Who wants to be a Councillor!!

Three Leaders of Fenland District Council have now resigned in recent years.
Way back in 2009 Cllr Geoff Harper resigned for reasons of ‘over intrusive’ system (The then Standards Committee) – However it was ‘his’ own conservative councillors who made various accusations against him.
The Standards Committee found No case against Cllr Harper and on the 31/12/2009 he resigned.
The whole story can be read Wisbech Standard 2009

A very similar story with Cllr Alan Melton, controversy and arguments + allegations from within his own conservative group.

Quotation from the press release :
A LOCAL council watchdog today cleared Fenland Council Leader Alan Melton of allegedly bringing the authority into disrepute.

They also made it clear they felt councillors should be able express their views freely and unhindered.
The Standard Boards of England -who fast tracked the complaint by chief executive Tim Pilsbury- cleared Cllr Melton of two charges.

The whole story can be read Wisbech Standard 2010

So you may well ask – why Ex Leader Cllr John Clark has also recently resigned – nothing to do with the now defunked ‘Standards Committee’ – but for various other reasons – again within the internal party politics that happen everywhere not only in Fenland.
The trend though is seen as somewhat ‘Toxic’ being the leader of FDC – and I wouldn’t bet that recently elected Cllr Chris Seaton being in overall charge after next May’s elections – especially with Whittlesey Councillor Chris Boden breathing down his neck –
we will wait and see how Cllr Seaton performs in front of his fellow Councillors.

Finally another none Whittlesey Councillor Simon King is in deep, deep water, various articles in the Cambs Times© this week does not put Cllr King in a very good situation.
However the best article was in the sister paper The Wisbech Standard© which goes into great detail, including copies of expense sheets submitted by Cllr King.
The whole story can be read Cllr Kings Expenses Probe – Wisbech Standard

Post script : I have met at various times all the Councillors mentioned in this article.
They have all treated me with the utmost of respect and courtesy.
I was an Independent member of Fenland District Councils Standards Committee before is was abolished. I agree with Cllr Harper to a certain degree, that the system was over cumbersome – however The Standards Committee had some ‘teeth’ where as its replacement The Conducts Committee have None what-so-ever.
Most complaints we received were from other Councillors (Not the public) and in the majority of cases we found that the complaints were politically motivated.

©All pictures Wisbech Standard

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Who !!! – Would wish to be a councillor!

Political comment coming tomorrow – with 3 or more FDC councillors being ‘deselected’ some 16 months before elections – what motivation to serve the public do these councillors have I wonder.
A leader resigning – well nothing new here his two predecessors also resigned under somewhat ‘toxic arguments’

A councillor accused of expenses irregularities – fighting to save himself – with the editor (powerful man) of the Cambs Times calling for his resignation.

A number of Whittlesey councillors already stating they will not be standing for election.
A Whittlesey councillor record on attending meeting is somewhat a disgrace to the electorate…and in many instances can not be bothered to even send his apologies.

Some good may come out of all this – fresh blood – but I doubt very much – more comment tomorrow…


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Reminder II – FOWL Quiz Night

Want a bit of fun with your friends – why not enter The Friends of Whittlesey Library Quiz Night – tickets include a Fish & Chip Supper (Alternative if requested in advance)

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Reminder – Have Your Say –

The session will run from 11am – 1pm on Saturday 24th February at 
Whittlesey Christian Church.
The workshop will include:

  • Presentation from URBED – telling you (hopefully) everything you need to know about Neighbourhood Plans, updating you on what we’ve done so far and giving you the tools you need to start drafting your own policy ideas.
  • Policy Workshop – a round table session where you will work together to develop policies on a particular theme: transport, housing, employment etc. Over the session we’ll ask you to move around to different tables so you get to develop ideas for policies on a range of issues.

Everyone is welcome – we’ll have a table set up with some more creative activities for the smaller members of the Parish so feel free to bring the kids along!

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WTC – Council Meetings Monday 19th February 2018


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Community Protection Team Update

Further to the previous post:-
There have been a few anecdotal posts on Facebook in the last few weeks from a number of Cambridgeshire village sites reporting on people rummaging through residents’ bins. Whilst this could be totally innocent, please remind people to shred any documents containing personal details.

The Community Protection Team are delighted to be involved with Cambridgeshire’s Crime Prevention Day which will take place on Wednesday 21 February and aims to encourage people to take some easy steps towards making their property and vehicles more secure. For 24 hours police will host activities across the county including marking property, educating people on how to protect their belongings and reduce opportunist crime, and selling security products at cost price.
The awareness day, which is the force’s biggest ever crime prevention event, will involve around 8 crime prevention officers, 40 officers, 12 Specials, 80 PCSOS and our police cadets, with those involved split into teams focused on particular crime types.
For your information I have added details about the teams and events from Cambridgeshire Constabulary website to the end of this email.

Action Fraud is warning the public about fraudsters that are using the name of the British Council to trick businesses and individuals into handing over money. 

