Baffled, bewildered, beguiled by press officers, councillors, speed cameras and Las Vegas- that’s Brakespeare’s week for you

THE merits or otherwise of businessman Viv Salisbury’s complaint against Cambs police need not trouble us but I did note that the Chief constable has apologised – for the lack of a stamp.

“Finally I would like to apologise unreservedly for the administrative error that resulted in you being sent a letter from the constabulary without a postage stamp,” wrote Simon Parr in a letter to the former nightclub owner from Chatteris.

CONGRATULATIONS to Stewart White of BBC Look East not just for his longevity (blimey did you see him on the box from 25 years ago when they reviewed the Great Storms of 1987) but for winning an award.

Stewart has won the Nick Clarke Award 2012, which was created in honour of the former presenter of BBC Radio 4’s The World At One who died in November 2006.

Judges said Stewart’s interview with Lord Hanningfield following the peer’s release from prison after being jailed for an expenses fraud “expressed public feeling well but remained duly polite and respectful”.

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That Mr White had cause for celebration is good but impressive too was a runner-up accolade to Paul Stainton of BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

When you consider Eddie Mair of BBC Radio 4, Dermot Murnaghan of Sky News and John Wilson, also of Radio 4, were the other runners-up it was a commendable achievement indeed for Mr Stainton, the beast of breakfast in Cambs.

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MUCH merriment at a county council meeting this week when Opposition councillor Ian Manning suggested during a debate on Olympic legacy that given recent events in Fenland, Councillor Alan Melton could take part in a sack race.


ON Friday, former town mayor Councillor Peter Murphy, a Cabinet member of Fenland District Council, was enjoying a quiet drink in the Conservative Club at Chatteris.

Quizzed about ‘supermarket-gate’ he politely told a window cleaner club member he had no intention of being removed from the council’s planning committee. His leader, he insisted, had no right to do so.

On Monday, Fenland committee clerk Elaine Cooper e-mailed members of the planning committee reminding them to turn up for a meeting two days later.

All except, of course, Cllr Murphy and three others whose services were no longer needed.

SUPERMARKET and garage boss Jonathan James has been enjoying the bright lights of Las Vegas, attending a trade show but also getting up to mischief on Twitter.

“At Vegas trade show one of the salesmen introduced himself,” tweeted Jonathan. “’Hi I’m Randy’ My reply? ‘Shouldn’t you buy me a drink first.’?”

As Jonathan noted “it wasn’t what he expected.”

That’s the trouble with you jet-setters Jonathan, the British sense of humour doesn’t always travel as well!

(Jonathan James)

INDEPENDENT councillor for Manea, Mark Archer, can expect a rap on the knuckles sooner rather than later, I suspect, for insisting that Fenland District Council should, in future, be known as Fenland’s Dysfunctional Council. “It’s still FDC,” announced the wag.

SEEMINGLY, not all Conservative councillors were enamoured of their leader during the recent party conference season.

County councillor Steve Tierney, from Wisbech, gathered up a gaggle of fellow Tories for the shortish trip to Birmingham and, from all accounts, had a splendid time in the bars, restaurants, conference halls and on the cocktail circuit.

Of his leader he tweeted that “I despair of David Cameron. I respect him as the leader of my party but he really needs to urgently get out and talk to some real people.” Brakespeare remains suitable bewildered.

TALK of speed cameras on a community website prompted an interjection from Teilo Pearce, a police officer who lives in Cambridgeshire but who works across the border.

Teilo dismisses fears one contributor has about a speed camera in the Fens which, he believes, “won’t have film in it all of the time but it is enough to get people to think seriously about their speed on that stretch, so it serves its intended purposes”.

As the exchange of views continued, Teilo stood fast to his belief that cameras do not always have film in them.

“Without wanting to sound too geekish, there will be periods where that camera will not have film in. The camera in Heacham, for those that go to the North Norfolk coast, has not caught a single speeding motorist in two years ... although you wouldn’t want to take that risk.”

Wimblington businesswoman Amanda Carlin added to the conversation, recalling how she had sped away from a car getting too close to her on the A10 in the early hours – only to discover when it flashed and ordered her to stop that it was an unmarked police car.

She was breathalysed (negative) “but comically I was told by the police I had the tidiest car they had ever seen for its age. Quite a compliment and I naturally stated that was all my husband’s work”.

(Heacham speed camera: IB_05_Speed_Camera_2004)

MY chum Geoff Griggs from Soham tells me that he and his good lady had an enjoyable night out recently at Littleport Royal British Legion club.

“Good company, an excellent group and club prices, what more could we ask for!” he tells Brakespeare.

“We would have known we were in Littleport if we had been taken there blindfolded when it came to the charity draw. A chap on the next table to us had his number called out and duly went to select his prize.

“He came back, as pleased as punch, with the 2013 tractor calendar.

“There was no doubt where we were.”

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