Leader says Community House, Wisbech, could yet be saved - but not before he faces criticism over timing of consultation

Estover Day at Fenland Hall where Fenland Council debate Local Plan

Estover Day at Fenland Hall where Fenland Council debate Local Plan - Credit: Archant

Community House, Wisbech – an advice and support centre- could yet be saved says the leader of Fenland Council.

The Southwell Road house, owned by Roddons Housing and run by Fenland Council, was put under review in September.

Council leader John Clark said he had spoken to chief executive Paul Medd before last Thursday’s meeting “and I although I can’t say too much about it, the signs are encouraging.

“Perhaps we have found a way forward – although it is too soon to confirm that.”

He was responding to criticism by ward councillors Michael and Virginia Bucknor who complained that a review was ordered in September whilst they were away on holiday.

Cllr Mrs Bucknor said the leader must have known about the consultation prior to a 2020 Vision meeting “and as ward councillors we are most definitely affected. In the spirit of openness and transparency why didn’t you or a cabinet member discuss it with us?”

Cllr Mr Bucknor said it should be “in the DNA of the council” to discuss any major proposed changes with ward councillors.

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Cllr Clark retorted that the couple “went away for a whole month leaving the Waterlees ward with no consultation”.

The leader insisted no decision about Community House had been made although he had visited and was “quite surprised” by the opening hours and “how short they are”.

Cllr Mrs Bucknor said that whilst on holiday she and her husband had dealt with 200 emails, remained “perfectly accessible” and still tackled numerous ward issues.

“Yes we went on holiday – we were so blinking tired because of the work we do,” she said.

She told Cllr Clark: “I found your comments offensive about not reaching me. You certainly had every opportunity to do so and you choose not to.”

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