Category Archives: North Ward / Waterlees
The Spinney Play Day 2018
I spent the day helping at the Spinney’s Annual Play Day event where I provided the disco.
It was a brilliant day!
The organisers do such a good job every year and this year was the best yet.
Awesome to see so many families and kids having such a nice time.
No problems, no hassle, no issues, just wall to wall fun.
Well done everybody.
One Year On
It’s a year since I was elected as the County Councillor for Wisbech West.
A year which has been filled with a lot – and I do mean a lot – of people upset about the state of the roads in and around Wisbech.
I have spent the year working my socks off, pressing for funding and services and urgent work, alongside my colleagues. And it’s been slowly paying off, with the work accumulating.
There are still too many potholes and poor roads and pathways. But it feels like we’re on the mend now. Lots of works are happening or are scheduled to happen very soon. Even the faded and missing lines that have upset many people are being repainted.
The worst area by far is Waterlees, where the roads have been so very neglected.
These roads did not get into this state magically overnight. They fell into that state under the previous County Councillor. Luckily, this is so patently obvious that even the opposition crew who would normally try and spin it another way would struggle to convince anybody that those roads supernaturally became pothole-ridden and crumbling last May.
The infrastructure was allowed to fall to pieces and the previous County Councillor seems to have done basically nothing about it. Nor did the Waterlees District Councillors seem to have any issue with this, or at least I never heard them criticising his performance or the awful state of the highways there? Perhaps I missed that. Perhaps, because the road they live on was resurfaced – an odd thing, since it was nowhere near as bad as many other roads in the area which were left to decline – this caused them not to notice the state of most of the other roads in the area? Who knows?
So I’ve had a lot to pick up on in my first year. Luckily I’ve had supportive Town Councillors who have communicated issues to me well, and local people who have helped by using the online reporting system or contacting myself or the Town Councillors. It is beginning to work and I think people can see that. But those four years of neglect are going to take a long time to catch up on. I will continue to push for decent roads and pathways and I hope that when my four year term comes to an end, I can hand a decent slate on to the new Councillor. I wouldn’t want to leave them, whoever they are, with the sort of situation I inherited.
Gritting In North Ward / Waterlees
In response to the Councillor who, speaking about the North Ward / Waterlees yesterday, declared that “none of the primary routes had been done – at all.”
I thought this very likely to be untrue, and so I asked County Council officers to clarify. This is the response from yesterday:
Good afternoon Cllr,
I can confirm the following that primary routes in Wisbech were gritted as follows.
Friday 23rd 18:30
Saturday 24th 18:30
Sunday 25th 18:30
Monday 26th 03:00 and 18:00
Tuesday 27th 19:00
Wednesday 28th 03:00 and 13:00
I have attached a screen shot from one of the vehicles tracking devices that is fitted to every vehicle of the fleet. We can follow them live or investigate afterwards. The records are kept for twenty one years for insurance purposes. They show where the vehicle was what speed it was travelling and the spread rate of salt.
Any salt we do spread will need traffic to make it ”work” so you will typically see a white road then, black tram lines and eventually an all-black road.
Road surface temperatures have been very low all day not really rising above -2.0 c and this obviously slows the melting process.
I have spoken with the two drivers with the Skanska Operation Manager and they were giving good feedback on what they had done, for example upping the spread rate from 15 to 20 grams according to the road conditions.
I hope this is of use to you, if you need any further information please let me know.
As you can see, her claim was completely false. Now that could have been an accidental mistake, based on not having much of a clue what is going on. But if so, it might be an idea to avoid making people worried and angry, before you’ve taken the time to find out the actual facts.
Please everybody – drive carefully out there. Grit is great, but its not magic. Take it easy and be safe.
New Wisbech skate park project launched
Hopes for a new and improved skate park for Wisbech are gathering pace with the launch of a new project involving the local community.
Wisbech Town Council, Fenland District Council, Cambridgeshire County Council and local housing provider Clarion Futures will be working with residents and the Oasis Community Centre to develop and fund a new skate park in Bath Road on the Waterlees ward.
The old skate park had reached the end of its useful life, with all the old equipment being removed by Fenland District Council earlier this year due to safety concerns.
Project leaders said the move was disappointing for local youngsters, but represented a “real opportunity” to offer a new and improved facility for the whole community.
