Fenlanders diary

PUBLISHED: 12:34 15 September 2006 | UPDATED: 22:14 28 May 2010

THE technophobes who kindly look after our websites, were busy last week conducting an on-line poll about Malcolm Moss comments on immigration. You may recall Mr Moss, the MP for North-East Cambridgeshire, suggested that many people in the Fens were clai

THE technophobes who kindly look after our websites, were busy last week conducting an on-line poll about Malcolm Moss' comments on immigration.

You may recall Mr Moss, the MP for North-East Cambridgeshire, suggested that many people in the Fens were claiming that 'enough is enough' when it comes to immigration.

Head technophobe Sam e-mailed yesterday with the results of the poll - a staggering 90 per cent in support of Mr Moss.

Without wishing to invade the sacred world of party politics, many might conclude, however, that once again our wily Member of Parliament has hit the nail on the head when it comes to discerning the mood of the electorate he's served for nigh on 20 years.

YOU really do have to wonder, sometimes, about the extent unscrupulous

people will go to defraud

unsuspecting members of the public.

Take, for example, what happened at Wisbech Sunday Market when a visitor saw a laptop computer on offer.

The would-be purchaser examined it, agreed a price, and waited while the vendor returned it to its case.

"The amount of money was handed over and the carry case was exchanged," a police spokesman tells me.

But here's the scam. When the buyer later checked the case he found the computer had been switched. And in its place? Books and a brick.

"It is believed that this scam has been used before," the police spokesman added.

The offender is described as a white male, 21-40 years of age, 5ft 9in and of medium build.

So, as usual, half the adult male population of Fenland is a suspect.

MODESTY almost prevents me from mentioning the part I played in a council decision. But what the heck - I did my bit.

The result is that charges for anyone wanting copies of planning documents from Fenland District Council are set to tumble.

The council is to bring the cost of any document needed for photocopying, and up to A2 in size, down to just 20p.

Although the new charges are being brought in immediately, they will not apply retrospectively.

"These charges will become immediately applicable as once the authority has determined what is fair and reasonable, it cannot continue to charge the previous charges," says Nigel Brown, the council's open for business manager.

The council says the effects of the ruling by the Information Tribunal will cost it £10,000 in lost fees.

As predicted in these columns, confirmation came in a report to councillors last night and follows complaints from many people, notably local agent Mark Vawser (charged £22.90 for just two copies) and solicitor Graham Dack (who paid £65 for copies of protest letters sent over a proposed fish and chip shop in Wisbech).

Even the Cambs Times wasn't immune - the council recently asked us for £11.45 for a single copy of a planning decision.

COUNCILLORS attending a recent forum with chief executive Tim Pilsbury were invited by one speaker to speculate on a rather interesting question.

"If Fenland Council was an animal, what sort would it be?" inquired one earnest young man testing out some modern management techniques on his captive audience.

Brakespeare will refrain from recounting some of the suggestions, but you, dear readers, should feel no such restriction. Contact me, as ever, on samuelbrakespeare@googlemail.com

A COLLEAGUE visiting Benwick on Tuesday says he was aghast to find the village's only pub, the Five Alls, closed and sealed off and no-one, from the Parish Council chairman downwards, possessing any idea of what is happening.

One villager says the pub has recently changed hands but he had no idea what the new owners proposed doing with it.

This is one investigation Brakespeare will undertake personally - and report back on as soon as possible, if only to assuage his colleague's distress at being deprived of suitable lubrication on his foray into the Fens.

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