Category Archives: Medworth

Boogie Tots, QMC

Boogie Tots, QMC

I went along to meet the Boogie Tots today at the Queen Mary Centre.
Boogie Tots is an activity group for young children, where their parents can take them for some music, dancing and gentle exercise.
It was brilliant actually. Holding the attention of a roomful of very small children is incredibly difficult, but the Boogie Tots team made it look easy. They wouldn’t be out of place as the hosts of a kids TV show, in my opinion, and their enthusiasm and joy was infectious. All the young children were clapping and dancing and generally having fun and even the parents were joining in.
If you have a tiny tot and would like to join in, I highly recommend paying Boogie Tots a visit. The interaction and activity will be incredibly healthy for the kids, and the company and chat seems pretty good for the adults too!

Stormy Teacups

Stormy Teacups

Two off-duty Citizens’ Patrol members encountered a situation today near Tillery Fields.
Some teenagers were having an almighty to-do, screaming at each other, crying, threatening to kill one another, swearing and being broadly loud and unpleasant. Onlookers were aghast at the scene which seemed to be escalating rapidly.
The WCP members had a difficult decision. On the one hand it was kids being kids to some extent, but on the other some of the older boys were being very aggressive. It the patrollers ignored it, and then something bad happened, they would feel terrible.
In the end, they tried a polite and friendly intervention, just as normal members of the public. The teenagers remained aggressive to anybody who got anywhere near the unfolding drama, with two lads in full “peacock mode”.
In the end, the decision was taken to call the Police, as it was unclear if the situation would get worse and what might happen. To their credit, Police were there within a couple of minutes, and very ably deescalated the whole thing.
Nice work volunteers and very very nice work Police.

Flood Wall Cracks

Flood Wall Cracks

Recently some people raised concerns about cracks in the flood wall on the North Quay.

It was reported and has now been inspected.

This is the response, FYI:

“Thanks for the information regarding the cracks in the brickwork on the North Quay.

We have inspected the brick wall and have concluded that we do not appear to have anything to worry about – there appears to have been some slight differential movement where the wall changes direction. We will however monitor this in the future and take remedial action if required.

You will have noted that the repair work to the damaged wall on the south Brinks has been completed. Work is about to start on the replacement of the copings on the north Brinks wall on the 7th August (there will be traffic lights for several weeks during daytime).”

Onyx Court Car Park

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.

Medworth & Clarkson Ward Surgery, July 2017

Medworth & Clarkson Ward Surgery, July 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.

In regards to St Peters Car Park

In regards to St Peters Car Park

I had no idea the work was happening as the Ward Councillor. Nor did any other Town Councillor to the best of my knowledge. I was as surprised as everybody else.

This morning I have phoned the Officer in charge of the work and spent much time on phone to him getting the information as to what is going on.

I will try and explain what is happening as per what I have been told. I am as frustrated by it as everybody else.

What I have been told:

I am told that this work dates back to a 2002 plan which was agreed and then could not continue because the funding dried up. The Officer have been doing bits and pieces of the work ever since whenever some funding became available.

I am told that this was was considered basically routine maintenance and that is why they did not notify Town Council or any of the Councillors in Town. They did, however, notify the In Bloom volunteers, they say. I am also told that the flowers/plants planted by Street Pride were funding by the office doing the work originally, that all the plants with some worth have been safely removed and can be replanted. Trees that are being removed have been identified by a professional survey as requiring removal as they are sick, or “not thriving.”

I am told that the removal of the bays has been on the cards since 2002 and that it is part of a complete redesign of the layout and markings which will improve the car park and make many more spaces available as the space and layout is currently not optimal. The work also includes relining and resurfacing sections of the car park as part of this.

I am also told that the Officers are very surprised that there has been an outcry over this as they considered it routine work and that they felt that had let the In Bloom team know in good time and also explained to them that the plants would be removed and replanted.

Finally, I am told that the intention is to make new flower bed areas once the work is finished – putting them in the places where the cars cannot park in the new layout.

What I have said:

I have explained that I am very unhappy about not having been notified of this work as the local Ward Councillor and I am sure my other Councillor colleagues feel the same. Had we known in advance we could have warned that they had misunderstood the feelings of local people. We could also have helped them negotiate a plan that would not upset our local volunteers who have spent so much time working on making the car park look nicer.

I have asked the Officer to put everything he has said to me in writing, and when I receive that I will share it with you all.

I did write to the Officers last night asking them to hold off any work until we had time to look at what was going on. Unfortunately, most of the work was done very quickly and those islands are already flattened and bare – ready for their completely removal. The Officer has informed me that none of the larger islands around the edge of the Car Park are being removed, although a piece is to be “cut off” of the edge of the one in the middle which splits the car park in two.

It is very frustrating that this has happened without me being given any notice whatsoever. At a bare minimum I should have been notified long in advance, and in my opinion so should the rest of Town Council. We were not. I cannot turn back the clock, but I will be making it very clear that this is unacceptable and must never, ever happen again. I will write to the Cabinet Member at FDC in the strongest terms, and also raise this as an issue at Wisbech Town Council.

I feel very sorry for the hard-working volunteers who have spent so much time trying to make the car park look nicer. They are true champions of the town and it is, in my opinion, unfair that this has happened in this way. But it appears to boil down to a misunderstanding by Officers as to the level of upset it would cause – one which I have endeavoured to put them straight about.

I am as unhappy as anybody – I live near the car park and use it every day. I liked the islands of green too. But the Car Park *does* need relining and surface work. I just wish they’d considered the possible consequences of the action rather than relying on an old plan without any consultation.

Christmas Newsletter 2016

Christmas Newsletter 2016

My four-page colour monthly newsletter is being delivered this week to all my Medworth constituents.  This is the special Christmas edition.  I hope you enjoy it.  (Front page sample below.)  Please let me know if you live in Medworth and do not receive one by next Wednesday.  Thanks!


South Brink Speeding

South Brink Speeding

At the last Full Council meeting of Wisbech Town Council I proposed that the portion of South Brink which runs from Tesco up to the Malt Drive Estate would be a good place to benefit from this year’s Minor Highways bid.

One of the most common complaints I get as a Councillor is speeding and that section of South Brink is that part which causes the most concern in my Ward.  It is a “rat run” for people wanting to escape traffic along Cromwell Road and because it is long, quiet and very straight it seems to encourage fast and dangerous driving.  To compound the problem, this is an area which has an above average number of pedestrians and users of mobility scooters, many of whom feel threatened by the speed and carelessness they perceive in some drivers.

All year I have promised my constituents that I would try and get a Minor Highways Bid through to address this.  We took Speedwatch there on a few occasions and that helps a little, but what the road really needs are some speed reduction measures to discourage the temptation to race along there.

The County Councillor for the area, my friend and colleague Samantha Hoy, agreed with me and has seconded my proposal.  Town Council supported my proposal and it was put forwards to County Council as our official bid this year.

At this point I have kept it deliberately vague.  We have a meeting with the County Council Highways Officers on-site next week to look at what measures would be best and what can be afforded within the limits of the Minor Highways scheme.  But I am very pleased to be able to keep my promise and push this another stage towards resolution.

Rushing About

Rushing About

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.

Oasis Centre
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.

Councillor Surgery This Saturday

Councillor Surgery This Saturday

Can I remind people who live in the Medworth Ward that my Monthly Councillor Surgery is this Saturday 28th May, 3PM – 5PM at The Angel Inn.

Come along, share some coffee and cake, report problems, suggest ideas, or just have a natter with your Town & District Councillor.

Hope to see you there!