Category Archives: Deputy Mayor
John Elworthy has suggested in his misleading news article that I had “hinted I would resign.”
I’m sorry if I gave that impression. It was not intentional.
I was elected by the people of Medworth to represent them, and represent them I shall until they tell me they don’t want me anymore.
No political stitch up or hate-driven campaign by the Usual Suspects will change that. Only the people of Medworth can change that. They will be asked in two years time if they would like somebody else and if they choose to replace or upgrade me then that will be up to them.
I was elected by Full Council as the Deputy Mayor in 2016 and I have performed the role to the best of my ability. The Conservative Group have elected me as the Conservative Candidate to be Mayor this year – which is what traditionally happens after you have been Deputy Mayor – and I will proudly stand as their candidate. If Full Council elects me then I will perform the job of Mayor diligently, proudly and to the best of my ability.
Again, no staged political drama will bully me into running away. They may think they can upset me – and in that they are correct. But they cannot and will not bully me into running away, no matter how many newspaper Editors they have supporting them.
I’d like to thank the 200+ people who have sent me messages, texts, Facebook messages and emails supporting me against last night’s attack. Many of whose comments can be read on the previous blog post. It has been very touching to receive such overwhelming support in the face of some rank unpleasantness.
If I will make two changes it is this – I will not be blogging opinion pieces during the next couple of months or in my time as Mayor (if I am elected as Mayor.) And I will double down on my communication – I have always tried to combine scrutiny and fair and objective comment with honesty and professionalism. It has been possible for opponents to misuse cherry-picked bits of my blog for their own ends, out of context. This will not be possible in future.
I will continue to do what I have always done. I will work hard for my Ward and for my Town. I will try to do so honestly and transparently (as per this blog), rather than in secret groups and private chat rooms. I will continue to put my time, energy, money and skills (such as they are) where my mouth is to help make Wisbech a better and safer place. And I will trust and have faith that the truth will shine through.
From Waterlees To Peckover
Quite a busy day today. First thing was a Finance Meeting at the Oasis Centre in Waterlees, working with the Oasis Trust to try and make sure things stay on an even keel. I am appointed to the Trust as the District Council representative. I rather enjoy the role as the Centre’s staff and the Board Members are all great to work with. As with all community bodies that I know of, these are challenging times, but when people work together good outcomes can be achieved.
Rushing home from the meeting and changing into my full Deputy Mayor regalia, my Wife and I headed to Edina Court care community in Peckover Ward, which is celebrating its Pearl Anniversary this year. I enjoyed lunch with the residents and managers, who were most welcoming and hospitable.
This evening I have two more meetings to attend and I don’t expect to be home until quite late.
Ramsey Civic Service
I was pleased to represent Wisbech in my role as Deputy Mayor on Sunday at Ramsey’s Civic Service.
The service was in the beautiful St Thomas a Becket Church and went off smoothly. Wreaths were also laid at the War Memorial to mark Merchant Navy weekend.
It was a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon and I enjoyed chatting to the various civic folk and local people at the reception afterwards.
I’d like to thank the Mayor of Ramsey, Cllr Mrs Adela Costello for the invitation and congratulate her and her team on an excellent service.
Busy Mooching About
Quite a busy day today. After dropping my Son and Wife off to their different schools I got into the Deputy Mayor full robes and made my way to the Council chamber where I met the Mayor and the Beadle. We then walked to St. Peters Car Park where we spent the next couple of hours welcoming coaches full of guests to a glorious sunny Wisbech Rose Fair festival.
Cllr Tibbs (The Mayor) had another engagement in the afternoon, leaving me to mooch around town in my robes and chain chatting to people and generally having a nice time.
The afternoon was eaten up with various work I had to do for my own business, which has accumulated a little this week. Then at 6PM I was off out with Citizens’ Patrol for a long walk in the early evening.
Finally home for 8PM and my legs are sore from all the standing and walking. But I still have some training to do for my September run before I can have a nice bath and an early night. If it works out that way. Surprising how often something crops up and it does not!
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.
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.
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.
Tonight I had the pleasure of attending the Visual Arts Exhibition at the Wisbech Campus of the College of West Anglia. I was there as an official engagement as the Deputy Mayor. I took my wife Marie and my Son Joe and it was a good decision, because we all enjoyed it immensely.
The exhibition is on for several more nights – I highly recommend a visit. Such a lot of talent, and much better “in the flesh” as it were. These pictures do not even scratch the surface of what there is to see, experience and enjoy.
