Category Archives: Fenland District Council

Council agrees motion against plans for Wisbech incinerator

FENLAND DISTRICT COUNCIL

PRESS RELEASE

February 27, 2020

Council agrees motion against plans for Wisbech incinerator

Members of Fenland District Council will be writing to the Energy Secretary making clear its opposition to plans to build an incinerator in Wisbech.

The move comes after councillors almost unanimously backed a motion against the waste facility at a full Council meeting last week.

The motion was put forward by Cllr Steve Tierney, a Wisbech town councillor and Fenland District Council’s Cabinet member responsible for Waste and Recycling (strategic) and Communications.

The motion states that the Council does not support the construction of an incinerator in Wisbech, and will write to Alok Sharma MP, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to stress its opposition to the plans.

It also states that the Council “will take any and all legal avenues and processes available to continue to fight on behalf of the residents of Wisbech, the surrounding villages, and Fenland as a whole and to challenge this unwelcome scheme every step of the way”.

Cllr Tierney said: “The district council is not in favour of waste being tackled through incineration and we will do everything within our legal power to fight these toxic plans. We need to raise awareness of these plans so people understand the full implications, and make our voices heard.

“The 50 megawatt plant would be positioned in Algores Way, close to the Thomas Clarkson Academy, and there are fears it could impact air pollution, health and congestion. With a 95-metre high chimney it would also dominate the skyline and be visible for miles.”

The scale of the proposed development is such that the planning application will be decided by the Secretary of State, rather than by Cambridgeshire County Council.

“It is essential for local people and local councils to make their views known,” added Cllr Tierney. “It is also important that local people see that Fenland District Council understands the strength of public opinion against the incinerator and that it is willing to stand up and be counted in the campaign to try and prevent it ever happening.”

  • A public meeting about the incinerator, organised by Wisbech Town Council, is being held at the Queen Mary Centre in Wisbech on Friday, March 13, at 6pm. The meeting will provide more information about the proposals and seeks to unite those opposing its development. There will also be speakers, including Steve Barclay MP.
  • A copy of the motion agreed by Fenland District Council can be viewed at: https://www.fenland.gov.uk/localgov/documents/s5684/Motion.pdf

Golden Age Fair a hit with older residents

FENLAND DISTRICT COUNCIL

PRESS RELEASE

February 24, 2020

Golden Age Fair a hit with older residents

Fenland District Council’s first Golden Age Fair of 2020 was a huge success, showcasing the various services available to over 60’s in Fenland.

On Tuesday, February 11, residents from across the district braved the cold to visit the event at Walsoken Village Hall with 22 partner organisations also in attendance to provide advice, help and assistance to the older generations in Fenland.

A vast selection of services were available at the event with Freedom Leisure offering health checks and service information, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Against Scams Partnership providing scam avoidance advice and Careline offering a range of guidance including financial safety advice.

Elsewhere at the event, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service were exchanging electric blankets and offering fire safety advice, Everyone Health provided fitness MOTs, Peterborough Environment City Trust gave energy information while the Alzheimer’s Society offered benefits guidance and referrals.

Cllr Susan Wallwork, the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Communities, said: “The feedback we received from visitors on the day was once again fantastic; everyone who completed a feedback form felt that the event was either good or very good and all respondents indicated they would recommend the fair to others.”

She added: “The Golden Age events have long been a popular staple in our yearly calendar and the advice, support and sense of community at these events is invaluable to the older generations. I encourage everyone to look out for an upcoming Golden Age event near you.”

The event was the first of four Golden Age Fairs that will be held across Fenland this year and preparation for the next event is currently underway. More information on the next Golden Age Fair will be announced later in the month.

Vindicated!

Vindicated!

*This blog post written in a personal capacity only, as per my disclaimer.

The Conduct Complaint that was thrown at me by the usual suspect/s has been thrown out.

No case to answer.  No further action.

Surplus Land

Surplus Land

What A Weekend

What A Weekend

That’s quite a weekend I’ve just had.  Spent Saturday at Wisbech Castle running the Cafe and it was a busy one.  Then I had to rush home and pack the car with disco equipment as I provided the free disco for the FACET charity fundraising party in March.

Despite the late night working I was up early to help set up Armed Forces Day in Wisbech Market Place and then manning the Air Cadets stall with cadets and other volunteers.

In the afternoon I had the great pleasure to attend the Nine Lives Live show at Wisbech Institute.   It was an incredible, exceptionally, inspirational show.  These guys just get better and better.  I have always enjoyed their shows before, but this time my Son was part of the show with two solo songs and lots of other acting and singing parts and even some tap dancing.  My Wife and I were very proud parents.

Unfortunately, the day ended a little sadly as the Castle CCTV and a local witness saw kids trespassing into the Castle grounds.  They did some minor mischief but nothing major.  We have very clear pictures of them and know exactly who they are.  We will be alerting the Police.

