Category Archives: Wisbech Standard
Public Private Partnerships for WCs
As is absolutely normal, the Wisbech Standard posted a ham-fisted, poor and ill-researched article online about my motion going to Town Council tomorrow. And also, as is absolutely normal, it came along with the obligatory nasty quote from Virginia Bucknor, which was also incorrect in a number of ways.
The proposal going to Wisbech Town Council tomorrow is that the Town Council explore the idea of a partnership with local businesses to see if they will offer their WCs for public use. There are a number of protections for the businesses built into the motion, and the scheme would be entirely voluntary. Nor would it, in any way, mean that the Town Council would not continue to offer the facilities that it offers currently.
Mrs. Bucknors Comments and the factual responses to them:
“The suggestion that shopkeepers should offer their toilets is, as usual, not thought out ((LIBELOUS SECTION REMOVED BY NEWSPAPER, SO REMOVED FROM HERE ALSO)),” said Cllr Bucknor.
Putting aside the snide, nasty, libelous defamatory lies about my working career that were later removed after I wrote a legal complaint to the newspaper, of course I have thought the idea through. I always think ideas through. But the nature of ideas, is that sometimes you have to try them and see if they work. And sometimes they do. And sometimes they don’t. But I’d rather try solutions than spend my time attacking people who have ideas I didn’t think of.
She urged the Mayor to go and speak with shopkeepers to get their views “before you come up with such ideas”.
Not only have I spoken to some shopkeepers but I already have five local businesses who have, in principle, said “yes.” I have not spoken to “all of them” because the first thing to do is to make sure the Town Council support the idea – which, by the way, is working successfully in other towns all over the country. Had I just marched on and approached every business, my colleagues would have rightly asked why I had not consulted them, and Mrs Bucknor might well have been giving the obligatory comment in the Wisbech Standard saying: “I urge the Mayor to speak to his fellow Councillors before he forces through with such ideas.”
She offered to work with the mayor to persuade the management of the Horsefair shopping centre to re-open their toilets after they were closed because of vandalism.
Now, Ladies and Gentlemen, I try not to hold onto things too much. I cut people some slack. But why would I work with somebody who has literally (one sentence earlier) attacked my personal and professional reputation in such a nasty, vindictive and libelous way? Town Council are already talking to the Horsefair Shopping Centre and I’ve also talked to them (although you wouldn’t know it from the newspaper article) but even if we can get the Horsefair to re-open them, that still wouldn’t stop this being a potentially good idea.
Fenland Enterprise Business Awards 2017
My Wife and I have had a lovely evening at the Fenland Enterprise Business Awards.
It was brilliant to see such innovative, creative and successful companies highlighted and given the spotlight to celebrate the great work they do in the area.
The event was well-organised, very well-attended and glamorous. I really cannot fault it at all. It was a pleasure to be there and see hard work, entrepreneurialism and good old-fashioned business cheered to the rafters.
Well done to all who were nominated, and particularly to all our fantastic winners.
A special mention to my neighbours The Luxe Cinema, who were finalists, but didn’t get a top prize this year but who I know will go from strength to strength with their new/old team and passionate new manager.
Thank you! Marie and I enjoyed it immensely and spent altogether too much money – but all in a good cause.
Bucknor Resignation, revisited
I get so frustrated with the WIsbech Standard and the way it does the same thing, time and again: Which is to print any pack of lies and spin sent to it by Virginia Bucknor, uncritically and immediately.
The latest article about her resignation is just absolute nonsense. It seems to me that her and her husband had decided to resign in advance of the meeting and just wanted some political thing to “hang it on.”
She says in the article that the Council Leaders Plan “did not include Wisbech Garden Town until she asked for it to be added.” Sounds bad, right? Sounds like the Leader wasn’t bothered? The truth is that the Leader made some suggestions and asked for input from other Councillors – Mrs Bucknor made a suggestion and it was immediately included. But when you tell it *that* way it doesn’t stack up with the “nobody ever listens to us” argument she is trying to make, so the spin works better for her.
She is resigning because she wanted her Minor Highways bid to not have to face competition from other bids. She wanted to rig the vote in advance to guarantee her bid won, and is furious when we would not.
