FENLAND: Flag protesters persuade council to withdraw

FLAG PROTESTERS PERSUADE COUNCIL TO WITHDRAW WISBECH: A bid by Fenland District Council to fly two green flags to celebrate successful management of the town s open spaces and parks has been quietly dropped. Both Wisbech Town Council and amenity gr


WISBECH: A bid by Fenland District Council to fly two green flags to celebrate successful management of the town's open spaces and parks has been quietly dropped.

Both Wisbech Town Council and amenity group Wisbech Society lodged objections which prompted Fenland Council to withdraw two applications before its own planning committee could consider them.

The polyester flags would have been placed on six metre high poles in Wisbech Park and in the grounds of St Peter's and St Paul's Church, but town councillors thought both positions were "inappropriate".

Wisbech Society went further, accusing the district council of possibly damaging the surface of a burial ground at the church and obscuring the view "of an important Grade I listed building".


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WHITTLESEY: Objectors who fought the conversion of a guest house to a children's home have had their protests dismissed by Fenland planners.

The district council's planning committee agreed with their officers to allow Albany House, 7 West End, Whittlesey, to be used to provide a home for up to six children.

The care home owner, Preshani Ragoonanan, assured the councillors that it would be regulated by Ofsted, house a minimum of two and a maximum of six children aged up to 18, be staffed properly, and the youngsters would attend local schools.

She said the "client group" had both medical and welfare problems, but said the youngsters living there would not be acutely ill as this would require a hospital setting.

Alison Callaby, planning officer, pointed out to councillors that the house had previously had "a varied planning history" and although the council needed to monitor parking and access, its proposed new use was acceptable.


CHATTERIS: Police have released a description of a youth who is suspected of vandalising a fence in the town.

The incident happened between 7pm and 7.45pm on Sunday, April 6, at the property in Westbourne Road, which backs onto Westbourne Park.

A group of youths were seen drinking in the park when one of them approached the fence and began hitting it with a plank of wood.

The owner challenged the youth, who verbally abused him before making off.

He is described as white and wearing a grey hooded top with dark and light stripes and grey trousers.

Anyone with information should contact PC Stu Wright at March Police Station on 0845 456 4564, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.


WISBECH ST MARY: A parish council has lost its battle to stop the development of land in the village for a transit site for travellers.

Fenland District Council Planning Committee agreed to allow nine hard standings at Lodge Farm, Bevis Lane, Wisbech St Mary, to house nine hard standings which can be used for travellers.

Wisbech St Mary Parish Council had "strongly objected" to the proposals, the committee was told, as they felt there were already too many sites in or near the vicinity. The parish council also claimed this expansion would impact on local services.

However district councillors felt site management by the owner Nelson Smith was acceptable and were satisfied it would well cared for.

"Disputes or disagreements will also be dealt with by the applicant," officers reported.


WISBECH: The mother of a soldier is planning to raise funds for the Royal Anglian Afghanistan Memorial Fund from the proceeds of her 50th birthday party.

June Dowd, whose son Simon served with the 1st battalion in Helmand province last summer, is holding a party in Wisbech on May 4, the day before her birthday.

She said: "What I am planning to do is hold a party for about 100 people. I don't want people to bring presents: instead I am asking them to make donations to the Royal Anglian Afghanistan Memorial Fund."

Pte Simon Dowd, 29, had served with the Royal Anglians in Iraq in 2005 and Afghanistan in 2007 but has now left the regiment. During the Helmand tour, after being injured and put on light duties, he had a role driving actor Ross Kemp while he was making a five-part TV series about the Royal Anglians in Afghanistan.

Mrs Dowd added: "My ex-husband was in the Royal Anglians and Simon was in 1 Royal Anglian, so the battalion is close to my heart."

The fund, which originally had a target of £100,000, has now raised around £300,000 and will help build a memorial - to be sited at Duxford - to those killed in the conflict as well as helping rehabilitate casualties.


WHITTLESEY: The front window of a business premises in Whittlesey was smashed by a drunken vandal.

Police are appealing for information about the incident which happened in Market Street at about 10.50pm on Saturday, April 5.

Three men, all believed to be drunk, were seen walking along the road when two began fighting.

They were dragged apart by the third but then one kicked out at the window on Hodson Chartered Surveyors. The man was described as white, about six foot tall and in his early 20s.

PC Mark Overland, who is investigating, said there had been several other similar incidents in the town centre recently.

Anyone with information should contact PC Overland on 0845 456 4564, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.


As a mum of three children at primary school you would think I would be against the teachers strike as it would mean I am stuck with three children at home, but quite the opposite. As well as being a mum I also work as a voluntary parent helper in my son's school.

When I first started helping at the school I was astonished at how much of their own money teachers spend on resources for the children. They buy stickers by the dozen to reward good work and good behaviour, boxes of chocolates/sweets to use as presents from the children when it comes to things like mothers day, etc. The teachers are already on low pay for the hours they work and to spend so much of that on resources for our children shows great dedication.

Then we come to the hours they work. They are contracted to a certain amount of hours but all work far more than their contracts say without a sniff of over time pay, this is necessary for them to be able to accomplish everything they have to do. To add to the teachers work load there are a lot of newly qualified teachers coming through to take up positions in the school which is great but also adds to the well qualified/longer-serving teachers work load as the newly qualified teachers need mentors to make sure they know exactly how to include all the relevant things into the curriculum in the right way.

I would personally like to say a great big thank you to all the teachers and teaching assistants for all their hard work and dedication and for the great commitment that they show in helping us to educate our children.




Of course I support the Teachers. This country has a tradition of undervaluing our public servants.

Teachers and others will be out on April 24 which marks the start of the fight back against Gordon Brown's Thatcherite economic policies.

I understand council workers, most notably in Birmingham, will also be striking on that day.

I hope we don't get the old myths about teachers having 'short hours and long holidays' trotted out as this is complete rubbish. Teachers work very hard and deserve a better deal, as do nurses, hospital cleaners and all other public servants.

If the government didn't wage wars in Iraq, there would be plenty of cash to pay proper wages.