Category Archives: Wisbech Town Council

Introducing Councillor Ben Prest

Introducing Councillor Ben Prest

After a month or more of hard campaigning, the Conservative candidate Ben Prest was elected tonight to represent the Kirkgate Ward on Wisbech Town Council.  At Nineteen years of age, I believe that makes him quite possibly the youngest Town Councillor ever elected in Wisbech?

Ben is a bright, eloquent and charming young man and I think he will be a fantastic Councillor.

The victory belongs to Ben, but he was helped by the local Conservative team who worked hard to make sure this young man had every chance.

Ben won with enough votes to beat both the other candidates put together, which, for a young man in his first ever election, is quite a feat.  Somebody said it was “youth versus experience”, which I don’t think was quite right (some sorts of experience are not particularly welcome).  I think that being a fresh face, an earnest and genuine young man, and being a true local candidate were probably the deciding factors.  People seem to prefer candidates who live where they live, or at least very close.  But whatever it was, Ben won very clearly.  Congratulations to him.

Vote For Ben – 7th May

Vote For Ben – 7th May

WisBEACH Day 2018

WisBEACH Day 2018

Incredible day.  Incredible weather.  Huge crowds.  Awesome atmosphere.

Couldn’t have asked for more, really.

Well done all my colleagues at Wisbech Town Council and all the brilliant volunteers.  Another one knocked out of the park!

Wisbech Castle Project – 14th May

Wisbech Castle Project – 14th May

An interesting day today with some eventful happenings.
 
We had volunteers in cleaning, organising and painting. Managed to do all the painting prep work on the “Boffey” – the area we are using as our workplace and tool shed then got a decent coat of paint on most of the areas inside. Looking so much better in there!
 
Elsewhere, we had workmen quoting for the front room that we hope to use as the Castle Office, workmen quoting on the complete refurb of the Pump House including decorating inside and out and the construction of a disabled toilet and seating area. We began considering how we will repair the current main floor toilets – which are the most damaged part of the building – and turn them into high quality WC for visitors.
 
General cleaning and upkeep was done in the areas we have already worked on.
 
An architect who has offered to do a free new plan of the entire building was shown around to do some preliminary work.
 
Work was halted briefly when volunteers went to assist with an accident on the crescent, where an elderly gentleman had fallen in the road. Cllr. Billy Rackley managed traffic while the man was carefully helped to the side of the road and emergency help called. A gentleman from the Fixings & Plastics Centre in Tinkers Drove, i’m sorry I didn’t catch his name, was quick to offer valuable assistance and first aid, as were several other local people. It was a real case of the community pulling together to help somebody who was in need of assistance and was lovely to see.
 
In a few hours we really got a lot done. We also find people see us in the Castle and they wander up to the gate and ask questions about the Project and how it is progressing. There is a real excitement about it and we are looking forward to getting parts of the Castle open for public access as soon as we can. Almost certainly there will be some activity during Rose Fair.
 
– Steve Tierney

Wisbech Castle Project – 12th May

Wisbech Castle Project – 12th May

I was at the Castle this morning for 8AM to let the guys bring the trailer/skip into the rear gate. The thing was huge and it took some care to get it through even that wide entrance. There was about half inch clearance either side and the tractor driver who brought it was an amazing driver to make it work

After that I got a sausage sandwich and a cuppa and sat on the balcony in the peace and quiet. What a beautiful mornng..

Volunteers arrived for 9AM and we all pitched in to the next batch of work. Some folk worked at the front entrance, jet washing, weeding and cleaning. Others were on the Ground Floor clearing out cupboards, and doing more cleaning and scrubbing. Yet more volunteers were putting the rubbish we’ve already accumulated into the trailer at the rear of the garden.

We have had a local plumber offer to installing some of the bits we need for free, which was very generous and welcome.

We have got to the point now where we’re ready to begin some light decorating and painting. We also need to start clearing out the vaults. So next week that’s where we’ll be at – preparing wood, painting and clearing out the vault.

Tomorrow the gardening team are back, working their magic on the grounds.

It’s all coming on!

Some random pictures of interesting stuff in the Castle:

Wisbech Castle Project – 10th May 2018

Wisbech Castle Project – 10th May 2018

A team of Working Party and other volunteers spent several hours at Wisbech Castle today.  We had determined to work on the ground floor and since we had a good turnout we were able to work on several rooms at once.

