Alan Melton praises Fenland’s binmen and street cleaning team in his final meeting before standing down

Cllr Alan Melton covering a shift as a refuse collector in 2010, when he was leader of the council.

Cllr Alan Melton covering a shift as a refuse collector in 2010, when he was leader of the council. - Credit: Archant

Former Fenland District Council leader Alan Melton heaped praise on the area’s binmen and street cleaners as he said farewell to the council chamber after 34 years.

Cllr Alan Melton covering a shift as a refuse collector in 2010, when he was leader of the council.

Cllr Alan Melton covering a shift as a refuse collector in 2010, when he was leader of the council. - Credit: Archant

Thursday’s meeting of the council was the last one for a number of councillors, including Cllr Melton, who are not seeking re-election in May.

Cllr Melton took the opportunity to thank the officers and councillors he has worked with over the last three decades, but he paid a special tribute to the refuse collection and street cleaning teams.

During his second spell as leader, Cllr Melton and former chief executive Sandra Claxton spent a day emptying wheelie bins.

He said: “People like us, and me, are sometimes accused of being on an ego trip (as if I would!) and that we seek publicity (as if I would!).


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“This morning, just before the rain came down, I was as usual out on my bike. There were four crews out there emptying the dustbins and I want to say that we owe them such a debt.

“It doesn’t matter what we do in here (the council chamber), those guys and girls are out there in all weathers. Our bins are superbly emptied on time. Our streets are always clean, our gardens have never looked better. This is what matters to the people of Fenland.

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“My thanks and my appreciation goes to those people out in the field, serving Fenland in such a superb way.”

Cllr Melton’s comments were backed up by Councillor Peter Murphy, portfolio holder for the environment, who said: “I want to thank Alan Melton for what he said.

“I also want to take my hat off to the binmen as they do an excellent job. We empty more than three million bins a year – that’s 75,000 a week.”

Council leader John Clark paid tribute to all the councillors who are not standing in May’s election.

He said: “On behalf of the council I would like to extend my sincere thanks to those who are stepping down, and for the commitment they have shown to the people of their wards and the people of Fenland. We wish you the very best.

“It would be amiss of me to thank Alan Melton in my thanks. Alan has been very supportive of me since I became a councillor eight years ago – he was responsible for sending me on a leaders’ course and has given a lot of help in my final year as leader.

“Thirty-four years as a councillor – that speaks for itself.”

Last Thursday’s meeting was also the last one to be chaired by Councillor Ken Mayor, who is also not seeking re-election.

Cllr Mayor said: “I have enjoyed it enormously, my 16 years as a member of the council.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank my wife Kay (also a councillor) for her unfaltering support, the member services team, Sharon Smith as the chairman’s secretary and Carol Cox for her support as vice-chairman.”

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