Wisbech Town Council has agreed Fenland District Council set aside £35,000 for the project from Section 106 funding, which will be used to attract further investment and funding from other sources. Fenland District Council will also contribute £5,000, along with ongoing skate park maintenance and safety assessment costs.
Fenland’s open spaces team will also provide its expertise to help deliver the new facility, alongside the engineering team once an agreed skate park build commences.
The project group has begun applying to various funders for support, and will be fundraising within the local community.
Wisbech Town Councillor Laura Cobb, who is leading the town council’s support for the project with fellow town councillors, said: “We have many young people living very close to this area and they tell me that an improved facility is necessary. This is a place where young people gather, enjoy themselves and help create the community that we enjoy. This project is crucial to the area, as well as wider Wisbech communities, and I hope that we can deliver a fantastic skate park by the summer holidays next year.”
A community group is also being set up to back the project, which has also been supported with £500 from Wisbech Town Council’s Mayor’s Fund.
Councillor Peter Murphy, Fenland District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment, said: “This project has considerable community backing and I am pleased that Fenland is getting a large group together to push this important community project along. We have seen the success of similar projects across Fenland and given the number of young people living in this area I expect that this new skate park will be the busiest yet.”
Local businesses are also being urged to support the project.
FENLAND DISTRICT COUNCIL
November 3, 2017
Relaunch promotes Community House services
A project which helps residents to overcome barriers to skills, training and employment has been relaunched in a bid to reach more people in need.
Wisbech Community House relaunched its employability services on Monday (October 30) to raise greater awareness of the support available – and revealed exciting plans for the year ahead.
Local groups, partner organisations, charities and councillors were invited to the event to hear first-hand from staff, volunteers and clients how the project is making a huge difference to people’s lives; helping them to gain confidence and skills and move on to find work and training placements.
Guests were also encouraged to make the most of the services on offer by referring people for help, with many pledging to spread the message throughout the community.
Fenland District Council, which runs the house in Southwell Road, launched the employability project two years ago when funding from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) secured the future of the facility until April 2017.
When the DWP funding ceased, the Clarion Housing Group stepped into help – pledging grant funding for 12 months until April 2018.
The Clarion funding has a broad criteria, meaning Community House can offer the support to any individuals who are unemployed, economically inactive and seeking work, from any housing association and also property owners on any kind of benefit.
Relaunching the services, Councillor Mike Cornwell, the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Communities, said: “The funding enables Community House to continue and build on the employability project, ensuring it can carry on providing vital support to many people who are in most need. The work at Community House changes people’s lives, and it’s great to see that recognised by Clarion.”
Wisbech town councillor Andrew Lynn was among those pledging support at the event, saying he would contact local businesses and encourage them to offer work experience placements to Community House clients.
“If we get businesses on board, we can get more people into work and help turn more lives around,” he said.
Community House client Gilly Barnes, said: “It was a really positive day and lovely to see so many people from the community giving their support.”
Gilly, who also helps out at the house as a volunteer, added: “Helping out at the house has really helped build my confidence and enabled me to work with a positive attitude.”
North Ward / Waterlees Has Three New Councillors
Following the abrupt and expensive resignations of Cllrs Lay, Bucknor and Bucknor from Wisbech Town Council, a by-election has been held to find three replacements.
The political battleground was a straight duel between Labour and the Conservatives.
Labour threw everything and the kitchen sink at it. Volunteers were drafted in from far and wide and the most comprehensive campaign I’ve seen them run in recent years took place.
I think that letting the Bucknors have a free ride for years has seriously harmed their base in the area, because despite giving it their best and throwing lots of resources at it, they failed to make the mark they hoped. Nevertheless, they ran a clean campaign and did not get bogged down in the nastiness and vitriol seen from other quarters. They can be proud of their part in a well-fought and fair by-election.
I am pleased and proud that all three seats were won, comfortably, by the three Conservative candidates; Andy Maul, Laura Cobb and Andrew Lynn. All three are completely fresh faces to the local political scene and I am looking forwards to working with them for many years to come.
The Spinney Fun Day 2017
I had a fantastic day at the Spinney. First opening the new pagoda that was donated by the Clarion/Circle group and then being the DJ for crowds of excited kids throughout the day.
I enjoyed last year’s event too, but this year was exceptional. Particularly good fun was the water slide, made from simple materials on the little zip wire hill. Laughing happy kids covered in mud and soaking wet ran about the place in a frenzy of fun activity.
North Ward / Waterlees By-Election, Part 2