Road Closure B1040 East Delph

Monday 12th February 2018

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Whittlesey Town Council Meeting Wednesday 14th Feb

A few items of interest being
(I) Land ownership – I presume this is to do with Kings Dyke Crossing – being discussed under confidential matters so the public are to be excluded.
(II) Syrian Refugees!
Full-Council-Agenda-14th-February-2018-revised

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Update on Kings Dyke Crossing

Below is the ‘press release’ carried out by WTC/CCC.
They ‘seem’ pretty confident to have released this statement –
my comments to follow later.

Ground-breaking Kings Dyke highway work due to start The eagerly anticipated next phase of planning to build the approved new crossing at Kings Dyke on the A605 between Whittlesey and Peterborough will hit the ground next week.

Ground investigations involving bore holes, trial pits and topographical surveys are due to take place week commencing the 19 February 2018.

The existing level crossing has long been a local issue due to downtime of the barriers, and the subsequent delays caused to traffic travelling between Whittlesey and Peterborough. Future plans by the rail industry to increase trains along the route will further increase delays. Cambridgeshire County Council’s Economy and Environment Committee approved plans to replace the congested Kings Dyke level crossing in 2015 to reduce these delays and improve safety.

Kier has been appointed as the contractor to carry out the detailed engineering design of the scheme and is expecting to progress onto construction.
The ground investigations works planned for mid-February will help Kier to finalise the road construction design. The scheme requires significant earthworks, ground stabilisation and a bridge to be constructed over the railway line, which can only be closed for very short periods of time. Therefore the process needs careful design and planning with survey work being carried out on-site in both the existing highway and along the proposed route.

The County Council is also working very closely with current land owners to reach a conclusion on specific land and access requirements, and this should be finalised by the end of February. This will ensure that the contractor can finalise the design in preparation for approval in June 2018.
With negotiations with land owners progressing and agreements nearing completion on the final stages of land deals, it is intended to begin works in late autumn 2018.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor for Whittlesey South Cllr David Connor, Chairman of the Planning Committee said: “Developing major road projects of this kind through land that has prized mineral extraction areas is complex.

“They require planning and land acquisition and as such can pose many challenges for the County Council when programming works. As part of the scheme two tunnels are to be built to allow access for future potential mineral extraction from land nearby. These are large structures and have involved some careful design consideration to ensure suitable access is given without compromising the agreed planning requirements for the scheme.
“We are now through the most challenging stages involving land and engineering requirements and are well placed for the scheme to commence works in autumn 2018.”

The route chosen for the new single carriageway road bypasses the existing level crossing to the south. It will involve the creation of two new roundabouts at Funthams Lane and the brickworks access road.
The scheme has wide local support with residents as well as a number of local businesses and Whittlesey Town Council, and sits within the Cambridge and Peterborough’s Combined Authority approved list of schemes to be completed. 

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Cllr Chris Seaton elected as FDCs New Leader

One of the favourites predicted has won the contest to become leader of the Fenland District Council.

 

©FDC

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Action Fraud Alert – Flight Ticket Fraud

Flight Ticket Fraud

Fraudsters are attempting to entice victims who are looking for cheap flights abroad. Victims have reported booking tickets via websites or a “popular” ticket broker, only to discover that after payment via bank transfer or electronic wire transfer, the tickets/booking references received are counterfeit. In some cases, all communications between the company or broker and the victim have been severed. Fraudsters are targeting individuals who are seeking to travel to African nations and the Middle East, particularly those wishing to travel in time for popular public and religious holidays. Prevention Advice:

  • Pay safe: Be cautious if you’re asked to pay directly into a private individual’s bank account. Paying by direct bank transfer is like paying by cash – the money is very difficult to trace and is not refundable. Wherever possible, pay by credit card or a debit card.
  • Conduct research on any company you’re considering purchasing tickets from; for example, are there any negative reviews or forum posts by previous customers online? Don’t just rely on one review – do a thorough online search to check the company’s credentials.
  • Check any company website thoroughly; does it look professional? Are there any spelling mistakes or irregularities? There should be a valid landline phone number and a full postal address so that the company can be contacted. Avoid using the site if there is only a PO Box address and mobile phone number, as it could be difficult to get in touch after you buy tickets. PO Box addresses and mobile phone numbers are easy to change and difficult to trace.
  • Be aware that purchasing tickets from a third party, particularly when initial contact has been made via a social media platform can be incredibly risky.
  • If tickets to your intended destination appear cheaper than any other vendor, always consider this; if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Look for the logo: Check whether the company is a member of a recognised trade body such as ABTA or ATOL. You can verify membership of ABTA online, at www.abta.com.
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

 

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Carrying On and On…Coffee Cups

Carrying on I could write articles daily, but I dare say some would not find it interesting –
I repeat what MP Steve Barclay told me about imposing taxes on waste such as bags, bottles, cans etc – ‘There would be a cost to the government and taxpayer’
You are wrong Mr Barclay – as I have published before – the exchequer made £17m in VAT the first year the 5p plastic bag tax was introduced.