Me in front of the big model creature.
TCA Part 1:
This morning, first thing, I was in Thomas Clarkson Academy for their “drop-in” Open Day and I was shown around the school by two exemplary students. I’ve seen bits and pieces of the school before but this is the first time I’ve seen it all and all I can say is: “Wow.” Compared to the dingy old war bunker of a school I went to, this place looks incredible. It’s like a cross between a University Campus and an airport. Clearly a great deal of effort has gone into getting the design just right to create a positive uplifting atmosphere and to assist in operational challenges.
I am really excited that my Son will be going to the school in September – which is a far cry from the way I felt a decade ago about the old school that used to occupy the same site. If any parents are thinking of sending their Son to the school but have been put off by the things some naysayers have told them then my advice is – go see it for yourself. I suspect, if you went to School in the Seventies/Eighties/Nineties you will be as gobsmacked as I.
I was so eager to tell my Son all about it. So when he got from home I was filling him in on everything cool about his soon-to-be school, the after school clubs, the sports opportunities, the blooming enormous climbing wall, the generally wide, open, airy atmosphere in the place. Unfortunately, as is the way with eleven-year-old boys, his eyes glazed over and I could tell I was getting the “pretend to be interested in Dad” face. :) Never mind, I know he’ll love it when he actually goes there.
There followed a meeting of the Wisbech Community Development Trust, on which I sit. This is the Trust that manages the Oasis Centre. It was mostly a housekeeping meeting with some good news that disagreements with County Council over a lease have finally been resolved.
TCA Part 2:
Then I was back to the Thomas Clarkson Academy, this time in my role as Deputy Mayor. I was there for the Read It Again Awards. A selection of illustrated Childrens Books are read by children in primary schools all over the County and then the kids are asked to vote on their favourite. At the awards all the authors are there to meet the kids, sign their books, do little drawings and find out who the winner is. School kids from miles around attend to meet the author/illustrators and are clearly very excited by the whole thing. It really is a brilliant event. I can’t speak highly enough of it. The kids all know who their favourites are. Each author gives a little talk about themselves and what they do and the kids hung on every word. When the winner was announced, which was “Super Happy Magic Forest”, the children went nuts. Clearly a crowd favourite.
Friends Of Tillery Fields & St Peters Church Gardens
It was then a rush to get to the “Friends of” meeting to help the Committee address issues in those areas and make plans for the future, including those for Rose Fair.
I have some other meetings tonight, but I’ve had a few minutes to grab a cuppa and write this blog post. It’s been an interesting day of rushing from meeting to appointment to meeting.
Tuesday 7th June 2016
Lots on today. I spent the morning catching up on some work but then had to attend my first “solo” function as Deputy Mayor of Wisbech. It is Volunteers’ Week and Wisbech Citizens’ Advice Bureau were holding a Garden Party to thank their excellent volunteers for all their good work. It was a very nice do even if the “garden” was an office, which had been cleverly decorated with flowers to make it garden-ish :) Very creative and lots of fun, actually. There was a glorious buffet spread which made me wish I wasn’t trying to lose weight, but I was good and stuck mostly to the green stuff. I met lots of very nice people, who put their time into helping others. It was an honour to be invited and I was sure to tell them so.
A quick change from the suit and chains into clothes more suitable for the hot weather and I popped along to Leverington Village Hall Committee’s Afternoon Tea, which they lay on for local village people roughly once a month. I’m still a Committee Member, though I don’t get to as many meetings as I should, so I wanted to support their event. The refreshments were excellent and I would certainly have had some of those scones or some of that cake – but for the aforementioned need to not be quite so fat. Instead, I chatted to the Committee Members, the vicar and the delightful ladies who had come along for a nice break.
Now I’m spending some time with the family before heading back out at 6PM for the first of this week’s FIVE Citizens’ Patrol walks (though I’m only on four of them.) I’ve been good, not eaten too much and will now be walked for a few miles. If I can keep this up for seven, or maybe eight years, I might be slim again! :)
I know that every town has these little pockets of wonderful people and volunteers, but I do honestly believe that Wisbech and its surrounding villages has more of this going on than anywhere I’ve ever been. So many people, working quietly behind the scenes, just to make the community a happier, safer better place. This is why I get so angry when people run our town down, particularly if they don’t live here and don’t frankly know the first thing about it. This is a special place, full of many many awesome people. I am lucky to live here.