The week ahead is pretty crazy.  Now that I’m a Cabinet Member at FDC its pretty “full on” with meetings almost every day this week alongside my normal jobs.  I’m enjoying it though.  I’ve long felt that Communications (a part of my new portfolio) needed a shake up and that’s precisely what I am trying to do.  Officers have been very helpful so far and I think a lot can be achieved.

Wisbech Park Lighting Upgrade

Wisbech Park Lighting Upgrade

New Council At FDC

New Council At FDC

We have only had our first meeting today, so its very early days, but I do feel pretty excited about the way things have started.

With a lot of new faces and some old faces in different places, I really had no idea how it was going to go.  Broadly, I think it went pretty well.

Almost all of the various opposition, Indies, Lib Dems, etc, have formed an opposition party/group called the Fenland Independent Alliance.  Which isn’t a terrible name, particularly concerned with some that have gone before.

They put in a handful of motions and the motions were what you would expect, a mixture of ideas and political shots fired.  But they were well put together and seemed to be well-intentioned.  There were some amendments and some discussion, but it was all fairly good spirited.  I enjoyed it, and I have the feeling that most other Councillors of all stripes did too.  There was a feeling of change and of a fresh start and for the most part people seemed happy with that.  Sure, we disagreed, debated and verbally jousted, but most of the bitterness was gone and it seemed like the Council was ready to move on in its new incarnation.

After quite a few years as a backbencher, I was appointed to a Cabinet post by the new Leader, Cllr. Chris Boden.  I have been given the role of Cabinet Member for Communication and Transformation, which I think is a pretty good “fit” for me and I’m excited about the promotion.  I am particularly pleased as I think Chris Boden is going to be a fantastic Leader and I want to be a part of this fresh start and new journey that I believe he will lead us on.  I will, as ever, aim to do the absolute best I can do in the role, for the people of Fenland.

For anybody interested in knowing the whole of the new Cabinet (and what the roles entail), this is it:

Chairman: Kay Mayor.  Vice-Chairman: Alex Miscandlon.

Chris Boden – Leader of the Council and Finance: Finance/Budgets (Financial & Performance Management); Benefits (strategic); Corporate Governance; Electoral Services; Business Rates; Policy & Resources; Capital Programme; IDBs (strategic)

Jan French – Deputy Leader of the Council: Benefits (operational); ARP; Parking; Member Services

Steve Tierney – Transformation & Communication: Customer Access; Marketing & Communications; ICT & Broadband; Waste & Recycling (strategic); Energy Conservation; Equalities; Emergency Planning

Sam Hoy – Housing: Housing Strategy; Regulated Providers (strategic); Private Sector Housing; Homelessness; Rough Sleeping; Environmental Health (incl enforcement)

Sam Clark – Social Housing and Leisure:  Regulated Providers (operational); Licensing (incl. enforcement); Travellers; Sports Development; Leisure Services

Chris Seaton – Social Mobility and Heritage:  Skills; Transport; Rural Affairs; Community Cohesion; Education; Children & Young People; Tourism; Conservation; Heritage; Dilapidated Buildings & Enforcement;

Peter Murphy – Environment: Waste & Recycling (operational); Cleansing; Grounds Maintenance; Parks & Open Spaces; Markets & Events; War Memorials;

Ian Benney – Economic Growth: Strategic Assets & Management; Growth; Inward Investment; Port & Marine Services; Job stimulation; Asset disposal; Renaissance; Emergency Planning Deputy.

Maureen Davis – Communities: Health Inequalities; Health & Wellbeing; Supporting Vulnerable People; Golden Age Fairs; Community Partnerships; Community Grants; Police Liaison; CCTV; Community Safety; Pride in Fenland

Dee Laws – Planning: Local Plan; Neighbourhood Planning; Building Control; Planning Policy; Planning Delivery; Planning (operational); Building Communities & Neighbourhood Management; Section 106 & CIL; Flooding & IDBs (operational)

Going forwards I expect a number of challenges, no doubt.  To quote Captain Ahab <ahem>: “Nothing is plain sailing.”  It is going to take some original and innovative thinking to make sure that we can deliver better services, better savings for the taxpayer and a modern Council that will be able to face the future boldly.  But this is a team I’m proud to serve alongside and I’m excited to get started.

That Was Quite Something

That Was Quite Something

Wow, that was an eventful campaign.

I was very sad to lose David Oliver and Garry Tibbs to FDC.   It’s unfortunate for Walsoken and Peckover too, as they’ve replaced two hard-working, decent men for … well, you know.  But, as my old pal Rollinson used to say if electorate who vote in people like this: “you get what you vote for.”

The mixup of Independents, Lib Dems and otherness that now form the FDC opposition isn’t a massive change from before really.  Having opposition who were never really Conservatives move from being in your ranks to outside of them is really just the same people doing what they do a little more openly.  I would not rule out one or two more “surprises” even after the elections are over.  I think its actually quite healthy for individuals to be revealed for what they really are, rather than what they pretend to be.  At least, when the dust settles, the picture is clear.

