A Fen diary

PUBLISHED: 12:14 18 August 2006 | UPDATED: 22:07 28 May 2010

BRAKESPEARE predicts success in his ongoing battle to get the high costs of photocopying charges levied by Fenland Council reduced.

Buoyed by his supporters, your diarist predicts the matter is to come before a full council meeting on September 14 when a decision to drop the £1.25-a-copy charge will come crashing down.

Local agent Mark Vawser, who complained in June after being charged £22.90 for just two copies, tells me he has received a letter from development manager Nigel Brown "who actually agrees with my concerns regarding photocopying charges".

Mark says he has put Nigel Brown to the test by requesting some photocopied council document and he awaits development. Almost apologetically Mark says: "This is all sounds like toy town and Larry the Lamb if you are old enough to remember. I will keep you posted." And he adds: "There is no escape for the district council."

Coincidentally a colleague hoping to find out details of why an application was refused, dropped a line to the council's planning department asking to be e-mailed a copy of the decision after the notice had not appeared on the council's website.

Back came the reply: "I understand from our IT dept, the web is updated on a regular basis, so it will be available for access. However, should you want a hard copy it can be supplied for a fee of £11.45.

My colleague took his own advice and decided to wait for it to appear on the web.



RETIRING caterer Jenny Cook is delighted to have sold her Wisbech-based company to an up-and-coming chef, who takes over next month.

But while the company will still be known as Cooks Catering, it seems it's the chef who has been forced to slightly amend his name.

Jenny says she advised him that being called Tony Martin may not necessarily be good for business, so the new owner has adopted the seemingly non controversial designation of Antony Martin for when he begins trading.



CLEARLY it isn't a job centre any longer, but that's not stopped callers to the former March JobCentre popping into what is now the

BRAKESPEARE predicts success in his ongoing battle to get the high costs of photocopying charges levied by Fenland Council reduced.

Buoyed by his supporters, your diarist predicts the matter is to come before a full council meeting on September 14 when a decision to drop the £1.25-a-copy charge will come crashing down.

Local agent Mark Vawser, who complained in June after being charged £22.90 for just two copies, tells me he has received a letter from development manager Nigel Brown "who actually agrees with my concerns regarding photocopying charges".

Mark says he has put Nigel Brown to the test by requesting some photocopied council document and he awaits development. Almost apologetically Mark says: "This is all sounds like toy town and Larry the Lamb if you are old enough to remember. I will keep you posted." And he adds: "There is no escape for the district council."

Coincidentally a colleague hoping to find out details of why an application was refused, dropped a line to the council's planning department asking to be e-mailed a copy of the decision after the notice had not appeared on the council's website.

Back came the reply: "I understand from our IT dept, the web is updated on a regular basis, so it will be available for access. However, should you want a hard copy it can be supplied for a fee of £11.45.

My colleague took his own advice and decided to wait for it to appear on the web.

RETIRING caterer Jenny Cook is delighted to have sold her Wisbech-based company to an up-and-coming chef, who takes over next month.

But while the company will still be known as Cooks Catering, it seems it's the chef who has been forced to slightly amend his name.

Jenny says she advised him that being called Tony Martin may not necessarily be good for business, so the new owner has adopted the seemingly non controversial designation of Antony Martin for when he begins trading.

CLEARLY it isn't a job centre any longer, but that's not stopped callers to the former March JobCentre popping into what is now the

offices of Snowmountain Investments, the property company headed by Councillor Peter Skoulding.

Cllr Skoulding's firm built the centre and when the Government pulled out of March, he decided he would move his offices there from Broad Street.

Staff, fed up responding to the obvious array of questions, have now put a notice in the window proclaiming 'This is NOT a job centre.'

BRAKESPEARE commends the initiative by Fenland Council to invite the public to listen to deliberations on the future of tourism.

And he is fulsome in his praise for the new enthusiasm for tourism, particularly after the revolt by councillors over the threatened closure of Wisbech Tourist Information Centre. Not forgetting, of course, the council proposed earlier this year to axe £60,000 from its tourism budget. But, he cannot understand why such an important meeting should be on a Monday afternoon in Whittlesey.

Fenland, as the council rightly notes, looks to be on the verge of an economic boom, and tourism may be part of the process to drive that expansion.

He does, however, harbour doubts as to the public's willingness to travel from the far corners of Fenland to Whittlesey to be part of it.

THE only consolation I could offer a colleague facing an £80 bill for some minor dental work, was to remind him of the joys of driving a company car.

For it seems Cambridgeshire is among the most expensive in the country to have your car serviced or repaired.

The county is near the top of the list for independent repair shops and service centres, according to a report by Warranty Direct.

But compared with London we pale into insignificance. The survey found some garages there charging up to £170 an hour for labour.

If your garage treats you fine (or rips you off) let me know. You can now e-mail me at samuelbrakespeare@googlemail.com

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Cambs Times

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists