Category Archives: Press Release

All aboard for bus service launch



July 28, 2017

All aboard for bus service launch

It was all aboard in Wisbech as the Wisbech Tesco Bus Service celebrated its official launch.

Three weeks after the No 68 service went into operation, civic dignitaries and business representatives gathered at the Horsefair Bus Station on Friday, July 21, for a special launch event.

Guests were welcomed by Councillor Simon King, Fenland District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Transport, who told how the service had been designed through the authority’s Wisbech Bus Service Project using Tesco S106 funding.

Created following the withdrawal of the failed Tesco 66 Service last year, the project was set up to develop a community-led approach to a new bus service design and offered a genuine opportunity for local residents to influence a new route and timetable.

Belinda Pedler, the Council’s Wisbech Bus Service Project Co-ordinator, also provided guests with an insight into her work with the community, public transport providers and organisations over the last few months to design and plan the new service.

Feedback from bus service users before the 66 service was withdrawn revealed what wasn’t working and where improvements could be made, and gave the Council a strong focus to make the new service work better.

It meant the 68 service would not only provide access to Tesco Extra and other businesses in Cromwell Road, but also to local healthcare, education and community facilities, as well as residential parts of South and North-West Wisbech not served by other public transport.

Guests also enjoyed a trip on the bus service to Tesco Extra, where they enjoyed refreshments from Tesco and Costa and a speech from Wisbech Mayor Steve Tierney.

Cllr Tierney said: “The Wisbech Bus Service Project is a unique approach putting local customers’ needs at the heart of bus service design. At a time when many public transport services are being withdrawn, the decision to maximise the potential of the Tesco S106 funding this way is very important.

“It is great to see a project delivered with such a strong emphasis on local engagement. No one knows better what local peoples’ needs are than local people themselves. To focus on a community-led design for a new local bus service will surely make all the difference in ensuring it becomes a successful, long term service.”

Passengers who had travelled on the new service since its launch on July 3 were also entered into a prize draw to win a luxury hamper from Tesco. The winner, announced at the launch event, was Lucy Moody, of Wisbech.

The bus service will initially run as a 12-month pilot and if successful will aim to become a permanent local bus service. It is operated by Fenland Area Community Transport (FACT), although you do not need to be a member of FACT to use the service.

For more information on timetables, routes and fares (free to concessionary bus pass holders), visit:

Also keep a look out on Twitter (@FenlandCitizen) and the council’s Facebook page in the coming months for more bus service competitions and offers.

Love Your Home with seaside crafts

Love Your Home with seaside crafts

Residents young and old can enjoy seaside themed arts and crafts when the latest Love Your Home event is held in Wisbech.

The community event is held at the Queen Mary Centre on the second Tuesday of every month from 10am to 1pm, with the next one taking place on August 8.

Visitors will be able to try their hands at making sand pictures and seaside themed jewellery, painting pebbles and sewing a fishing game, and Anglian Water representatives will be presenting ‘Mad Science’.

The Love Your Home events invite residents to have a go at DIY, decorating, crafts, gardening and more to help them pick-up valuable skills.

They also offer a pop-up paint store and scrapstore from CCORRN (Cambridgeshrie Community Reuse and Recycle Network), a gift swap shop, guest contributors and help and support to get online.

Entry, activities and refreshments are free and there are also five free annual CCORRN memberships up for grabs at each event.

The events are organised and delivered by CCORRN with support from Fenland District Council, and are sponsored by Making Money Count and The Big Lottery Fund.

Like the ‘Love Your Home events’ Facebook page for updates on each month’s themed activities.

Anyone wishing to volunteer to share their skills at a future event is also invited to go along to a session to see what’s involved and have a chat with the team. Alternately, email:

Praise for Wisbech as town grows for gold



July 19, 2017

Praise for Wisbech as town grows for gold

“A credit to themselves, to Fenland and the In Bloom initiative across the entire country.”

That was the praise heaped on to dedicated volunteers and organisations in Wisbech when judges toured the town as part of the annual Anglia In Bloom competition.

Everyone behind this year’s campaign is hoping they’ve enough to help secure the town’s tenth consecutive Gold Award in the regional horticultural contest when the results are announced in September.

The judges visited the town on Friday, July 14, with their tour culminating at St Peter’s Church Gardens to see this year’s themed garden celebrating the 50th anniversary of BBC’s Gardeners’ World.

