

My Mayor’s Civic Service
As the Mayor there are four events which are particularly significant on the Mayoral Calendar. (Not that other events aren’t also important, but most Mayor’s will look at the Big Four with slightly more nerves that the others.)
 
The Big Four are; Mayor Making, The Mayor’s Civic Service, Remembrance Day and the Mayor’s “At Home.”
 
Today was my Civic Service and it’s fair to say that I’ve sweat over this one for weeks. I wanted it to be just right. I hoped lots of people would come, the “Chain Gang” from other towns and also local people. I wanted to make sure the Church service was just the right length so as not to become difficult, but not too short to devalue it. I wanted a good “theme”.
 
I wanted readings from key people and I wanted to Councillors of the Town Council to be well-represented and to enjoy themselves. I wanted people to feel they could come along without being Chairman-of-this or Deputy-Mayor-Of-That.
 
Afterwards I wanted people to have refreshments and feel relaxed enough not to want to rush off, to feel they had enough to eat and that the food was great. I didn’t want to run out of wine. I wanted lots of desserts. I wanted a mixture of fun food and posh food, so as to present an interesting and enjoyable mix.
 
I wanted everybody to have fun.
 
It is for others to judge whether I succeeded, but I feel pretty good about it all. I think it went very well indeed and I couldn’t really have asked for more.
 
Many thanks to my fellow Town Councillors and their partners, many of whom turned up. To the Town Clerk and staff for their hard work. To my Macebearer Terry and to my always helpful volunteer Mayor’s assistant Dave Topgood. To Sam Hoy the Leader of Town Council, and to My Deputy Mayor and Mayoress Peter Human and Janet Tanfield. Also to the Cadets and Riders who turned out to support the event and to provide a wonderful guard of Honour. To my Mayor’s Cadet, Travis, who is always smart and vigilant and is a role model to other young men, in my opinion.
 
Thanks to all the Mayors and Mayoresses, Chairman and Vice-all-the-aboves who travelled to Wisbech, Capital of the Fens. You were very welcome in our lovely town and I hope to see you at other events in the near future.
 
Huge thanks to my Mum, Brenda Barber and my Stepdad Tony Barber, who did all the catering and just knocked it out of the field as usual. To Terry O’Keeffe my Mayor’s Council Chaplain, and Vanessa O’Keeffe who did all the floral arrangements. To Dan Smith who was a huge help with the organisation. To David Wright and his lovely friend who played the most wonderful classical music in the background and added a real touch of class and joy to the proceedings.
 
Finally thanks to my Mayor’s Civic Chaplain, the Rev. Canon Matthew Bradbury and his team at the Church of St Peter and St Paul, such an awesome church we are so very lucky to have. And thank you to the people of Wisbech who came along and to those that would have liked to come but were not able, but offered their support and good wishes.
 
It was a lovely day and I am immensely proud of it.
 
– Cllr Steve Tierney and Mrs Marie Tierney, the Mayor and Mayoress of Wisbech, and Joe Tierney, our Son.
Photos Courtesy and (c) of the Wisbech Standard, all rights reserved

School Dinner

School Dinner

Tonight I was invited to a rather special dinner.

Students of Thomas Clarkson Academy who are studying catering prepared a three course meal and served it to parents and guests.

As one of the guests I was treated to a truly exception meal, prepared and served flawlessly. Everybody seemed to enjoy it as much as I did.

The students and staff must be congratulated on the fare, which was as good as any restaurant i’ve eaten in recently. Better than many.

Thank you for inviting me.

*Thank you to Editor, John Elworthy, who acted as escort for the Mayoral Chain at very short notice.

Photos Courtesy of Wisbech Standard

Medworth & Clarkson Ward Surgery, October 2017

Medworth & Clarkson Ward Surgery, October 2017

Just a quick reminder that my Councillor Surgery is on today, in the Angel, from 3PM – 5PM.

Drop in for a chat, to report issues, to suggest ideas, or just to say “hello”. Hope to see some of you there.

Annual Bazaar and then an Art Exhibition

Annual Bazaar and then an Art Exhibition
This morning, my Wife and I popped into the Annual Bazaar held in the St.Peter’s & St Paul’s Church Hall.
 
