Brakespeare’s Diary: Falling women, disappearing prisoners, paper planes , police commissioners, of course, and climate change
10:05 29 October 2012
SHOULD he elected a Cambridgeshire’s first police commissioner, Sir Graham Bright tells me he’ll be taking a back seat in the family run and Ely based Dietary Foods company which he’s chaired since 1977.
The former MP and aide to Prime Minister John Major is having to re-adjust, I fear, to new fangled media tools such as Twitter and the like since he was last in the public spotlight.
A prime example was last weekend when Sir Graham found himself at the centre of a Twitter storm after allegedly telling a BBC journalist he didn’t need to canvass much because he was bound to win anyway.
The journalist said something – we know not what- to UKIP later and a mini maelstrom broke stemmed only by denials all round and Sir Graham going on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire to claim it was all “a bit of mischief making”.
He said the “tweet came from one of my opponents and was a bit of wishful thinking. I have 200 members of the party working on the campaign and delivering a quarter of a million leaflets.”
However I did discover Sir Graham has a bit of a sharp tongue when it comes to discussing how much he will get paid. When an independent radio station reporter in Cambridge quizzed him about his supposed six figure salary he turned angrily on the hack to insist that in Cambridgeshire it would only ever be a five figure salary – still £70,000 a year and pick your own hours isn’t that bad by any standard.
i HAD no idea until this week that for an individual to trigger a debate at Cambridgeshire County Council you need 15,000 signatures – or 2.5 per cent of the population of the county- on a petition.
And that’s the way it will stay despite a Lib Dem motion last week to lower it to 3,000 – a move roundly opposed by the ruling Conservative council.
Lib Dem councillor Ian Manning suggested the Tories had “slammed the door shut in the public’s face.”
Put another way find your issue and then get every resident of Whittlesey to sign and you can have a debate.
BY popular demand here’s the 84 word sentence (referred to last week) uttered by county council cabinet member Councillor Tony Orgee reflecting on preparations for winter gritting.
“We have top quality equipment, full stocks of salt and a highly trained and dedicated team of drivers and support staff who will do all they can to ensure that the community and business are kept on the move when bad weather hits – but I would remind all road users and pedestrians that they also have a responsibility to take care and to keep traffic moving by taking account of the conditions and by avoiding any unnecessary accidents caused by inappropriate driving or speed.”
So far that’s the 2012 record holder….unless you know differently.
Brakespeare can add nothing more save for the fascinating fact that Cllr Orgee declined an offer to recite the marathon sentence when he bumped into my colleagues in Wisbech on Friday.
IF long sentences are favoured by one of the troops, what of the boss man, county councillor Nick Clarke?
Judging by current blog Cllr Clarke is descending some long and slippery slope into climate change oblivion by suggesting that we may all be waking to fact “that global warming may not exist and, if it does, is not caused by human activity.”
Nick is delighted that Dr John Happs has warmed, so to speak, to the subject, sending him an email from Australia supporting his views.
Indeed Dr Happs has turned cynicism into an art form, being president of the Australian branch of WA Skeptics, a group set up 30 years ago to take a “responsible view of curious and unlikely claims.”
Dr Happs may have mastered many art forms but brevity ain’t one of them. His email to Nick Clarke contains an unnecessarily repressive 10,457 words- equivalent to a third of a decent novel.
REMEMBER Derek McKenzie, removed after a brief stint period as chief planning officer but recently the purveyor of a classic ‘Up Yours’ to give former bosses at Fenland Council a bloody nose?
Derek appeared at a public inquiry for a Romany family aiming to maintain some mobile homes in the Fens and won the day.
Now I hear he’s become interim planning policy manager to Market Harborough District Council.
Not all councillors are happy and one wrote to me that he is “currently causing public disquiet over here, as we seem to be moving towards massive growth and a re-write of our, less than one year old, Core Strategy for planning.
“We see possible parallels with what happened at Fenland.”
“As soon as anyone raises it with our CEO, we are threatened with libel!”
The correspondent believes “there is always more to these things that first appears and my curiosity is aroused.”
I have no idea what he or she can mean.
A REPLACEMENT is needed to replace ebullient Reg Kemp as parade organiser for next summer’s March Festival Parade.
The role requires patience, determination, tact, agility, logistics experience and a kindly disposition.
Regrettably I’m not available if you or someone you know can help- or perhaps become a sponsor or other supporter- please contact town clerk Clive Lemmon on March 653709.
WE never had a website at my old school but had they have been invented in those days I like to think we would have published such adventures as those from the Thomas Clarkson Academy in Wisbech.
Some students have been learning about airports and they visited Stansted Airport to see what life at an airport is like.
Teacher Mary Harper wrote on the school website that “the day was absolutely lovely. “We explored the airport and then the students thought up some questions and asked people in uniform. My group interviewed a policeman and a check-in girl.”
She added that “during their unit on airports the students have learnt about aviation pioneers the Wright brothers, air miles and food miles, and made paper planes.”
PETERBOROUGH MP Stewart Jackson is not happy at the outcome of a prosecution of a case in which he was the victim of an assault.
The man arrested and charged with criminal damage, a public order offence and common assault has been given a suspended sentence- and the MP is livid.
“Ivans Karanova has put my family thorough a significant amount of anguish and distress and behaved with gratuitous violence to the police officers that arrested him,” he says.
“There has also been a substantial cost to our judicial system.
“I believe the sentence is wholly inadequate and most right thinking people would think it appropriate for him to be incarcerated and thereafter deported from the United Kingdom.
“No wonder people are losing faith in the criminal justice system.”
POLICE across the border in Lincolnshire briefed the media this week about a prisoner who has gone on the run from HMP North Sea Camp.
Lee Cyrus from Preston is serving a life sentence for robbery and his home town police were quick to assess him for the public.
An inspector said he is “a dangerous individual who poses a serious threat to members of the public with previous convictions for burglary, sex offences against a young girl, assault and robberies in which he has targeted elderly people in their own homes”.
He went missing on October 9 after day release from the open prison.
HEADLINE on a Magas Helimedix press release: “St Ives woman falls on bus.”
From where or from what it never said!