They admired the different flower, vegetable and herb beds, two rabbits dressed in full carpet bedding and show presenter Monty Don’s Potting Shed – and they even got to meet the man himself.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to meet Monty Don!” joked judge Ian Haynes after being greeted by star ‘lookalike’ David Judd, and his faithful golden retriever.

The tour also included the courtyard garden and Centenary Green at Octavia Hill’s Birthplace House, the Bee Garden at Somers Road Car Park which was created from an area of wasteland, the new hanging basket tree, baskets and containers at the Clarkson Memorial, Peckover House garden, the Welcome Garden at the Chapel Road car park entrance, Wisbech General Cemetery and Nene Quay.

They also met horticultural students from Meadowgate School to see their work in Wisbech Park, discovered more about the £2 million Heritage Lottery Funded Wisbech High Street Project and toured The Crescent and Museum Square.

Judges were led on the tour by Fenland District Council’s parks and open spaces manager, Bob Ollier, Wisbech In Bloom chairman Brian Massingham and secretary Penny Stocks.

Afterwards they enjoyed lunch with many of the volunteers and organisations involved in the In Bloom campaign including from Wisbech In Bloom and Street Pride, the Friends of St Peter’s Gardens, Friends of Wisbech General Cemetery, the Community Payback team, Wisbech Lions, and local businesses and councillors.

They were also joined by the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment, councillor Peter Murphy, and Wayne Eady from plant company Volmary, formerly known as Delamores, which donated thousands of seedlings.

Judge Mr Haynes told lunch guests: “I remember being here two years ago before the town went on to win gold and the best large town category; now we’ve returned today and you haven’t disappointed at all. You’re not only a credit to yourselves but a credit to fenland and the whole In Bloom initiative across the entire country.”

Mr Ollier said: “This year is probably one of our best entries into Anglia In Bloom in the last 14 years; so many areas look fantastic. The community effort is just amazing and is some of the best in the Anglia region without a doubt.”

“The number of individuals and groups who continue to play an invaluable part in the In Bloom campaign in Wisbech is wonderful,” added Cllr Murphy. “Their tireless efforts do Fenland proud.”

New fountain installed following vandalism

New fountain installed following vandalism

(Press Release from FDC)

A new fountain is flowing at Wisbech’s St Peter’s Church gardens, replacing the one destroyed by vandals six weeks ago.

Residents and visitors alike have welcomed the new water feature, which was officially switched-on during the Wisbech Rose Fair on Thursday.

Fenland District Council set about replacing the fountain and completely renovating the pond at the same time after the vandalism in May caused extensive damage.

A replica of the original 1963 fountain was chosen and the pond fish were temporarily rehomed before the authority’s contactor ISS Landscaping got to work.

A new pump and filtration system were fitted and the pond was repaired and brightened up with specialist paint. The fountain was then installed and the pond filled ready for the fish to be carefully brought back home.

The new feature was officially switched-on by Councillor Peter Murphy, Fenland District Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment, who was joined on the day by Bob Ollier, the council’s Parks and Open Spaces Manager and Wisbech Mayor Steve Tierney, along with representatives from ISS Landscaping, the Town Council and Wisbech In Bloom.

“It’s lovely to see the fountain taking pride of place once again,” said Cllr Murphy. “I hope it will be enjoyed by many, and respected and looked after for years to come.”

Cllr Tierney said a lot of thought had gone into the process of getting the fountain replaced. “The pond has a bright new colour and the replica 1963 fountain shows the traditions of the town have been taken into consideration as well. Long may it be enjoyed.”

Devolution Deal Is Backed



Councillors from across the county have voted to progress a devolution deal for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough that will see more than £600million in new funding put into the hands of local communities.

The unanimous approval will unlock millions of pounds of new government funding alongside decision making powers to improve transport, create much needed housing and boost local jobs.

The decision made by the seven councils comes after an agreement from the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (GCGP LEP) to back the deal. This follows a public consultation as well as overwhelming support from local businesses.

