November News From Whittlesey’s Mayor’s Desk

Heritage Walks

Last month I was privileged to attend the launch of the Whittlesey Heritage Walk, albeit in appalling weather. This project is delivered by the Whittlesey Growing Fenland Group (WGFG). It provides, using signage, route maps and accompanying modern technology, a unique historical record of our town for all to enjoy in conjunction with various walks. Whilst congratulating the Group, I would also like to highlight the contributions made to the project by Whittlesey Museum and the Whittlesey Society.

Manor Leisure Centre Improvements

Last month, I reported that the Whittlesey Heritage Centre project has been suspended due to the increasing funding gap and that Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority were holding the remaining funds of some £455,000.

We hoped these funds could be diverted into improving facilities at the Manor Leisure Centre and for structured youth provision in the town. Unfortunately, the WGFG has decided to ask the CPCA to use £250,000 of the money for a second stage application for a southern relief road, along with an unspecified sum for levelling up the Buttercross. The Group has also requested money to be earmarked for solar panels for the Manor Leisure swimming pool, refurbishment of the tennis courts, and associated floodlighting.

This decision excludes the much-needed youth provision in the town, to which these funds could have provided £125,000, to be match funded by Cambridgeshire County Council under their Youth Initiative Fund. Possible assistance with other sports facilities including cricket, fishing and an all-weather football pitch has also been mothballed.

On a brighter note, I am delighted that an organisation to be known as The Friends of the Manor has now been launched, with a full constitution and elected officers who I am sure will campaign for improvements at the Manor Leisure Centre. I wish them every success. As the District Councillor, I shall be giving them every support and encouragement.

Food Aid and Warm-Hub

Whittlesey Emergency Food Aid has been relaunched at the Manor Leisure Centre and my thanks go to everyone who has made this possible, especially Fenland District Council and Freedom Leisure for the use of their premises, and all the volunteers who continue to work so hard. We also thank those who make regular donations to the food bank for the sake of others who are less fortunate. Should anyone need to contact the food bank, their number is 07375143146

I am liaising with Fenland District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council to seek suitable premises in the town to set up a Warm Hub, which would provide a hot meal, warmth, and friendship, in anticipation of the hardships some of our citizens may experience in the coming months.  Please watch this space for future developments.

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

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