All in all, given the national trend delivered by the Brexit Fiasco, we did well compared to many areas.  I was particularly pleased that Wisbech Town Council remains almost the same and actually had a slighter better result than four years ago.  Then, the voters delivered us four opposition (two Independents and two ‘Kippers) and this time they delivered us three.  It was nice to take a District Council seat from the opposition in Waterlees and to secure three Town Council seats there.  The new Conservative Councillors will be a great team.

Hill Ward was brilliant.  A great deal of effort was put in to take this from us, including the massively biased local press doing everything they could (as predicted) right up to the eve of election front page attack article (as predicted) and they must be absolutely fuming that the effort failed.  In the current political climate that’s really quite a feat to have overcome such a gargantuan #Fakenews effort.  Well done to all involved.  Peter Freeman was the only opposition candidate who I noted was a gentleman about the whole thing.  Fair play for that.

I rather enjoyed getting blamed by the opposition for everything (as usual).  I don’t mind.  I am the bogeyman of the opposition, who spend many hours in their tiny moist online hideyhole frothing about me and believing I am responsible for everything from the big bang to the end of time.  As with many other events over the last few years, if they believe I am somehow behind everything that happens that makes them angry it’s no concern to me.

It’s a different local political landscape, for sure.  Interestingly, an area where some people say they want “party politics out of local Government” have just elected probably the most political Council this area has ever seen.  The speed with which an “Independent” “Group” forms and gives itself a leader and Special Responsibility Allowances will be a sight to see, I suspect.  How long before the first “group meeting” is called for the party that isn’t a party?  But I could be wrong.  Maybe they’ll all stay true to their “Independent” claims and not form a group etc.  We shall see.

A sad day to see some truly wonderful Councillors lost to our area.  I suspect we will feel the consequences of those losses in the months and years to come.  But onwards and upwards.  Local Conservatives will now have to work even harder for our towns, for Fenland and for the people that live here.  I feel confident that’s what we will all do.

 

Uncontested

Uncontested

I had one of the best canvassing days EVER today.

The sun was shining and literally every single person I spoke to door-to-door was supportive and friendly.  I canvassed for six hours and covered over half of my ward and it was absolutely brilliant.  I’d like to thank so many people that I spoke to that were all so nice.

When I got home I began to get word of the list of candidates that were standing in Fenland.  I had wondered if we might get some “no contests” but I never thought there would be so many.  All across Fenland, many of my colleagues will be elected unopposed.

In a way I am a little disappointed, as the unofficial news is that I will also be elected unopposed. I’m sad because I had been really hoping one of these so-called “Independents” was going to stand against me.  I would have liked to see how that worked out for them.

I’m sorry to the people of Medworth that no other candidate has put their name in.  You deserve a choice and that has been denied to you.  I would have been happy to campaign for re-election on my record.  Indeed I have already put out a newsletter, a letter and a leaflet across the ward, and canvassed about 75% of the ward, so I was certainly up for it.  It appears that the various other parties and “independents” couldn’t find somebody willing to take me on.  It appears they were all frit, as there’s no sign of them.  Or perhaps they are just supportive of the work I do?  :)

But I’m pleased for my Town Council colleague Michael Hill, who is Deputy Mayor and can now be as assured as you can be with such things that he will be the Mayor in May.  I know he is going to be a great Mayor – again!

Once more, thanks to all the people who had said they were going to vote for me.  It was truly humbling.  There’s no need to do so now, but I will work hard every day for the next four years on your behalf.  Thank you.

Wisbech play area improvements

FENLAND DISTRICT COUNCIL
PRESS RELEASE
December 10, 2018

Wisbech play area improvements

Children and families in Wisbech are benefitting from new play equipment following more than £30,000 of investment in three of the town’s play areas.

Fenland District Council has delivered a number of improvements in Wisbech Park, and play areas in Jasmin Close and Burcroft Road, with new equipment installed to offer more activities for a wider range of children to enjoy.

The programme of works was developed in collaboration with Wisbech Town Council and funded by Section 106 monies given to Fenland as part of planning agreements.

The improvements include a new play frame at Jasmin Close play area, a new see-saw and swing at Burcroft Road play area and a new zip wire, play equipment and back board for the Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) at Wisbech Park.

Cllr Peter Murphy, Fenland District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Parks and Open Spaces,said: “The Section 106 funding allows something to be given back to the local community
and provides some great additions to the existing play facilities in the area. I hope children enjoy playing with them for years to come.”

A Wisbech Town Council spokesman said: “The Town Council is really pleased to see these improvements to the play area provision in various areas of the town; they meet an identified
need. This situation has been achieved as result of a positive collaborative approach involving the District Council and the Town Council.

The Town Council hopes that the improved and new play facilities will be enjoyed and that there will be further opportunities for such partnership working between the two councils in the future.