  • The devolution deal includes significant benefits for the communities of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough including:
  • A new £600 million fund (£20 million annually for the next 30 years) to support economic growth, development of local infrastructure and jobs
  • A new £100million housing fund to be invested over the next five years to build more homes in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough including affordable, rent and shared ownership
  • A new £70million fund to be used to build more council rented homes for Cambridge over the next five years because house prices are so high in the city
  • Councillors have also agreed for their council to become a constituent member of a Combined Authority for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough which would include a councillor from each of the local councils and a representative from the GCGP LEP. This ensures that democratically elected representatives of local communities are making decisions about how and where the money is spent.
  • In order to receive new funding and to make a greater number of decisions locally, Government has been clear that a Mayor for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will need to be elected by residents to chair the Combined Authority. This was also supported in the public consultation carried out by Ipsos MORI and by businesses.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Steve Count, Chairman of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Devolution Partnership, said: ” The deal, which has been described by Government as one of the best in the country, is just the first phase. Devolution for the area will mean we can make the decisions and have the money to start tackling our transport and housing issues that hamper our growing economy. Further phases could see the Combined Authority looking at more funding and powers that will directly improve the lives of our residents, create jobs and tackle deprivation.

“The decision by all seven councils and the GCGP LEP to back the devolution deal will put powers and decisions over funding into the hands of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough communities and away from Westminster. Approval by all members involved is testament to a joint vision and represents the support from residents and businesses through the consultation saying they want a greater number of decisions to be made locally.

“This deal allows us to grow the local economy and improve quality of life for our residents. Cambridgeshire and Peterborough needs more investment in housing and infrastructure and this is what this deal will deliver.”
Now that all partners have agreed to the deal it is expected by the end of the year that:

  • a final written letter of consent from partner organisations will be sent to the Secretary of State,
  • a draft order laid before Parliament
  • once given the green light by Central Government, the formation of a Shadow Combined Authority.
  • Mayoral elections are also set to take place in May 2017.

Practical help on offer to community groups

Practical help on offer to community groups

Community groups have two more opportunities coming up over the next few weeks to get help with funding and organisation.

Dawn Bainbridge from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Alan Turner from the Cambridge Council for Voluntary Service (CCVS) will be holding an advice surgery at March Town Hall on Tuesday, November 15 (10am-3.30pm).

To book an informal, 30-minute chat with Dawn on how the HLF can help groups celebrate and share aspects of Fenland’s heritage, call 01223 224880 or email

That will be followed on Tuesday, December 6 (10am-1pm) by a workshop hosted by the CCVS, also at March Town Hall, that will focus on practical tips on running a group.

Those attending the workshop will also be able to find out more about grants available from the Healthy Fenland Fund.

For more information, call 01223 464696 or email

Wisbech Celebrates Scooping Gold


October 17, 2016

Wisbech celebrates scooping gold in Britain In Bloom

Wisbech is celebrating scooping a gold medal in the “large town” category at the Britain in Bloom UK awards ceremony.

It was hailed as “a fantastic achievement in the toughest group in the competition”.

Wisbech, which represented the Anglia region, was one of only 10 areas from across the UK chosen to compete in the large town category.

Brian Massingham, chairman of Wisbech in Bloom, and Bob Ollier, Fenland District Council’s parks and open spaces manager, were  presented with the award at the ceremony in Birmingham on Friday night.

Mr Massingham said: After all our hard work, to get such a fantastic result is absolutely incredible and it’s thanks to everyone. We all work together for the good of the town.

“Our volunteers have worked in partnership with the council to achieve this fantastic result but we could not do it without the support of local horticultural businesses, the town’s visitor attractions, other community organisations and the generosity of sponsors.

“For a growing market town with many social problems this is an achievement to celebrate and build upon.”

Wisbech In Bloom’s Penny Stocks added: “This is unbelievable – to be part of the elite in such a strong category is incredible.”

The Royal Horticultural Society, which runs the awards, said the gold medal, the highest available, confirmed Wisbech’s position as one of the greenest and most beautiful large towns in the country.

According to its judging criteria, a gold constitutes “an exceptionally high standard demonstrated throughout. A consistent approach that demonstrates best practice, continuing development and sustainable effort. Meets all of the judging criteria and scores very highly in every section of the marking sheet.”

Bob Ollier said: “This is brilliant, absolutely brilliant. I’ve waited eight years to bring a gold medal to Wisbech. The gold is extremely elusive. Even when Wisbech won the category in 2008, it was with a silver gilt.

“To win gold in the toughest group is a fantastic achievement. It shows an exceptionally high standard and reflects the terrific amount of work put in by everyone involved right up to the last minute.

“There are three pillars to the award: horticultural excellence, environmental responsibility and community participation. The key is consistency in all three.”

Councillor Peter Murphy, the council’s Cabinet member responsible for the environment, said: “Very many congratulations to all the individuals and groups who’ve played their part, large and small, in this year’s Wisbech In Bloom campaign. It’s an absolutely tremendous result. Once again the town has done Fenland proud.”

