Category Archives: Leverington

Afternoon Tea In Leverington

Afternoon Tea In Leverington

Having been a member of the Leverington Village Hall Committee for a number of years, it was very nice to be invited to join them for their Afternoon Tea event, in my role as the Mayor of Wisbech.
Leverington is a village I have always been very fond of and where I have many friends, so it was such fun to see some of them in this setting and to enjoy a cuppa with them.
Thank you for inviting me!

Words (Almost) Fail Me

Words (Almost) Fail Me

Alan Lay wishes to complain about the Highways Issues in Leverington. Apparently, the road surfaces there are poor and even dangerous.

It might have been better to write to the person who is elected to represent the people of Leverington at County Council and who is responsible for Highways Issues there.

But that would mean writing to HIMSELF, which would be crazy.

So instead he writes to the local newspaper, where he can read his complaint and hopefully take note of his own displeasure with his performance.

It’d be funny if it wasn’t so ridiculous.

From Town To Village

From Town To Village

Last night I was at the Wisbech Town Council Full Council meeting.  We had Jason Ablewight PCC in to give a presentation and he was well-received by everybody.  I was impressed by the frank way he answered questions, without attempting and deflection.

I was in Hertfordshire today on business, but rushed back to make it for the Leverington Village Hall AGM.  I’ve been on this since nearly back to my old County Council days there and its been a pleasure to be a part of the team that is steadily improving the facilities in the village.

I have a rare day off tomorrow, which I’m going to spend with my Son who is on his half-term holidays.  Then, back to the grindstone… :)

Tuesday 7th June 2016

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.

For Goodness Sake, Alan Lay, Do Stop Whining

For Goodness Sake,  Alan Lay, Do Stop Whining

It seems that every week he’s there in the newspaper whining about this or that.  At the end of last year he even tried to start a Standards Board complaint against me, but withdrew it when it was pointed out to him that he didn’t have a leg to stand on.

Alan Lay loves dishing it out.  He loves writing sneering letters to the newspaper, but doesn’t much like factual responses.  He loves claiming others have shady reasons for being a Councillor but hates having the massive amount he is paid pointed out.  He loves putting out his leaflets making dramatic claims about the other parties, dramatic claims about how thirty million Swedish ducks are going to invade our ponds or suchlike.  All we did was point out that he doesn’t live in the area for which he wishes to be elected.  Which he doesn’t.  For a man that puts such value on The Truth as he claims to do, he doesn’t seem to much like The Truth in this instance.  Maybe it’s because he fears that many local people do want to be represented by somebody who lives where they live?  Just tell The Truth, Alan.  It will set you free.

He also seems really angry that I was co-opted onto Wisbech Town Council.  “It’s not democratic,” he rages, froth and spittle at the corner of his mouth (perhaps.)  As we’ve seen before, the poor fellow doesn’t know much about Councils which is why he keeps getting this stuff wrong.  In fact, when there is a mid-term vacancy, anybody can “call an election.”  Labour can do it.  The Lib Dems can do it.  An Independent can do it.  Yes, even UKIP can do it.  If nobody does do it, then the Town or Parish Council can co-opt a Councillor for the remainder of the term.  When the vacancy came up last time – nobody called the election.  Had UKIP wanted to, they could have done so.  If he felt that democracy was best served by a full mid-term election with all the costs to the Council involved, UKIP could have called one and made it so.  They didn’t.  So either they were happy with the situation, didn’t think they could win it, or they weren’t “on the ball” enough to know what was going on.  I wonder which?

If Alan Lay would put as much effort into representing his area as he does into stalking me – maybe we wouldn’t have weeks and weeks of backlogs on our town highways (a County Council issue for which he is one of the elected Councillors.)  Maybe the double-yellow lines that I helped secure the money for 18 months ago would be protecting children on Church Lane, Leverington, instead of not even having been started yet?  But perhaps I’m being unfair.  After all, Alan Lay doesn’t live in Leverington, so why would he push for those lines to be completed?  Why should he care?  Nor does he live in Newton.  Or Gorefield.  Or Tydd St. Giles.  Of course, I didn’t either.  But he’s the Councillor now – as he keeps reminding everybody.  So he should probably get on with it.  And stop whining.



