Tunley quits committee, standards committee tidies up, and God’s mysterious ways

HE will, of course, consider it a major event but in truth the resignation of Councillor Peter Tunley from a Fenland Council committee has caused not so much as a ripple.

Quite why Peter got so stroppy and emailed his resignation from the overview and scrutiny policy panel to his leader Alan Melton is not known. However Brakespeare suspects where the committee wanted to head off in one direction, Peter wanted it to go off in another direction.

The officers at Fenland Hall will probably be happy with the news- Peter after all was once part of the district council management team and those he once knew as colleagues maybe a little happier now they will see even less of him.

PEACE is a relative term and I’m reluctant to use it in the context of a harmonious accord among Fenland councillors but recent events suggest the term might be reasonably applied.

New leader Alan Melton has pretty much got the Tory group working as one, and this week, I hear, the standards committee did a successful ‘tidying up’ operation dismissing three outstanding allegations against a trio of senior members.

With the charge of disrepute against former March mayor Councillor John West having somehow disappeared into the ether, it looks like we have, and remarkably so, a period with no outstanding complaints against any councillor.

The perfect conditions, one suspects, for the axe to fall on the entire and discredited standards regime.

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NO news, thus far, of the planning battles by Manea parish councillor Pop Jolley over his quest to remove an agricultural usage restriction on his palatial Poppyfields spread.

The applications have been lodged for sometime and the ex deputy leader of Fenland Council will be eagerly anticipating the ongoing deliberations within Fenland Hall.

But wait he must- as indeed do we for the decisions.

A FEW minutes spent chatting to former Wisbech mayor and Fenland Cabinet member Ann Carlisle is always a delight and it is hardly a surprise that among the topics we discussed this week was that of tourism.

With Fenland Council putting the issue back into the spotlight (with its claim of a reported two million visitors a year to the district) it seemed a natural issue to discuss.

Ann, you may recall, was the only councillor once to have a specific brief for tourism and a more enthusiastic champion you are unlikely to find.

We discussed her frustrations at persuading colleagues to see the full potential of tourism, especially for Wisbech, and discussed if enough was being done to promote it.

Diplomatic, as ever, Ann declined to offer a specific view but I’m confident that no confidences are being broken with my assessment that she probably found too many avenues to success blocked.

I do remember her also overseeing a report into the state of Fenland’s public conveniences but it didn’t seem, so to speak, a convenient moment to pursue her on that still unresolved issue.

DELIGHTFUL conversation abounded this week, including a call from Elizabeth Vawser of March offering her suggestion for any would be entrepreneur to enliven the local tourism scene.

Elizabeth, who ran a guest house for 25 years, believes a water bus would be just the ticket to impress and to attract visitors.

“I have asked several people about this and they all think it would be a good idea,” she tells me

“You can do all sorts of things on a boat. Someone could play the guitar and you could have a good old sing song or a picnic. “It would be ideal for people of all ages and if other towns can have one, then why not March?”

You never know who reads this column, Elizabeth, so let’s wait and see.

LYNNE Quibell writes to remind me that not everyone was happy with the near 700 crowd that turned up to christen the new Wisbech Town FC stadium.

“The car park was not finished and there were cars parked on either side of the road, mostly on the grass verge and partly on the road,” she writes.

She called the police twice to raise issues of obstruction “and although they came I have no idea what was said or done as they made no contact with me”.

Lynne is concerned that emergency services could be impeded along the Lynn Road on match days and wonders if speed restrictions might be an answer.

“I don’t know what else to suggest- however I shall to continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed,” she adds.

Far be it for me to add fuel to the fire but colleagues attending the match bumped into at least one friendly police face they knew- who had parked his car on the verge!

A COLLEAGUE anxious to speak to someone about the car wash at Sisco garage in Wimblington where enforcement action is being considered thought it a splendid idea to ring the owner’s agent.

“I’ve just got up and haven’t really caught up with things,” said the agent.

“I’m working here in Mexico at the moment.”

Having once rung the then press officer of Fenland Council only to discover he was holding a lunchtime party beside an Italian swimming pool, I know the feeling of helplessness only too well.

AFTER the struggle to secure planning consent and the even tougher fight to keep rival operators at bay, Fenland’s new crematorium has opened for business.

The crematorium, off the A141 at March, opened quietly last week and will join the stable of 30 others operated by Dignity whose helpful website includes a helpful guide to funeral etiquette.

Developers Mercia who built it say an official opening is likely later.

MYSTERIOUS indeed are the ways of the Lord for how else to explain a phone call from the Bishop of Ely’s press officer inquiring about our print deadlines.

Apparently a major announcement is imminent but he offered no clue as to its substance or relevance other than to pass on the clue that its contents will be “significant”.

MY thanks to Susanah Farmer of Wisbech for sending me the absorbing notice of a book being sold by Amazon for the quite reasonable price of �23.74.

“Do they know something about the cold store we don’t?” she asks.

Given the innocuous title “The History of Wisbech and the Fens by N Walker and T Craddock” and given the illustrated cover I can see from where she’s coming!

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