The awards ceremony celebrates the huge contribution made by the 300,000 Bloom volunteers whose hard work and dedication help transform what are often grey and unloved areas into greener, cleaner and more beautiful spaces for everyone to enjoy.

Roger Burnett, chairman of the UK judging panel, said: “This has been a truly outstanding year for Britain in Bloom, with local communities devoting tremendous amounts of time and effort into greening grey areas and sharing the many health and social benefits of horticulture.

“The judges were very impressed by the way communities refused to let the many challenges they faced hold them back. The finalists’ desire and determination to make their environment as green and pleasant as possible was truly humbling.

“We as judges are privileged to have a front row seat to see Britain in Bloom volunteers change the lives of thousands through their work. And it’s fitting that their efforts are recognised and celebrated.”

Corbyn “Victorious”

Corbyn “Victorious”

CCHQ Press Release

After months of division and distraction, Jeremy Corbyn has won the Labour leadership election. Again.

But no one should be celebrating this victory. The policies that Labour are offering will do nothing for people who want a government that will deliver for them.

The Labour leader:

  • Thinks the last Labour government didn’t spend enough.
  • Wants to hold back good local schools.
  • Wants to give up control of our borders.
  • Wants to weaken our armed forces.
  • Wants to scrap our nuclear defences.

There was only one winner today and it wasn’t Britain.

Labour are too divided, distracted and incompetent to build a country that works for everyone.

Instead of learning lessons from the past, they have engaged in a bitter power struggle that will continue even after they’ve picked a leader.

While Labour row amongst themselves, this Conservative government will continue to deliver a country that works for everyone, not just the privileged few.

And that is exactly how we intend to carry on in the months and years ahead.

Campaign to help victims of domestic abuse

Campaign to help victims of domestic abuse

A week-long campaign to raise awareness of all forms of domestic abuse and encourage victims to report it will be launched next Monday (July 4).

The Fenland Community Safety Partnership (CSP) will be distributing leaflets in all four market towns and encouraging businesses to display posters.

The Luxe Cinema in Wisbech will also be showing an advert produced by the CSP for two weeks, from July 4-17.

The term domestic abuse is used to cover all kinds of domestic violence – physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual.

The campaign leaflet says: “Abuse comes in many forms so don’t suffer in silence – speak up and report it to get the support that can change your life.”

A key part of the campaign will be to promote the CSP’s new Advice Chain website, It is an online directory of local and national organisations that provide support for victims of domestic abuse and other forms of exploitation, including human trafficking.

Councillor David Oliver, the CSP’s chairman, said: “It is vital that people not only recognise how widespread domestic abuse is but also that they can spot the signs and have the confidence to report it.

 “Essentially, anyone in a relationship who is forced to alter their behaviour because they are frightened is being abused.

 “We know that this is a serious issue in Cambridgeshire as a whole. But the number of incidents recorded by the police in Fenland is higher than in the rest of the county. What’s more, it is believed to account for at least 24 per cent of violent crime here.”

The CSP is also promoting a 30-minute online course that helps people recognise the signs of abuse and explains how to report concerns.

The course can be found at

Hundreds Attend Annual Job Fair

April 19, 2016

 Hundreds attend annual Job Fair

There was a big turnout at the annual Fenland Job Fair last Friday (April 15), with about 320 people attending the all-day event in Wisbech.

More than 20 organisations took part. Between them they had over 225 vacancies on offer, as well as scores of volunteering opportunities.

Advice and practical help were also available on ways of improving CVs, job applications and interview techniques, together with pointers to various skills courses.

The fair was held at the Queen Mary Centre. It was organised by Luminus’s Ferry Project, with funding from the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and extra support from Anglian Water and Fenland District Council.

Organisations attending included:

  • Anglian Water Alliance
  • Animal Jobs Direct
  • Army
  • A14 Highways Alliance
  • CAB
  • COWA
  • ENTU
  • Ferry Project
  • Cambs Fire and Rescue
  • JCP
  • Kickstart
  • Luminus
  • MICA Healthcare
  • MI Homecare
  • Motiv8
  • National Careers Service
  • Peterborough Skills Academy
  • Cambs Police
  • Regard
  • Swan Recruitment
  • Volunteer Centre

A weekly Jobs Café is held at the Queen Mary Centre every Friday (10am-noon), attended by various employers, including the Citizens Advice Bureau, Job Centre Plus, the Careers Service and the College of West Anglia. For more details, call the Queen Mary Centre on 01945 581444, or visit