This week has been pretty manic.  I was out on Monday campaigning with Sam Clark – the excellent Conservative Candidate for the Roman Bank by-election.  I was working in Hertfordshire during the day on Tuesday.  Had a branch meeting with Newton & Tydd Conservatives on Tuesday night, then a branch meeting of Wisbech Conservatives on Wednesday night.

Wednesday daytime I had meetings with residents in the morning and in the afternoon a committee meeting with the Leverington Village Hall team.  On Thursday I drove to sutton to do some telling in the by-election there.  Sorry to see that our candidate lost, he would have been a great Councillor.  But the Lib Dem who won, Lorna Dupre, is very nice and I am sure she will work hard.  Good to see UKIP make no significant inroads there.  When I got home I had to go see a resident on North Brink about a drain pipe that had collapsed.  Luckily it didn’t hurt anyone, but I wanted to make sure the owner of the property was going to deal with it promptly – in case there was any more to come down.  He assured me he was contacting his insurers immediately.

On Thursday night I ran a fundraising bingo at Leverington Village Hall.  It was a great event and completely packed!  Raised nearly £400.00 towards the renovations the Village Hall Committee are saving up to make to spruce up the old building and give it a new lease of life!

Today (Friday) I’m in London, but will be rushing back to attend the Mayors-At-Home function, supporting my friend and colleague Samantha Hoy, the Mayor Of Wisbech.  Saturday is all taken up with the St. Georges Day event in Wisbech.  I’ll be running the free bouncy castle – weather permitting.  Come and say “Hello.”  On Saturday night I have a booking for a disco in Leverington.  Then on Sunday we’ll be out campaigning again. :)

Election periods are invigorating and fun.  But they are also knackering.  Roll on 8th May. :)

Roman Bank Campaign 2014 – Gorefield And Leverington

Roman Bank Campaign 2014 – Gorefield And Leverington

Something strange happened to our campaign team today.  It started out quite small, just Samantha Clark, Stevie, Elliot and I.  But then throughout the day people kept appearing and joining us until, by the end, we were eleven strong!

We spent the morning in Gorefield, working our way down the High Street and many of the roads that lead from it.  Then we grabbed what was meant to be a quick lunch – but took nearly an hour due to the Bank Holiday business – and ducked across the A1101 to the bit of Leverington that is closest to Wisbech.  At the same time we had volunteers along Sutton Road and also in the main area of Leverington, completing the leaflet delivering to some of the roads we hadn’t reached yet.

2014-04-21 12.22.13
Signed, sealed, delivered.  She’s your Conservative Candidate.

We were lucky with the weather.  Beautiful and sunny, making the walking a pleasure.  We are close to our first complete circuit now.  All we have left to do is to get to some of the country roads that are very long with few houses on them – these get left because they require a team with a car to realistically do them.  Plus a few roads that have missed our routes so far.  But not many.  We’ll get to those before the end of the week.

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Brenda, Tony, Sam, Steve, Stevie.  In Leverington.

By next week we hope to begin circuit #2.  This means going back to all the areas we’ve already visited, canvassing people who weren’t in the first time and delivering our second leaflet.  That will then take us to the final stages of the campaign where we may or may not put out a third piece of literature, depending on whether we need to respond to anything the opposition are doing.  Frankly, they don’t appear to be doing much.  UKIP have two leaflets out, the one which just goes on about how Alan Lay “always tells the truth” and a generic “29 Million Europeans Want To Steal Your Job” type thingy.  Actually, we bumped into Alan Lay briefly today.  In the absence of custard pies and water pistols, we said: “Hello!” instead. ;)

Peatlings Lane with local friends Alina and Bob.

I have not yet encountered anybody who says they are going to vote Independent.  In fact, the only comment I’ve heard is: “What has Wisbech Town Council got to do with our village?”  It’s a fair point.  Labour and the Lib Dems don’t appear to have put out any leaflet at all yet, nor canvassed anywhere.

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You’ve got to be in it, to win it.  

Still enjoying the campaign immensely.  It’s a great team, with a great candidate.  And these are villages I love.  What’s not to like?

Wisbech Market & Leverington Calendar

Wisbech Market & Leverington Calendar

I’ve just returned from a meeting of the Leverington Village Hall Committee, whose purpose was to “brainstorm” for events to hold throughout 2014.  The purpose is to give the local community more events to enjoy, to help and support sections of the community who are isolated or in need and to raise money towards a refurbishment or rebuild of the Village Hall in the future.  (It’s over 100 years old and I think few people would argue that it needs some tender loving care if it’s to last many more years.)

It was a great meeting and we now have all sorts of events planned throughout the year.  Events for kids and events for teenagers and events for adults.  Stuff to do for the young and for the old.  It’s going to be an exciting year with wall-to-wall activities.  Wherever possible these are free, or reasonably priced – making them as accessible to the whole community as is feasible.

The Village Hall always needs helpers to run events and even join the committee. If you can give some time, please do let us know!

Early today I was at the Wisbech Christmas Market.  I saw the Mayor and her Consort with the Beadle, doing their thing.  I know I am biased because the Mayor is a good friend of mine, but you’d be hard-pressed to find somebody who hasn’t come around to thinking (sometimes grudgingly) that she’s done a fine job so far in the role.  What I like about Sam is that she manages to combine the gravity of being the Mayor with a upbeat and uplifting presence that people can’t help but respond to.  Her Consort (partner) James always looks smart and attentive with her.  The pair have done our town proud this year.

I bumped into all sorts of other people too.  The Lions were there with their stall, bringing good cheer as ever.  As were the lovely Cat Haven folk.  I saw various Councillors and political friends.  Newton folk and Tydd folk and Gorefield folk.  It felt like I knew about half of the crowd, which was a very pleasant atmosphere to enjoy a festival occasion in.

The Market itself was great.  I always love it and today was no exception.  Carols.  People in Olde Times Fancy Dress.  Stalls and charities.  Hot chestnuts.  Turkey baps.  Hot chocolate with brandy.  What’s not to like?  It was rammed and the crowds didn’t disappear even when the rain began to pour.  Of course they didn’t.  This is Wisbech.  The people here are made of sterner stuff.  Rain? Pah.  It’s not Christmas without a bit of rain. :)


Free Xmas Kids’ Disco In Leverington

xmas disco



After a manic weekend of paid events and volunteering in equal measures, this week calms down ever so slightly.  This evening (Monday) I was at the Newton Village Hall Committee with the rest of the team planning forthcoming community events and dealing with the day-to-day finances and running of the hall.  I’ll be back there again on Thursday.

Tuesday I have several meetings with constituents in both my Town Council ward (Peckover) and in the Roman Bank villages; Leverington and Tydd St. Giles.  Then in the evening I’ll be reviewing a couple of hundred pages of evidence for an important staff committee that I’ll be chairing later in the week.  I may need coffee to get through that mountain of paperwork!

On Wednesday I’m heading to London on business very early in the morning and don’t expect to be back until late in the evening.

Thursday I shall be chairing the aforementioned Staff Committee and the entire day is put aside for that.  In the evening I hope to be at the Newton Village Hall AGM, celebrating another year’s good work there.

On Friday morning I will be leaving for Heathrow at the crack of dawn in order to fly to America on business and I wont be back until the following weekend, or near enough.  I have two meetings to attend in Philadelphia, but I hope to get enough free time to realise a long-term ambition and visit the Liberty Bell.  I also hope to see the White House when I pass through Washington on my way home.  Oddly, I have a flight change in Iceland, so while I won’t see much of that country at least I’ll have been there!  Sadly, I expect their airport looks like any other.