Brakespeare’s Diary: Much ado about the police commissioner, food at Newmarket, Magpas advertising censured, and planning gobbledegook

A COLLEAGUE’S ‘strewth’ echoed across the room and so I leant across to discover he was reading this prime piece of gobbledegook from a design statement for a new housing estate.

“The proposed use for this site is residential which fits into the surrounding land use and is the logical addition to this residential area of Guyhirn,” trumpeted the architects.

“The addition of these new dwellings in this location will enhance the sense of community in this area by introducing both new families and existing village families who would have the opportunity to be part of the

community, further enhancing community cohesion.”

Alternative expletives are available!

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SOME days the camera lies, other days it simply basks in the reflective glory of those it captures.

My thanks to the photographer (not one of ours) who kindly submitted photos from Gorefield primary school and included this most elegant of poses from their visitor Councillor Jonathan Farmer of Fenland District and Wisbech Town councils.

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PHIL Rodgers, who describes himself on Twitter as “Cambridge data blogger; software developer interested in analysis, visualisation and UX” provides a useful pointer to the forthcoming election for a Cambridgeshire police commissioner.

Mr Rodgers has analysed most recent election results and pin pointed voting trends, suggesting a fascinating battle ahead.


MEANWHILE UKIP county councillor Peter Reeve tweets to say “first action of new Conservative police commissioner candidate for Cambridgeshire after being adopted in sham hustings is to go on holiday.” Clearly not a supporter of Sir Graham Bright!

Things can only get better……or dirtier.

ANOTHER source sends me an article from the unofficial Conservative Home website of three years ago in which Sir Graham’s suitability for a peerage was being discussed.

“He never impressed Margaret Thatcher and, although steady enough in his constituency work, was never a force in the House of Commons,” wrote one political observer.

“He did not make one memorable speech there in 18 years nor was he known for his ability to examine legislation going through the House. He, in fact, rose by ingratiating himself with John Major.

“He has been fully rewarded for his work for the party by his knighthood. It would be unkind to promote him still further and give openings to the Labour party that a Cameron-led government would come to regret.”

As I have noted before this is the campaign that keeps on giving.

ELSEWHERE the Lib Dems have selected – or sort of self selected- Rupert Moss-Eccardt as their candidate even though no one else applied.

Mr Moss-Eccardt, 47, of Queen Adelaide near Ely rang to tell me at the weekend that other candidates may have been put off “when they heard I’d put my hat in the ring. They probably thought they couldn’t do better”.

He said his party still thought the police commissioner role was wrong but the Lib Dems in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough felt that it would be equally wrong not to give their members an opportunity to support a party candidate.

Asked if he felt it was inevitable Conservative candidate Sir Graham Bright would win he said that “in the scheme of things and the way money works he has a good head start. Cambridgeshire is definitely very Conservative”.

Mr Moss-Eccardt said those voting for him would be supporting “an energetic and committed person with a reputation for getting things done”. He also used to do “policing stuff” having worked for a Home Office programme that trained police both in this country and abroad.

So there you have it. For now.

I LOVE the idea of ‘back to church Sunday’ which is coming to a church near you on Sunday September 30.

In March the Rev Jenny Webb tells me the idea is to welcome back people “who for various reasons may not have attended for a while.”

Her churches of St Peter’s and St Mary’s have various services and in addition she’s hoping for those who were married or baptised at either to attend.

I have to confess the Anglicans have got better at welcoming back returning sinners. Years ago one might have gotten blank stares and odd looks but happily Jenny is confident those days are past.

OF all the complaints in all the world you might consider being a bit futile and petty the intervention of the Advertising Standards Authority into Magpas takes some sort of biscuit.

The authority has forced Magpas to drop some of its advertising after upholding a complaint made by fellow charity the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

The EAAA had complained about two banner advertisements in which Magpas made the claims “saving lives day and night”, “your day-time air ambulance” and “your night-time air ambulance service”.

Challenges were also made about claims on the Magpas website, which said: “Magpas Helimedix – Saving lives... Anyone, anywhere, anytime!” and “By helicopter we can get to virtually anywhere in the East of England within 30 minutes!”

Magpas said that when the advertisements appeared in February, it was able to use Cambridgeshire Police’s helicopter to provide a night-time air ambulance service between 1am and 7am, and outside those times it used land vehicles to respond to emergencies.

It provided data to show it had attended incidents in the locations referred to on a map on its website.

The ASA upheld three complaints about misleading advertising, saying that the helicopter had only been available for 63.7 per cent of shifts between January and September in 2011, and that other data provided did not substantiate its claims that a member of the team could be with patients, in the vast majority of areas within the East of England, within 30 minutes.

Antonia Brickell, from Magpas says that “nothing has ever been done to ever intentionally mislead the public and we are proud of being a very open and honest charity.”

The Cambridgeshire Police helicopter was withdrawn from service in April and since then Magpas has leased its own helicopter, but this is limited to flying during the day. It still continues to operate at night using land vehicles.

LAST year there were 19 employees of Fenland Council earning in excess of �50,000 a year compared to 28 earning that amount in the previous years.

Just passing on the information you like to hear.

In 2010/11 there were 33 compulsory redundancies at the council and seven agreed departures which cost the authority �800,000. In 2011/12 there were 38 departures and these cost a more modest �387,000.

FROM the coastline of the Norfolk Squash to Constable country’s sweet Corn-ard - this is East Anglia as you’ve never seen it before.

More than 4,000 vegetables, including 20kg of sprouts and four boxes of kale, were laid out as a map of the region to mark the Harvest Festival.

Built on the Rowley Mile Racecourse, Newmarket, by 23 members of the Newmarket College Photography Club, it took two hours for 4m x 4m map to come into fruition.

Adrian Simpson, sales and marketing director at Newmarket Racecourses, said the event was a “celebration of food grown in the local area.”

He added that as part of the Harvest Festival, which takes place during the Cambridgeshire Meeting on Thursday 27, Friday 28 and Saturday September 29, children are being encouraged to bring more fruit and vegetables to be blessed by Rev Graham Locking.

All food will then be donated to the Newmarket Day Care Centre.

For further information or to book tickets call 0844 579 3010 or visit

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