How could I vote for this? What would the residents of Colvile Road have thought about it? I have met with them and they are keen to have a Minor Highways bid to make their road safer. If I had said to them: “You know that meeting we all had? Well, I’ve decided ‘stuff you lot’ I’m dumping your needs and supporting Virginia Bucknor’s plan without any discussion” what would they have thought of that?
What about Wilberforce Road, or Queens Road, or Tinkers Drove, or any of the other parts of town where bids are forthcoming? What would the residents have felt to hear that we’d decided to ignore their bids months in advance, in favour of the Bucknors’ bid? Might they have said: “How DARE you?” Because I suspect that would have been EXACTLY how they felt.
The bidding process is there to allow different bids to be heard and evidence examined, in order that the best bid goes forward. Even if a bid fails, it can still be taken forwards independently by local Councillors.
The Bucknors wanted to “fix” the bid in their favour and against all the other bids in town, and when we would not agree to fix the bid and simply asked them to go through the correct procedure, they threw their toys out of the pram and began the usual sequence of blaming everybody else.
The sad thing is that the 20MPH scheme over which they claim to have resigned could have been implemented years ago if they’d just followed the advice they were given. The fact that they did not, and it was not, should make any fair-minded person wonder what the real agenda was.
Finally got the result of the 100-page-long Conduct Complaint against me put by Cllr Alan Lay and ex-Cllr Paul Clapp, which sought to demonise years of blogging and social media use by me and made a series of really nasty allegations.
Complaint was heard in the pre-sift entirely by Independent people.
The outcome of the pre sift is that ALL elements of the complaint have been DISMISSED and the matter is now closed.
Thank you all for your support. It’s good to put the nonsense to bed. I wont hold my breath for an apology from the Usual Suspects or their pet editor (whose newspaper waited a full three days from me becoming the Mayor of Wisbech before publishing some Virginia Bucknor spin on its website.) Nor do I expect the same treatment Alan Lay got previously, with all the coverage of how his complaint was not found against him. Heck, I expect the Wisbech Standard will either ignore it entirely, or find a way to attack me anyway. The Voices appear to have become whispers. Oh well. Never mind. Vindicated. Time to move on.
Wisbech Standard is fun this week.
Another letter from Cllr. Alan Lay where he gets half his facts wrong and moans that he isn’t Chairman of something. Again.
He might consider that the reason Cllr Jessica Oliver is Chairman of Planning and not him might just be because the members of the Committee who voted for her simply thought she would be better at it than him?
I am aware this is hard for him to believe. A young lady? Better than an older man? IMPOSSIBLE! wink emoticon
He gets very excised about the fact that Jessica is young and female. For some reason he seems to think that by being much older and having male anatomy he must be the obvious choice for every role.
So rather than just accept that maybe the Committee didn’t vote for him because he writes very odd and inaccurate letters to the newspaper every once in a while, insults members of the Council, and seems to occasionally want to indulge in some good old-fashioned Ageism and Sexism – he insists everybody is corrupt.
Another of his favourite words is “nepotism.” He hates the fact that the Leader of the Council, David Oliver, is the father of Jessica. Apparently, in Alan Lay’s mind, you can’t be interested in what your parents did, or follow in their footsteps. Nor can you have the talent and aptitude to do well at it.
His dislike for the family connection between two Councillors is really odd too. Since he got elected alongside his wife, and often appears to be allies with the two Independents – another husband and wife team. There are actually more related Members in the opposition than in the Conservative group. I know, I know. That’s one of those awkward facts which Alan would no doubt respond to by shouting “corruption” at anything that came within earshot. But there you are.
Alan vents his fury about the fact that you can only become a Chairman if a majority of other elected Councillors vote for you. Apparently its not fair that UKIP got only two elected Councillors and the Conservatives didn’t immediately make them Chairmen of all the Committees they felt they had a natural entitlement to be Chairman of.
Alan, I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings – but with the exception of you and your wife – your party lost the election in Fenland. That doesn’t preclude you from holding a position on Council Committees, though it is quite unusual for Controlling Groups on Councils across the nation to promote opposition members its not impossible. Certainly, UKIP in Ramsey didn’t jump at the chance when they controlled the Town Council there. I would respectfully suggest that the main things preventing you from holding the positions you think you are entitled to are the way you keep calling everybody on the council names, writing nasty and inaccurate letters to the newspaper, and proclaiming your right to any post that you fancy. Here’s the rub – people seldom vote for the man that just called them corrupt, or made sexist remarks about their colleagues. Who knew, huh?
Looking at the letter closely, Alan mentions that this issue he is furious about (again) was “just brought to his attention.” And there, my friend, may be your problem. Did you never consider you might be being played? Fed this nonsense, wound up, and then pushed along like a clockwork device? Sometimes, when other individuals would rather not do the attacking themselves, they manipulate others to do their dirty work. Think about who “brought this to your attention.” Ask yourself why they might have done that and whether they really have your best interests at heart.
Or just continue in the same vein, whining about how you are entitled to this and entitled to that and how everybody who doesn’t think so must be corrupt or practicing nepotism. How’s that working out so far?
Defending The Indefensible
Just imagine that a prominent individual, or group of prominent individuals, were to openly admit that he, or they, had deliberately and maliciously lied. Then to admit that those lies were damaging to the reputation and business of an innocent individual. And then to further admit that they had done so during an election campaign for the sole purpose of gaining electoral advantage?
What would you expect to happen when such an admission was made?
You’d think that it would be news, right? You’d think that the local newspaper would be, like, “They said WHAT?”
I mean, it’s really not a small thing, is it? To openly and brazenly admit to lying about an individual just for electoral purposes. To slander an individual to try and get a few dirty votes? You’d think, once they openly admitted this is what they had done, it might be quite a story?
So once again here is my definition of a scumbag:
Perhaps I am naive, but I would have thought that almost anybody would agree that my definition of the term “scumbag” was accurate. Somebody who deliberately lies, accusing an innocent person of a crime, for the sole purpose of political advantage. And yet I am told, several times now, by local newspaper Editor John Elworthy that there is something “wrong” with this post. He has suggested the language is “un-statesman like.” I don’t know if he thinks I am a senator or an international diplomat or something? The word “scumbag” is not some sort of awful swear word – and everybody who I have shown my definition to so far has agreed that yes, somebody who would do that does sound like a scumbag. Most have gone further, using words I would not reprint here.
So, dear reader, why is the Editor so up-in-arms about my definition of the word “scumbag?” Which named nobody and must surely be hard to deny is a reasonably accurate definition?
More to the point, since some people have self-identified from that definition, going so far as to reprint it as a screenshot proving without a doubt that they are self-identifying with exactly what I wrote – why has the local Editor not mentioned this at all? Does the fact that a number of prominent individuals are openly admitting to lying and smearing a man’s character for political gain not matter at all?
Or perhaps its just an uncomfortable fact that can be swept under the table if you have no interest in the truth? Or if you have more interest in your own political agenda than the truth?
Finally In The Open
Good to see John Elworthy on Facebook leaping to the defence of the Independents and UKIP. People shouldn’t feel forced to hide their political views and pretend to be neutral and unbiased, even if they are the Editor of a newspaper.
There’s no reason why he shouldn’t hold political views and there’s no reason why his newspaper shouldn’t campaign for a particular group of political people and against another group. It’s just nice if it’s in the open and transparent so that people aren’t fooled into thinking there’s proper news there, rather than personal comment. That way, people can choose to read his paper or just bin it, and they can choose whether to advertise in it or in its less political rival – the Fenland Citizen.
Refreshing to finally see it so openly displayed. Several people have messaged me to say how “gobsmacked” they were by it. I wasn’t gobsmacked. I’ve been pointing it out for years. Every day, more people see it, or admit it.
The truth is out there.
Let me get this straight. UKIP Councillor Dave Patrick, a professional Taxi Driver, decided that the best thing to do was drive to the local Hospital on a broken foot? A foot that he describes as “extremely painful” and that he could “barely hobble” on. That didn’t seem at all dangerous or careless?
What if he had to make an emergency maneuver?