We enjoyed browsing the stalls of bric-a-brac and made several small purchases. We had a go on the tombola (no wins, sadly) and then enjoyed a cuppa’ and a good natter with lots of people who were also there.
 
As of time of writing it’s still going on and runs until 3PM, so pop down and grab a cup of tea, a cake and a bargain.
 
Afterwards we walked to the back of the Wisbech Museum to pay a visit to the free Art Exhibition going on there at the moment. I was particularly taken with a painting called “Daisy the Cow” by Geoff DeVoux. In fact, I was taken enough that I bought it!
 
There are lots of fine works by local artists to enjoy and to purchase if you would like and I’d strongly recommend popping in to have a look if you have any time. It’s well worth a visit and great to see how much talent there is in the area.

Councillors vote to reshape Children’s Centres

News from Cambridgeshire County Council

Date: 17/10/2017

Councillors vote to reshape Children’s Centres services for Cambridgeshire

Plans to focus funding on increased outreach services for children and families in Cambridgeshire, by reducing spend on building maintenance, have been given the go ahead after a full and wide ranging debate by Cambridgeshire County Councillors, with strong views shared on both sides.

Councillors at today’s (17 October) Full Council meeting voted 31 to 22, to support proposals, which look to transform Children’s Centre services from next April, creating a more flexible, targeted and responsive service delivered from 27 buildings supported by increased outreach services.

The decision followed a debate on the response to a ten week consultation from 2280 people – the largest response to a Cambridgeshire County Council consultation and one of the largest for a Children’s Centre consultation across the Country. Having reviewed the consultation responses, the plans now include more outreach services sited in areas across the County, including the southern part of Cambridge City.  This change will see £100,000 of a planned £1m saving re-invested in the service.

Following the change £4.3m will continue to be spent on the new Child and Family Centre services, complementing Early Help services of the council, which have an additional budget of £7.2 million.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Simon Bywater, Chairman of the Children’s Committee, said: “We have listened carefully to what people have been saying during the consultation and I want to reassure people we will continue to listen as we begin to implement these proposals. I recognise that feelings have run high during this debate, but I now call on all councillors, partners and communities to come together to help take these plans forward so we can fulfill the ambition of creating a service for more families to get the right help, at the right time and in the right place.

“Today’s decision means we remain heavily committed to early intervention for families, something we believe is essential. The new service is intended to be embedded alongside our district early help teams, health and other community services providing a flexible, targeted and responsive service in order to meet the needs of a rapidly changing and growing County.”

Overall, respondents to the consultation supported the key ambitions of the proposals – that funding should be directed towards those most in need, that services should be co-located with partners such as health wherever possible, and that the services should be widened to support families with children aged 0 -19. The changes to the proposals which followed consultation include:

  • Investing an extra £100,000 back into outreach services across the County, including the southern parts of Cambridge after feedback identified potential gaps in provision, not included in the initial proposals.
  • Resolving issues at Caldecote Children’s Centre to ensure wrap-around childcare is protected alongside identifying capacity for additional childcare provision

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Samantha Hoy, Vice Chairman of the Children and Young People Committee, added: “Children’s Centre Services across the country are changing to help them meet the needs of our most vulnerable families, who remain our top priority. Our plans are very much in line with those of other counties who, like us, also have reducing budgets for a whole range of services where demand continues to grow. The Council is sending a strong message to Government that the long-term underfunding of large rural counties like ours cannot continue as part of our fairdeal4Cambs campaign.”

Ten-in-a-row: Wisbech’s golden achievement

FENLAND DISTRICT COUNCIL

PRESS RELEASE

October 16, 2017

Ten-in-a-row: Wisbech’s golden achievement

Horticultural champions have been honoured in Wisbech at a special event to celebrate the town’s extraordinary In Bloom achievements.

Last month, Wisbech became one of only a handful of towns in the region to reach ten consecutive gold awards in the history of the annual Anglia In Bloom contest.

During this time, the town has also been crowned Britain In Bloom winners in 2009, and achieved a Gold award in the Britain In Bloom finals in 2016.

Wisbech also scooped the top ‘5 Blooms’ award in the International Communities in Bloom contest in 2010, a tough competition which attracts high calibre entrants from countries including Canada, the Czech Republic and Japan.

