Let's hear it for the council
PUBLISHED: 15:36 09 November 2007 | UPDATED: 23:08 28 May 2010
IT S easy to escape into nostalgia for an imagined golden age, when six local councils ran what is now Fenland, when March Council had real powers — but neither mayor nor Toytown robes — and when fen farmers planted wheat rather than windmills to harvest
IT'S easy to escape into nostalgia for an imagined golden age, when six local councils ran what is now Fenland, when March Council had real powers - but neither mayor nor Toytown robes - and when fen farmers planted wheat rather than windmills to harvest their subsidies.
But a mistake, I think, to dismiss or denigrate the many recent achievements of Fenland Council as Trevor Watson seems to do.
For example, when the Audit Commission finds it to be the most improved council in the country, the benefits are for the people of Fenland. A satisfaction rating of 98 per cent for the council's call centre is one that most commercial companies would die for.
Many of the recent successes are the direct result of the huge changes in the way Fenland Council has been organised and managed over the past few years. These changes didn't just happen. They were the result of a working alliance between political leaders and capable administrators.
They continue to benefit everyone. To trumpet these achievements is neither 'political spin' nor an insult to those who went before, for it is on their foundations that today's achievements are built.
On those monstrous, loss-making eyesores, Trevor Watson knows that Fenland has been powerless so far to prevent those that have appeared. A planning refusal would have led to an appeal, which the Government would have allowed.
My hope is that a way will soon be found to say 'enough, we've done our bit'.
Ending the despoliation of our unique landscape would be another achievement of which Fenland could be justly proud.