FENLAND: Meet up with four new mayors for the four Fenland towns

PUBLISHED: 10:27 19 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:03 02 June 2010

Straight forward new Mayor of March John West. 6116SM59

Straight forward new Mayor of March John West. 6116SM59

LOOKING forward to a full and interesting year as mayor of Wisbech is Councillor Yvonne Lawrence. Cllr Lawrence has lived in Wisbech all her life and attended St Augustine s Primary School and

The new mayor of Whittlesey, Cllr Derek Stebbing. 1220BP59

Mayor of Wisbech: Councillor Yvonne Lawrence

LOOKING forward to a full and interesting year as mayor of Wisbech is Councillor Yvonne Lawrence.

Cllr Lawrence has lived in Wisbech all her life and attended St Augustine's Primary School and the Queen's School.

She married Robert 46 years ago and the couple who made their home in Wisbech have a son Mark and four grandchildren.

She said: "I'm dedicated to Wisbech. There are a lot of people in Wisbech who work extremely hard to make a difference, real local heroes, and I will do my best to make a difference too."

Cllr Lawrence has already settled into her role as mayor with several engagements and a town council meeting under her belt. As mayor she is also the chairman of the council at full council meetings, active on all other town council committees, and has weekly meetings with the leader, former mayor councillor David Oliver, and town clerk Erbie Murat.

One of her aims will be to make proper provision of allotments for the people of Wisbech, and her main charity will be Heroes.

New Chatteris mayor is Cllr Peter Murphy. 0369SM59

Mayor of Chatteris: Councillor Peter Murphy

THE new Mayor of Chatteris is Councillor Peter Murphy, who has lived in the town all his life.

"I am really looking forward to serving the town as Mayor," said Cllr Murphy, who is replacing Cllr Sue Elam as the town's leader.

"I hope to carry on the good work that Sue has done, I will try and get as much as I can for Chatteris.

Cllr Murphy has been a member of Fenland District Council for the past 22 years. He served on Chatteris Town Council for 12 years between 1980 and 1992, and was chairman from 1989 to 1991.

"Being the Mayor is something I have always wanted to do," said Cllr Murphy. "I will do my best for Chatteris."

Cllr Murphy has chosen Fenvision, the former Isle of Ely Society for the Blind, as his charity for his year in office.


At Mayor Making, held on 8 May 2009, Councillor Yvonne Lawrence was installed as the Town mayor for the civic year 2008 2009. The attached photo shown Councillor Mrs Lawrence carrying out her first civic duty in presenting the outgoing Mayor, Councillor Jonathan Farmer with his Past Mayor’s badge watched by the Town Beadle, Mr Alister Hopkins. On the wall above can be seen William Rust, Mayor 1882-1883 and the first to wear the chain now worn by Councillor Mrs Lawrence.


In his outgoing speech Councillor Farmer noted that his Mayoral year had seen a number of changes and developments both for Wisbech Town Council and the town of Wisbech itself. Following the town council’s designation as a ‘Quality Council’ the council has restructured its meetings in order to accommodate greater public participation; better liaison with Fenland District Council; and a more pro-active outward looking approach to issues that concern the people of Wisbech. Meetings of the Town Council have become more frequent and have involved more outside speakers briefing the Council than ever before. There has also been the formation of the Wisbech Youth Council, which offers a strong and vibrant youth voice to the development of Wisbech.


Councillor Farmer was also pleased to announce that at the last meeting of Wisbech Town Council members unanimously approved the name of Jody Cundy  be made a Freeman of the town and he has very kindly accepted this honour. Jody is a five times paralympic gold medallist who was born in Wisbech and started his swimming career at the bottom of the pool in the Hudson leisure centre. He retains close links with the town and will be formally enrolled as a Freeman at a future date and a reception will be hosted by the Mayor.

Mayor of Whittlesey: Councillor Derek Stebbing

NEW Mayor of Whittlesey Councillor Derek Stebbing says he would like to stop the mass exodus of people out of the town for employment and shopping.

The retired driving instructor who became a councillor two years ago will be fighting to get improvements to the road infrastructure in Whittlesey firmly on the agenda in Fenland and Cambridgeshire.

He said: "There has been no major improvement in the road infrastructure for over 35 years."

Cllr Stebbing feels the town is missing out on both retail and industrial opportunities because of its limited road infrastructure. He said its small industrial site is poorly served and there are other sites which need opening up.

He also believes small independent town centre businesses can survive and thrive alongside a retail park.

Commenting on the recent rejection of the planning application for an out of town supermarket, Cllr Stebbing said: "Wisbech has out of town shopping and March has Sainsbury's in the centre and Tesco out of town. I know some retailers have mixed feelings about this but I think it is possible for them to live together."

Cllr Stebbing is also keen to see improvements to Whittlesey Railway Station which he believes is poorly equipped for passengers and has inadequate parking. He would like to see it used as a site for a park and ride scheme.

He said: "Out of the four market towns in Fenland Wisbech and March seem to get the cream of things. Wisbech has the new boathouse, it has industrial sites and out of town retail facilities. March has its by-pass and roads opening up its industrial sites we need to get these things on the agenda for Whittlesey."

Mayor of March Councillor John West

NEWLY installed Mayor of March Councillor John West was reluctant to comment on the basis that his political opponents might think he was electioneering.

But Cllr West did want to highlight a few issues to which he will be turning his attention as mayor.

He said: "One thing I really want to do is something to bring older people and youngsters together. There seems to be an awful lot of hostility which is developing into anti-social behaviour and they just don't seem to understand each other.

"I want to get some meetings arranged so kids can meet these people and talk to them about why there are problems.

"There are annoyances on both sides, the old people don't want to stop the youngsters doing things but there are times when they do want peace and quiet."

Cllr West is also keen that March is in good shape for when the recession ends. He said: "We should be looking ahead to the future to when we come out of recession. At one time you could buy everything you needed in March, you didn't have to go out of town and I would like us to get back to that. I would like us to have a new shopping centre in town

"I will be doing my best to make sure the town runs smoothly and that we attract as many firms and shops to open here as possible. Let's go out and sell March. That's me, straight talking and straight forward.

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