Category Archives: Wisbech
Thank You To All Volunteers!
The Socially Distant Blog Post
Writing this simply because I have some limited free time and thought I should update the blog.
For the last couple of weeks I’ve been working with Sam Hoy (and others) covering Wisbech and the surrounding villages (Leverington, Tydd St Giles, Elm, Friday Bridge and others) as volunteers with Fenland District Council. We are running errands, shopping and picking up medication for elderly and/or vulnerable individuals who have no other support and need urgent help during the Covid-19 Crisis.
Initially it was very hard work, as it was just Sam and I covering the entire Wisbech area on behalf of the FDC line. We managed to keep up, but it was a struggle on occasion as calls were literally flooding in. It was quite upsetting as some of these people were very frightened and in panic mode and some were absolutely desperate. The “normal” routes of care struggle when everybody is overwhelmed with fear and you lose huge swathes of your regular volunteers and carers to isolation and illness.
It was disappointing to see a local newspaper invent a completely false story and present a narrative that had little bearing on the truth. But I guess even in a pandemic a leopard doesn’t change its spots. It was also disappointing to see some opposition types looking to invent a story where one did not exist, but luckily that was quickly closed down by clear guidance from the very top in the virus response team at regional level.
Nevertheless, as the situation has progressed things have got better. More volunteers have come on board. The work done by other groups like 50 Backpacks and the Red Cross have been exceptional. County Council has been delivering emergency food packages to many vulnerable people too. All these different streams of help have been coming together and finding the best ways to support one another and work.
During all this i’ve had several jobs. As Portfolio holder for Communication at FDC i’ve been making sure lots of information is pushed out with regular press releases. I’m working directly with senior officers to do everything we can to make sure people have easy access to help when they need it and all the *accurate* information to help them. I’ve also been trying to encourage people to stay calm, The Covid 19 virus is a horrible one and it is certainly dangerous, particularly for the elderly and vulnerable People should follow Government guidance, stay safe and stay calm. Fear is also a killer, and this is obvious by what volunteers are seeing when they are out helping vulnerable people. Caution and care is vital, scaremongering is unhelpful. Getting the balance right is important.
Presently I am spending about 11 hours on most free days going back and forth to shops, chemists etc helping people who have no other support. All of this is done with maximum precautions for those who we are helping – 2m distance at all times. Hands washed before and after every visit. Following the most stringent protocols for every person we visit, exactly as instructed from those running the operations at the highest regional level. It’s a long day and its sad to see how utterly terrified some folks are. I wish there was more that we could do to help them.
Lots of other volunteers have joined the team now. We have FACT working in many areas and regular folks are also helping their own elderly and vulnerable neighbours. It’s a tough time, but I feel we will get through it working together.
I hope all my readers are well and safe. If you need help in Fenland call 01354 654321 for the Fenland Helpline. You are not alone.
No Incinerator says Wisbech Town Council
Very pleased to notify you all that tonight, at the special meeting of Full Council (Wisbech Town Council) my motion opposing the incinerator was passed unanimously.
This means its now been passed at FDC (nearly unanimously) and at WTC (unanimously.)
Just got to get it through County now and we will have a hat trick of local Councils committed to opposing this awful incinerator.
Castle Of Nightmares – begins tomorrow!
Our second year of Halloween at Wisbech Castle features the Castle of Nightmares show.
The event has now completely and utterly sold out. There is not a single space left available.
This year we have doubled down on the event. It was a hit last year with rave reviews and we were aware of the need to do even better this time.
Volunteers have been beavering away for the last 4 or 5 weeks and over this last weekend that has become near feverish activity.
When I designed this year’s plot and scripted it out I set a lot of tasks for the engineers and builders upon whom I rely. Personally, I can barely put a plug on :)
The volunteers have not let me down. They have completed every task I set them.
Last night all the actors were in for our rehearsal and I feel confident we have a really scary show ready.
The event is on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday – with a family day on Saturday for the whole community.
This year, like last year we have sold out. But thanks to better time slot management we have sold more tickets than last year.
Let’s hope everybody has a really spooky great time.
Very pleased with my bag of gifts
It was very nice to be presented with a card and a bag of gifts from my Wisbech Conservative colleagues this evening.
I acted as Campaign Manager here in Wisbech and we bucked the national trend and had a pretty good result, improving on our previous election results from four years ago.
It was a lot of hard work, but I really can’t take any credit. We had a brilliant raft of candidates and I am proud to serve alongside them.
I’m only sorry for the three that we lost – but there will be other days.
I had one of the best canvassing days EVER today.
The sun was shining and literally every single person I spoke to door-to-door was supportive and friendly. I canvassed for six hours and covered over half of my ward and it was absolutely brilliant. I’d like to thank so many people that I spoke to that were all so nice.
When I got home I began to get word of the list of candidates that were standing in Fenland. I had wondered if we might get some “no contests” but I never thought there would be so many. All across Fenland, many of my colleagues will be elected unopposed.
In a way I am a little disappointed, as the unofficial news is that I will also be elected unopposed. I’m sad because I had been really hoping one of these so-called “Independents” was going to stand against me. I would have liked to see how that worked out for them.
I’m sorry to the people of Medworth that no other candidate has put their name in. You deserve a choice and that has been denied to you. I would have been happy to campaign for re-election on my record. Indeed I have already put out a newsletter, a letter and a leaflet across the ward, and canvassed about 75% of the ward, so I was certainly up for it. It appears that the various other parties and “independents” couldn’t find somebody willing to take me on. It appears they were all frit, as there’s no sign of them. Or perhaps they are just supportive of the work I do? :)
But I’m pleased for my Town Council colleague Michael Hill, who is Deputy Mayor and can now be as assured as you can be with such things that he will be the Mayor in May. I know he is going to be a great Mayor – again!
Once more, thanks to all the people who had said they were going to vote for me. It was truly humbling. There’s no need to do so now, but I will work hard every day for the next four years on your behalf. Thank you.