Whittlesey Mayor’s Message

Mayor’s Message

Remembering Terence ‘Ralph’ Butcher

As many of you will already know, we recently saw the sad passing of one of our most distinguished citizens, Terence (Ralph) Butcher. Ralph will be greatly missed by all who knew him. 

A local man through and through, Ralph lived in Coates for the whole of his life. He was educated in Whittlesey before taking up employment in his father’s coal merchant business which was expanded into agricultural haulage. 

In later years Ralph entered local politics and served with distinction, initially on the Whittlesey Urban District Council which evolved into Whittlesey Town Council. Ralph later held a number of senior posts on both Fenland District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council. He is now immortalised by his name appearing on the causeway which straddles the Kings Dyke railway, a project for which he campaigned for over forty years.

Ralph served under me on Whittlesey Town Council during my term as Mayor in 2013-2015 and it was my pleasure and honour to reverse the roles when Ralph became Mayor in 2017 before ill health unfortunately caused him to retire.

Our association stretched beyond local politics as we served together as Trustees of The Whittlesey Charity for 14 years, an organisation which to this day assists many in the local community. Additionally, over a period of 25 years we worked together at Whittlesey Conservative Club where, in my capacity as Trustee and latterly Secretary, I was always grateful for Ralph’s considered advice in his respective roles of Chairman and then Club President. 

Rest in Peace Ralph. 

Whittlesey Heritage Centre

After five years of planning for a Heritage Centre in Whittlesey a decision has been taken to suspend the project. Rising construction costs and a funding gap that had increased to around £500,000, would have taken the total costs to over £1 million, which at the present time is considered to represent poor value for the local taxpayers. Reluctantly a halt has been put on the project until it can be revisited in better economic times.

A considerable amount of funding was originally granted by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority to finance the Heritage Centre and these funds are still in the hands of the CPCA. Therefore an application has been made to the CPCA to release these funds to finance a major improvement of the facilities at the Manor Leisure Centre. A decision for the application will be reached at their Main Board meeting on 19th October.

In anticipation of this development, I attended the inaugural meeting of The Friends of the Manor.  It is envisaged that a full constitutional body will be set up to pursue this matter and to encourage greater use of the leisure facilities, as well as tackling the anti-social behaviour that unfortunately has beset us of late. Please watch this space for further developments.

Remembrance Day Parade

Next month’s Remembrance Day Parade will take a slightly different route to overcome traffic and policing issues on the A605. The parade will commence at 2pm in Parkinson’s Lane and then proceed along Barr Street and Market Street to the War Memorial in Queen Street. After the laying of wreaths, a Remembrance Service will take place in St Mary’s Church at 3pm.

Until next time…

Cllr David K M Mason – Mayor and Leader – Whittlesey Town Council

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