They have had several reports about fraudsters who are approaching businesses in person and individuals over the phone and tricking them into paying a fine or license.

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, it does not collect council tax fines or issues licenses.
Also from Action Fraud: ‘We’ve got several reports about HMRC phishing emails being sent from an Italian domain that passes through Finland!
Don’t click, this isn’t something @HMRCgovuk would send!’

The good news is HMRC shut down 16k malicious websites last year!

You may be aware that those defrauded using Western Union wire transfers between 2004 and January 2017 have been eligible to claim money back, but the original deadline has passed. According to Halton Trading Standards there is an extension to 31 May 2018. If you are eligible to claim and haven’t there may still be time. Claiming is free so be very wary of anyone who makes contact offering to help with your claim as the scammers have victims’ contact details. Please only go to government sites (sites that end .gov.uk) or the Western Union remission site itself (with no spaces in the URL) to get the most up to date reliable information and never pay to make a claim.

Another one to watch out for; fraudsters are sending out fake Sainsbury’s gift vouchers via email, with 15 reports received by Action Fraud from members of the public in one day. When you consider that only 3 – 5% of scams are reported, this suggests this scam is quite widespread. The email claims that the intended victim was overcharged on a recent visit to the supermarket and offers the gift card as compensation. However, when users click the link to get to the promised gift vouchers, they are led to a website that
could potentially defraud them.
Stay safe everyone (and as always please let me know if you would like to stop receiving these emails). Spring will soon be here.
Kind Regards
Elaine Mountfort
Community Protection Officer
People and Communities Directorate

Telephone: 01954 286006 or 07810153604Email: elaine.mountfort@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

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We can help- Crime Prevention Day 2018

Good Morning, Next week on Wednesday 21st of Feb,  Cambridgeshire Police is going to be holding it’s biggest ever one-day crime prevention day.
For 24 hours we are going to be holding crime prevention events and initiatives across the county.
As part of this we are offering Cambridgeshire residents the chance to have a comprehensive shed-security survey carried out.  Shed breaks are unfortunately very common in Cambridgeshire but thieves can be deterred with some simple and low cost techniques.
If you would like one of our officers to visit you on the 21st to carry out a security survey of your shed you can book your visit here: http://tinyurl.com/shedsurvey Some quick points-

  • The number of available slots are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis
  • You must be available at home during your preferred time slot to take advantage of this

We look forward to helping as many of you as we can on the 21st-  please check in with www.cambs.police.uk for more details on the crime prevention day.

Best Wishes Superintendent James Sutherland


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Some – Good News – Some Not So…

As you may be aware I am very passionate about ‘Rubbish’ – whether it be locally or globally. The momentum on The Great Plastic issues is moving forward – slowly I accept but at least ‘some’ are making an impact.

Plastic straws will be phased out, biodegradable packaging will be used and water will be served in glass bottles.

The Queen is banning the use of single-use plastics across all Royal estates, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.
Measures include the phasing out of plastic straws in public cafes at Royal residences and in staff dining rooms.
Internal catering staff will now only use china plates, glasses and recyclable paper cups as well as biodegradable packaging for takeaway food items.
Read Story on Sky News Here

MPs to make plastics pledge to tackle pollution
Politicians will make a commitment after it emerged more than a million disposable coffee cups were used in Parliament last year.
MPs will pledge to cut their use of single-use plastics in order to lead by example in tackling pollution in the world’s oceans.
Parliamentarians will make a commitment to reduce the use of items such as plastic straws and plastic cutlery in their daily lives.

The problem of plastic pollution will be brought home to MPs by the arrival of Plasticus, the Sky Ocean Rescue whale, outside Parliament.

Made up of a quarter of a ton of plastic, Plasticus represents the amount of plastic that enters the world’s oceans every second.
Read Story on Sky News Here

FACT – Two-thirds of the plastic Britons put in the recycling bin is sent abroad – but some just ends up in landfill or polluting the local environment.
We are sending vast amount overseas and into our own Landfills – one day this will come back to haunt in the not too distance future – certainly the next generation will suffer.

© Pictures and articles Sky News


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Tickets still available

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Have Your Say – Emissions in London

One day for sure the rest of the country will follow – maybe not in the near future but who knows.
Have a 10 minute read –

TfL We are consulting on the next stage of the Mayor, Sadiq Khan’s plan to help tackle London’s toxic air pollution, which contributes to thousands of early deaths in our city each year.

To have your say visit tfl.gov.uk/airquality-consultation From 8 April 2019, the Mayor is introducing the Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London, replacing the T-Charge with an even tighter emission standards for diesel vehicles.
To help further reduce toxic emissions in London, the Mayor is also now proposing to:
Extend these tighter emissions standards to the whole of London for lorries, buses and other heavy goods vehicles only in 2020
Expand the ULEZ for all vehicles including cars, vans, motorbikes and minibuses up to the North and South circular roads by 2021

This consultation ends 28th February 2018

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