MPs call for 25p ‘latte levy’ on coffee cups: Committee says charge could raise £438m and reduce use of the throwaway mugs by 30%
Throwaway coffee cups should face a 25p ‘latte levy’, MPs said last night.
A cross-party committee called for urgent action to curb the mountain of up to five billion disposable coffee cups dumped each year, almost none of which are recycled.

Experts estimated the levy could raise £438million and lead to a 30 per cent reduction in the number of cups as more people carry their own.
Picture ™© Daily Mail

The Commons environmental audit committee said the industry should be given five years to make the cups easy to recycle or face an outright ban.
Government sources said ministers were ‘open’ to the idea of a coffee cup charge if evidence shows it would change behaviour.

So MP Steve Barclay – £17m for Plastic Bags and a possible £438m from Coffee cups is :
‘A cost to the government’  – I don’t think so and am rather amazed that with the amount of money quoted that the Chancellor has not put it in his budget.

Will it affect me – No – I object to paying £3/£4/£5 for a designer latte from where-ever…
Have I been in a Starbucks/Costa™ – Guilty as charged about 3 times in my life and can not remember the last time – At least I am honest and come clean…

Read more: Click Here – Read Article on Daily Mail

 

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The Great ‘Plastic’ Battle Continues – with some Success.

I’ve looked in our Fridge and Guilty/Guilty/Guilty – the amount of plastics is amazing and where does it go….Not to China anymore – they gave the UK government 18 months notice that they were stopping importing 500,000 tons of our Plastic Rubbish, the government did little and are now headless in what to do – other than send it to other third world countries in exchange for foreign aid – Yes I am stupid to even think that way – and I am not sorry.
I’ve been campaigning for nearly 20 years to have a ‘Tax’ placed on Plastic Bottles/Glass +
Polystyrene – and at long last there are some positive vibes… but still our ‘headless government’ will not legislate – here is some of the better news…

Asda is to ditch single-use carrier bags in its stores by the end of the year in an effort to scale back on plastic. The supermarket has also pledged to reduce the amount of plastic in its own brand products by 10 per cent over the next 12 months.

Unveiling a raft of measures, Asda’s CEO Roger Burnley said: “We will phase out single-use carrier bags during 2018 in favour of Bags for Life.” He added that Asda will continue to donate profits from these sturdier, reusable, bags to good causes.
No more plastic straws.

Other changes include getting rid of the polystyrene boards used to protect pizza bases in favour of cardboard, which Asda says will eliminate 178 tonnes of plastic each year; and switching the 2.4m plastic straws used in its cafes annually to paper.
The chain also said that replacing its coloured drinks bottles with clear plastic will lead to 500 tonnes more plastic being recycled every year. Supermarkets race to go green.
Morrisons has taken similar steps in terms of plastic reduction, though has not gone as far as Asda.
Last September the retailer began trialling the removal of single-use 5p carrier bags from six of its stores. It has also vowed to scrap plastic drinking straws, replacing them with paper straws this year, and has started to phase out plastic-stem cotton buds, offering paper-stem cotton buds instead. Tesco stopped selling single-use carrier bags in its stores last August. Shoppers who do not bring their own bag with them can purchase a Bag for Life for 10p.
Waitrose still sells single-use plastic bags, though proceeds are used to help fund beach and river cleans organised by the Marine Conservation Society.
The company recently announced it would stop selling any own label food in black plastic by the end of 2019, the earliest date any UK supermarket has committed to removing this plastic from its shelves. Currently, a great deal of black plastic used by supermarkets to package products such as ready meals and puddings cannot be recycled as lasers used by waste processors are unable to sense the colour effectively.
Waitrose already sells only paper-stem cotton buds as opposed to plastic-stemmed ones, and has said it will stop selling packs of disposable plastic straws from September this year.
So are you asking me – what am I doing about it – well for a start I/we will reduce every month one plastic item we normally buy – be it milk, fruit juice or water – it’s a start and if ‘everyone’ were to reduce by one item a month – the message would get through to the retailers/supermarkets and packaging companies.