On Monday, October 9, Fenland District Council invited everyone who played a part in this year’s Bloom campaign to St Peter’s Church gardens to commend the achievements and thank them for their continuing efforts.

Volunteers from the town’s In Bloom, Street Pride and Friends groups joined councillors, council cleansing staff and contractors for the celebration.

Bob Ollier, the council’s parks and open spaces manager, said: “The In Bloom judges were taken on a grand tour of Wisbech in July, when they picked up on many of the fantastic achievements that have not only been undertaken in the last 12 months, but also projects that have now matured after several years of nurturing.

“The number of projects has been astonishing, and all those involved have all contributed to help make Wisbech a blooming great town. 2017 has been a great year and once again been one of the very best for community and partnership working.”

Councillor Peter Murphy, the council’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment, said: “Wisbech has now achieved ten gold awards in Anglia In Bloom, from 2008 to 2017. It’s a considerable achievement and one which not many have achieved, or will do in future, and everyone involved should be justifiably proud.

“Our dedicated volunteers continue to work hard for the benefit of everyone in Wisbech, and we can’t thank them enough.”

Busy Weekend

Busy Weekend

I had quite a busy weekend. Off to St. Neots on Saturday to attend the Freedom of the Town being given to their squadron of the Air Cadets. A lovely sunny day and nice to visit St. Neots again. It’s been a few years since I was last there.

Then on Sunday all the way up to Mablethorpe for the Mayor of Mablethorpe’s Civic Service. It was a long drive through Lincolnshire but I made it to the church on time and enjoyed the service and meeting civic leaders and local people.

Tougher street drinking rules come into force

FENLAND DISTRICT COUNCIL

PRESS RELEASE

October 16, 2017

Tougher street drinking rules come into force

New powers to reinforce ongoing work to tackle alcohol-fuelled incidents and antisocial behaviour in Wisbech will come into force this month.

Fenland District Council is introducing a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in the town on Friday, October 20.

The order intends to restrict alcohol consumption in three street drinking hotspots – Tillery Fields, St Peter’s Church Gardens and the memorial garden in The Crescent – and enable authorised officers to tackle alcohol-related antisocial behaviour across a wider area covering Wisbech town centre.

The robust approach will form part of a wider alcohol action plan being delivered by the council through the Wisbech Alcohol Partnership to address the issues and also provide support to dependent drinkers and local residents.

Other initiatives in the 14-point plan include recovery walks from the Inclusion Adult Substance Misuse Treatment Service and recruiting a dedicated outreach worker to engage with street drinkers through funding secured from central government.

After a successful bid to government, Wisbech has also become a Local Alcohol Action Area, one of only 33 locations in the country, which is working towards reducing the sale of alcohol to people who are drunk and help improve the health outcomes of the local community affected by alcohol misuse.

A Cumulative Impact Zone has also been implemented in the town making it harder to get a licence to sell alcohol, with a number of licences having already been refused through the use of the order.

Associated issues such as homelessness and poor management and condition of private rented homes are also being tackled through a partnership approach.

Under the new PSPO, which was approved by the council last month, it will be an offence to possess any open containers of alcohol in the three hotspot areas. It will also be an offence to drink alcohol in the town centre if someone continues to drink when asked to stop and refuses to surrender their alcohol.

It can be enforced by police officers, Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and authorised persons representing Fenland District Council.

Anyone caught breaching the order could be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £75.

Councillor David Oliver, the council’s Cabinet member for community safety, said: “We are introducing the PSPOs to respond to areas of need in Wisbech that have been impacted by alcohol misuse and harm.

“It will form part of our wider partnership work as it is essential we continue to address this complex issue through both enforcement and ongoing support to alleviate it long-term and ensure people are able to feel safe and enjoy the town.”

Councillor Steve Tierney, the Member in whose District Ward all the PSPO areas fall, said: “This is what I have been proposing is tried for the last two years and it’s great to see it being rolled out.  The main thing is going to be enforcement.  Without solid enforcement and support from the Police it just won’t work – so it’s important to keep reminding the Police and District Council not to forget that words alone won’t be enough, action must be taken.”

For more information on the PSPOs visit: www.fenland.gov.uk/pspo