Fen Diary week Nine

PUBLISHED: 12:05 02 March 2007 | UPDATED: 22:37 28 May 2010

MALCOLM Moss s breathless researcher, Nathalie Tamam, dispatches an email with some hot-off-the-press snippet about her boss s latest good deeds. An MP s constituents provide much needed light relief to the working day, with all manner of weird and wacky

MALCOLM Moss's breathless researcher, Nathalie Tamam, dispatches an email with some hot-off-the-press snippet about her boss's latest good deeds.

"An MP's constituents provide much needed light relief to the working day, with all manner of weird and wacky problems," she says, before going onto regale Brakespeare with the tale of the parrot.

This parrot, it seems, wished to leave Fenland with his owner for a new life in Germany, but was having problems with obtaining the necessary paperwork.

Nathalie said when the constituent phoned to ask for help, it was obvious, 'given the amount of squawking in the background', that the parrot had come up against a brick wall.

"However Malcolm was able to come to the rescue, the parrot's visa was completed, and both lady and bird are now safely on their way to Germany," reports Nathalie.

"Just another day's work in the Moss office."

She did confide that the parrot tale is almost as good as the gentleman who calls up to complain whenever he is in a traffic jam, and the mysterious hoax caller who wants to send bread to the office.

HOW splendid of Ian Pearson, the Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, to tell the Commons this week that something was actually working as intended.

"It is working as it was designed to work," said Mr Pearson, which under normal circumstances might well have brought gasps of pleasure from delighted MPs.

However, in this instance, he was referring to the flood storage area which we know as Welney Washes, which has flooded the A1101 through Welney for most of the winter and made the road impassable.

"There is no practical way to stop the flow of water across the Ouse washes," he said, which offered Brakespeare, and many thousands of others who use the road regularly, no comfort whatsoever of improved motoring conditions.

With the 2003 cost of elevating the road put at £7 million (now probably doubled) and no money anyway to pay for it, Mr Pearson's only promise of respite is to have the Environment Agency plough part of the river in the coming weeks in the hope of disturbing silt on the river bed 'to assist its transport back out to sea'.

FENLAND Council’s decision to demolish some garages in Grounds Avenue, March, has some merit, given the appalling state of many of them.

However the young man who inquired at the Broad Street one-stop shop if there was an alternative garage he could rent, was bemused at the suggestion the council had vacancies in Wisbech and Chatteris!

Even Councillor Kit Owen, the portfolio holder for housing, could see the humorous side of such an offer.

“It wouldn’t be so bad if there was a night bus service between the towns,” he admitted, with his tongue firmly planted in his cheeks!

HOW ironic that the only councillor to speculate about the editing processes of Fenland Council’s decision to web cam last Thursday’s council meeting, should find himself in hot water over his comments.

Indeed I hear that one member of the public gallery seated in the council chamber was so annoyed by Councillor Jonathan Farmer’s attack on Labour leader Steve Cawthorne, that he is to complain to chief executive Tim Pilsbury.

Jonathan is never far from controversy’s door but a vision of enlightenment he is not.

His hypothetical question that would the tv cameras be switched off, and the film edited, if a councillor collapsed and died from a heart attack in the chamber, left his colleagues with chilling antipathy towards him.

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