The Old Kitchen, which was absolutely full to the brim of furniture and stored stuff was the focus of much activity.  Everything was removed from the room so that it could be given a very thorough clean.  Items of value and interest were put in safe storage and other stuff removed to the waste area.   The fireplace was also cleared and all the antique implements cleaned and displayed.  Piles of chairs and other things that had been just dumped in there for storage were organised and stored in an accessible and tidy way in a more suitable location.

The Utility / Room was also completely emptied and deep cleaned – which is really, really needed.  Cupboards and drawers were cleared of rubbish and made ready for new use.

Furniture that needed repair or refurbishment was identified and kept separate for the work to take place at a later date.

The downstairs storage room, which was so full of junk that you couldn’t even open the door, was completely emptied and the contents evaluated and stored / reused / removed depending on its nature.  We were pleased to find a jet washer buried under the pile of fold-up tables in there, which is great as it was one of the things we had thought we would need to buy.

While the team were working we had visits from the Fire Safety Officer (to check the building was safe and to make any recommendations).  We also had a plumber who has offered the Castle Project a discount service, to quote on some of the things we would like to see done.  And a local electrician who had offered to check the electrics for us for safety (and whose report is broadly that all is well!) and who kindly fixed some broken electrics while he was there.

All in all a really good few hours work.  There’s a lot to do, but focusing on the building a room at a time, and with a large team of volunteers, means that things get done quickly.  It is really useful that our volunteers have a range of skills and knowledge.

I’d like to thank the many volunteers who came today.  The Wisbech Castle Project is coming on really well and it can only happen because you are giving your time and talent to help it.

Photos (c) Roger Rawson

Spider Park

Spider Park

Word reaches me that the usual fellows have been grumbling (incorrectly) that the plans for improvements to Spider Park in Kirkgate Ward have been something that was only mentioned as there is an election.  Apparently, one of the tiny group has even promised to “go back through Town Council minutes.”

In order to save them some time, the minutes they are looking for can be found on the Wisbech Town Council website here from the November meeting of the Policy & Resources Committee.

You’re welcome.

 

 

 

More Inaccuracy

More Inaccuracy

I am quite used to a certain local newspaper regularly using inaccuracy and lies to attack me.  It is with a sense of resignation that they have chosen to do it once again.

You will notice that the newspaper has chosen a “headline” for Mr Smith’s letter which suggests that I have not responded to Mr. Smith.  Now if I were being generous I would say that this is a mistake brought about by them not being bothered to read the content of Mr. Smiths’s letter.  But I have no generosity left for the Wisbech Standard and so I can only presume that it’s purpose is to once again try and have a pop at my reputation by suggesting I have not responded to Mr. Smith in a timely fashion.

In fact, this is completely false.  The issue that concerns Mr Smith is actually not something I am directly responsible for – it is a matter for the Assets Committee, which I do not sit on.  But nevertheless I have responded to Mr Smith on multiple occasions; by email, on social media, and on this very blog.  I did so as soon as he asked about the issue, back in January, and on several occasions since.  Mr Smith has also received a response from Susanah Farmer, the Operations Manager at Wisbech Town Council, back in January.

Mr Smith may not be happy with the answers he has been given and that is his prerogative, but it is false for the newspaper to suggest that he has not had a response.  In fact, Mr Smith does not claim that I have not responded to him.  The content of his letter makes clear that he is waiting for a response from the Chairman of the Assets Committee.   My suggestion that he write to the Chairman was only made a couple of weeks ago and I am sure he will get a response in due course.  Wisbech Town Councillors are volunteers, many of whom have full time jobs, and so cannot respond in 24 hours.  I would expect that the Chairman will give an answer, as Mr Smith has already been given answers, and that he will still not be happy with the answer.

Wis-Beach Day 2018

Wis-Beach Day 2018

Kirkgate Campaign 27-4-18

Kirkgate Campaign 27-4-18

Although we were campaigning yesterday, it was mostly envelope stuffing.  Today was the real official start of our campaign for the Town Council By-Election.

Introducing our new local Conservative candidate and getting out on the doorstep talking to people was, as ever, a lot of fun.  I always enjoy campaigning but it is even more fun with such a strong team.  Everybody we met was very nice and conversations were broadly positive.  What was helpful is that the issues that were raised are all things that are being tackled through current policies so there was solid answers to give.  Better still, residents seemed informed about what was going on and so our conversations were useful and fruitful.

Roll on June 7th.