I am very proud to have collected and removed more than 5 tons of Rubbish/Plastics/Paper/Polystyrene from our streets in the past 10 years.

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Whittlesey Neighbourhood Plan – YOUR SAY

Here is another opportunity for ALL residents to have a say and input into The Whittlesey Neighbourhood Plan.

As you may already know the community is in the process of producing a Neighbourhood Plan for the Parish of Whittlesey. The community have already been involved in finding out the key issues affecting the Parish through a questionnaire as well as developing a vision and set of objectives for the plan at our last event in October 2017. We’re now at an exciting stage – developing ideas for draft policies to go into the Neighbourhood Plan. We’d love you to get involved in this by attending our workshop – no experience required!
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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Who will be the next ‘Leader’ of Fenland District Council

Your educated guess is as good as mine – one thing is for certain it won’t be any of the Councillors who have been ‘de-selected’ in standing at next years District Elections.
There appears to be (2) favourites in the running – our own Whittlesey County, District and Town Councillor Mr Chris Boden – whether he has time to spare I don’t know as he has many other ‘Hats’ to wear and to take on this very time consuming role I don’t think there are enough hours in the day – something has to give – should he be successful.

Then there is the other front runner Councillor Chris Seaton who has been a Fenland Councillor since 2007 and has a wealth of experience behind him and is a cabinet member.
Then again there could be a outsider who decides to have a go….Cllr Steve Tierney once mentioned has said he will not be a candidate..

Maybe with the ‘recent’ ‘purge’ of FDC Conservative Councillors being ‘de-selected’ and that’s (3 if not 4) maybe the ‘old school’ has had its day and Conservatives are looking for a fresher face to fill this important position.

Maybe ‘if’ ex FDC Cllr Martin Curtis was still there – he would have made a stand – still maybe (I don’t do rumours) Martin Curtis will return as a candidate at next  years District elections – watch this space.

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Phantom Debt Fraud Alert – February 2018

Apologies for a longish post – but worth 5 minutes

Phantom Debt Fraud    
Action Fraud has recently experienced an increase in the number of calls to members of the public by fraudsters requesting payments for a “phantom” debt. The fraud involves being cold-called by someone purporting to be a debt collector, bailiff or other type of enforcement agent.
The fraudster may claim to be working under instruction of a court, business or other body and suggest they are recovering funds for a non-existent debt.

The fraudsters are requesting payment, sometimes by bank transfer and if refused, they threaten to visit homes or workplaces in order to recover the supposed debt that is owed. In some cases, the victim is also threatened with arrest. From the reports Action Fraud has received, this type of fraud is presently occurring throughout the UK.

It is important to recognise that there are key differences between the various entities who seek to settle debts or outstanding fees in England and Wales. These differences range from the type of debt they will enforce to the legal powers they possess. To learn more, please take a look at some of the helpful information and links on the Step Change Debt Charity website;

Protect Yourself
  • Make vigorous checks if you ever get a cold call. Bailiffs for example, should always be able to provide you with a case number and warrant number, along with their name and the court they are calling from; make a note of all details provided to you.
  • If you receive a visit from a bailiff, they must always identify themselves as a Court Bailiff at the earliest possible opportunity. Ask to see their identity card which they must carry to prove who they are, this card shows their photograph and identity number. They will also carry the physical warrant showing the debt and endorsed with a court seal.
  • If you work for a business and receive a call or visit, be sure to speak with your manager or business owner first. Never pay the debts yourself on behalf of the business you work for; some fraudsters have suggested employees make payment suggesting they can then be reimbursed by their employer when in reality the debt is non-existent.
  • Exercise caution believing someone is genuine because you’ve found something on the internet; fraudsters could easily create fake online profiles to make you believe them.
  • Double check with the court, company or public body they claim to work for to confirm whether the call is legitimate; if you use a landline make sure you hear the dialling tone prior to dialling as the caller could still be on the line and you could potentially speak to the fraudster(s) to confirm the non-existent debt. Also be sure to independently search for a telephone number to call; never use a number provided by the caller without carrying out your own research.
  • Do not feel rushed or intimidated to make a decision based on a phone call. Take five and listen to your instincts.
  • If you know you have a debt, keep in regular contact with your creditor and be sure to establish the debt type at the earliest opportunity if you are not aware. This will help you to understand who might be in contact with you regarding any repayments or arrears.
You can report suspicious calls like these to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfaud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
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