A Fen' diary

PUBLISHED: 12:26 28 July 2006 | UPDATED: 22:00 28 May 2010

A LUNCHTIME tipple with some political thinkers in Wisbech developed into a pleasant exchange over who might take over from Malcolm Moss should he vacate his North-East Cambridgeshire Parliamentary seat at the next election. Seemingly Fenland is blessed w

A LUNCHTIME tipple with some political thinkers in Wisbech developed into a pleasant exchange over who might take over from Malcolm Moss should he vacate his North-East Cambridgeshire Parliamentary seat at the next election.

Seemingly Fenland is blessed with three hopefuls, all whose credentials to serve in Parliament having been verified by Conservative Central Office, and all current members of Fenland Council.

Step forward Councillors Martin Curtis of Whittlesey, Robert Sears of Manea, and Simon King of Wisbech.

Brakespeare puts Cllr Sears marginally ahead following his recent aspirational visit to the House of Commons where he was photographed handing a petition over rural issues to Mr Moss.

However, the return to the Fenland political fray of Cllr King, after a noticeable disinclination to serve on committees, has not gone unnoticed. His chairmanship of the overview and scrutiny committee is attaining stewardship of epic proportions!

Higher authorities than me suggest all could be disappointed for despite a tenure that began as long ago as 1999, Mr Moss appears in no hurry to vacate his Fenland pastures.

SUSANNAH Farmer drops me a line to offer an additional Harry Potter question to a quiz currently being run on our website.

When, asks Susannah, deputy town clerk of Wisbech, was Harry Potter mayor of Wisbech?

No prizes for guessing. I've tucked the answer at the end of this column. The only clue I can offer is "not lately".

MUST be something about the power of advertising that attracts me to read so many adverts.

How else could I have discovered the delightful announcement by the Acre pub in March who offered an apology to all its customers.

The pub's sin? Apparently for the amount of time customers waited to be served and for the quality of the beer, due to problems beyond the pub's control. The advert adds: "These problems have now been rectified. Many thanks."

Now that's what I call positive good service. Perhaps other businesses falling down on the job might consider a similar approach.

Good for our business, at least!

HER years of 'exile' ended by the ballot box, Councillor Florrie Newell turned up for her first meeting of the Conservative group on Fenland District Council. She was, I hear, not over impressed.

Indeed the former Lib Dem councillor, and current chairman of Chatteris Town Council, was so alarmed by the heated flow of argument and debate she was left wondering for a dreadful moment if she had been transported back to her old party.

A quizzical Florrie, I'm told, phoned the Tory office in March the following morning, questioning whether it was always like this.

FENLAND Council is moving rapidly towards a ballot on whether or not council houses should be transferred to a housing association, and Brakespeare has no discernible view on that particular issue.

But he does continue to hanker for clear English so he was surprised by this morsel in a report to councillors yesterday which refers to identifying and assessing the "impacts of the risks involved" in the transfer.

Fenland Council has signed up to the Plain English Campaign but you may not think membership has yet extended to the housing department.

To deliver strategic change, says a departmental report, what's needed is a shared vision and focus.

That, says the report, "is shaped by the synergy of the newly formed partnership and an understanding that initially the vision may not be clear or synchronic, but that shared learning will enable the emergence of a strategic vision that can be articulated and has meaning for all."

Hopefully so!

WHAT joy awaits the legal eagle who takes on the job advertised in the classified section of a local paper.

"Wanted," it reads. "Christian lawyer to assist in charges bought against the Church of England."

I know no other details, but be assured Brakespeare's team is on the case.

- Quiz answer: Harry Potter was mayor of Wisbech in 1961.

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