What if his inability to control the car had caused a serious accident?
Was his insurance valid while driving with a broken ankle?
Hardly a surprise really. Invalid insurance wouldn’t be a lot different to “no tax.” http://www.cambstimes.co.uk/…/no_tax_councillor_and…
I don’t expect Dave Patrick meant any harm, and perhaps his mind was clouded by pain. In this instance no harm came of it and all is well. But I still don’t think it’s anything to crow about.
I nevertheless wish him a speedy recovery and hope he feels better soon.
Dave Patrick feels that he has a case against me for defamation, both for the comments I have made and those of others. I think he will find, when he checks, that asking a series of questions is not defamatory. But in the interest of balance, I’m going to print a screen shot of his message to me, as I promised him I would.
The point remains that driving on an injured ankle runs the risk of invalidating your insurance. It doesn’t take much Googling to find this out. Dave says his insurance company have told him that he has done nothing wrong. Cool – maybe so, if he has really asked them. But did he ask them *before* he drove? No mention of him doing so anywhere. So how did he know until after the fact? Also, any driver must surely know that if your foot is in agony and you can only “hobble”, which he has said was his circumstances, then it must SURELY be dangerous to drive unless you have to make an emergency maneuver. Dave feels I’m being rotten to him – I think if I’d wanted to be rotten I could have done a lot more than a vague few questions on Facebook. And I don’t think I’ve said anything untrue, have I? So how is it defamatory? Answer = I don’t believe it is.
It surprises me that Taxi Dave feels he can say anything he likes about other people: For instance when he was telling everybody my businesses have failed (when they are doing fine, thanks) – but that when somebody points out actual facts about things he says and does he starts making threats to silence them. I don’t believe I’ve done anything other than tell the truth and discuss issues he made public by giving an interview to the newspaper about them. In the same way that he failed to silence me with the bogus Standards Board report a year ago, he wont silence me now. I was happy to let this sorry story quietly blur away, but he seems intent on keeping it in focus. That’s his call, I guess.
This morning I had a meeting with some of the local press to discuss the consultation for the Christmas Lights. Other sections of the media are also being informed in order that we can spread the consultation as widely as possible. We believe that we’ve got a plan which has come in under budget and will be tasteful and impressive if installed. I’ll go into a bit more detail about the whole plan next week on here, but I don’t want to steal the thunder from elsewhere until then. Suffice to say – I’m excited about it. I hope the people of Wisbech approve and say “Yes.” If so, there’s a good chance we can still do it for this Christmas! It’s not written in stone, but there’s a good chance!
This afternoon I accompanied Independent Councillor Rob McLaren to Hereward Hall in March to present the application for a new safety crossing in Walsoken that is being supported by Wisbech Town Council. Rob and I may have had our disagreements in the past – primarily because of the Dark Queen of Propaganda and her works – but he was totally on the ball today and I think we made a good team. Whether the LHI Committee approve our bid or not we won’t know until next year, but we both hope it’ll get the go ahead.
I managed to get back to the gym today after a few weeks of being too busy/distracted/lazy. I expect I’ll ache in the morning, but you know what they say – no pain, no gain.
I enjoyed David Cameron’s strong speech about the extra money the EU are asking for. 1.6 Billion or whatever it is. I’m really glad he told them to sling their hook and I very much hope he is able to stick to his guns.
Noticed the Wisbech Standard’s grudging report about my by-election win. It must have really pained them to print it :) You can see that by the phrasing. Notice I won “on my third attempt” but no mention of the UKIP guy failing on his second attempt, or the fact that he polled the lowest the previous time he tried. The Liberal Democrat lady’s letter “criticised the Conservatives” – no mention of the fact that it actually criticised everybody. Also, lots of talk about what I “predicted” – except that none of those were predictions. Wisbech Standard continue to ignore my Media Policy – clearly printed on my website – and abuse my blog posts for their own ends. I suppose its all I can expect from them, really.
Tomorrow is my first surgery. I’ve not had much time to advertise it, so I’m not expecting a spectacular turnout. But you have to start somewhere! My first Medwowrth newsletter will be going out next week. I hope to put out a Peckover newsletter a week or two later.