A case of mistaken identity, tourism beef, wheelchair delight and the MEP who dislikes wind farms

WE all have our ‘oops’ moments so condolences to the March sign writers whose advertising copy caught your diarist’s eyes.

I might have overlooked ‘many moor’ but surely you must agree ‘we all so do vinyl’ to be altogether too much.

Not that customers bother about these things. Business, I hear, is booming.

THANKYOU Marina Pugh, a sprightly reader of 76, who writes to enclose a photo of her weekend outing.

“Last Sunday was such a lovely day we decided to take our two dogs, Zac and Lizzie to West End Park in March,” she tells me. “They don’t mind walking there but insist on a ride home.


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“Zac has arthritis in his back leg and so has to sot on the foot rest but Lizzie has to go one better and pretend to drive my mobility scooter all the way home.”

HE’S won the battle to get a town crier for March but will Reg Kemp’s voice be heard over his new campaign, to get an improved leisure guide for Fenland?

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Reg tells me popped into a one stop shop recently to trawl through a tourist and accommodation guide for Fenland bereft of any hotel or guest housing listings.

“Whoever heard of a guide without them,” he says.

His critical faculties now at full mettle, Reg then went on to note the absence of the Hippodrome (Wetherspoons) from the eating and drinking section.

He also noted that Elme Hall Hotel, Wisbech, is most definitely not self catering whilst questioning why the only apparent attraction of Chatteris is its museum.

“Sorry to be a party pooper but if we hope to attract visitors to the

Fens we should do better than this,” he says.

“Looks to me like something that’s been compiled by someone who hasn’t done their homework sufficiently and/or doesn’t know the Fens very well.”

As requested I’ve passed on Reg’s comments to the appropriate authorities.

THANKS to Cabinet Day at Wisbech, the county council has certainly put the town back on the map and in a positive light too.

BBC Newsnight is reportedly preparing a major piece on the town but in the meantime the BBC’s Sunday Politics show was out filming Fenland Council Leader Alan Melton in Wisbech this week for a piece for this weekend.

Mariam Issimdar who did the interview said her overall theme is looking at the High Street as “a barometer for the state of the economy” - with the ‘news peg’ being the Budget next week.

Her topics include council nurturing of the High Street, policies the council can or should be adopting, what is holding back the council from doing more and what would be on the council’s ‘wish list’.

ELM Road Primary School, Wisbech, is using a school assembly next week as part of international Downs Syndrome Day.

Teacher says the day will be used to explain the condition and they are also encouraging pupils to take part in a sponsored uniform free day.

“The children are going to dress up in the costume for the job they want to do in future,” says the school.

The school says it is keen to promote the idea that people with Downs Syndrome can lead full lives and undertake most jobs.

COUNCILLOR Peter Murphy, the portfolio holder for Streets Ahead, delivered a report to councillors headed ‘recycling income’ and blamed the economic downturn for recycling dropping by nine per cent last year which is fair enough.

And which is where, arguably, the report might have ended but he insisted on gushing on about the “quality of the recycling collected is very important.

“A programme of targeted education work is planned for the coming year to maintain this quality product and create improved opportunities to maximise income.”

I was about to sneer at Cllr Murphy for such gobbledegook but happily he also reported that 58 fixed penalty tickets for littering, parking or dog fouling had been issued in the past year as part of a Tidy Fenland Campaign.

PROVING there is such a thing as a free lunch, I’m grateful for Fenland Council’s hard working business team for inviting me to a breakfast time explanation of the Chancellor’s Budget.

From 7.45am to 11am and including a breakfast sponsored by a firm of accountants, a panel of experts gathered at Wisbech Boathouse will explain what the Budget might mean for Fenland businesses.

It’s a free event but you’ll need to tell them you’re going and you can do that calling one of the sponsors, NWES, on 0845 60 99 99 1. Budget Day is, course, March 27.

LIKELY to find some friends in these parts is Roger Helmer, the Tory MEP from the Midlands who has just switched allegiances to join UKIP.

“I have strong views about climate and energy,” he said on a visit to St Ives last week. “I don’t think we should be covering the country with wind farms

“And on a whole range of other issues, I’m afraid I disagree with the direction that Cameron’s Conservative Party is going. Indeed, I would say that the Conservative Party today is just another pro-European social democratic party, a bit like the LibDems, a bit like the Labour Party. Whereas the common sense solutions that most Conservative Party members want, on Europe, on energy, on all these issues, actually UKIP is offering the common sense solution.”

ACTION man turned councillor Steve Tierney provides an impressive record of achievement when it comes to rolling up his sleeves and mucking in so well done on his latest outing with the Leverington Street Pride group.

After struggling for a year to find volunteers, he finally got a group together for a communal litter pick across the village’s ditches and fields.

“There was one funny thing that happened,” he records on his blog. “ I was walking down past the Leverington Store picking candy wrappers and crushed cans of ReFuel or some such when a car slowed down and its window opened and a man yelled out: ‘that’s it, pay your dues to society!’

“Clearly he thought I was one of the probation team on Community Payback and did not realise I was a volunteer litter-picker and local councillor.

“Then again, maybe he did know I was a councillor and that was the point he was making!”

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