Sunday, 28 October 2012

 A WEEK HAS PASSED since this blog tried to raise local awareness about the apparent helplessness of Fenland District Council in the matter of The Belfast Bombsite, a.k.a. Constantine House, Wisbech's foremost architectural gem. As the cold rain slants down through the shattered roof of this eyesore, I can report only limited success.

Over one hundred people have signed the online petition, and this will be printed off and sent to FDC soon. I expect it will elicit the same response as my letters have done. I wrote one to my ward Councillor, David Oliver, and another to the planning and buildings section at FDC. I have received neither reply nor acknowledgement. I posted a link to this campaign on the Shape Your Place website. A local lady endorsed it, and then her comment was met with a long, defensive and rambling reply from a local politician who is not on FDC, but no doubt knows all the right ears to 'bend'.

Another local politician, who is a Town and County councillor supported the petition, but cautioned against taking the campaign to a wider audience on the grounds that Wisbech didn't need any more bad publicity.

Rob Setchell, a local journalist, gave us a supportive report on his paper's web-page. Later in the week, that same paper made quite a splash of the fact that the enigmatic Councillor Simon King had asked several probing questions about the state of some of the town's derelict buildings.

Then, in one of my many idle moments (as my regular readers know, I spend my days in my luxury penthouse, supported in my old age by my disgracefully lavish public service pension) I wrote a semi-serious song about the problem, and put it together as a video, with images of the town. 

This caused a few wry smiles, but clearly upset one very articulate critic who put his (I make a gender judgment) finger on the very nub of the problem. Read his comment, and you will see that it is NOT the absentee landlord, NOT the bafflingly incompetent District Council and NOT the complacent, majority-guaranteed local councillors who are responsible for the mess. No. no, no, a thousand times NO! It is me! I am part of the problem! Clearly, were I to stop complaining about things, they would magically right themselves overnight. 

I was about to launch a brilliantly satirical riposte, but I checked out this person's YouTube profile and video preferences. When I saw that he/she is worryingly fond of videos of glisteningly oiled, steroid-pumped bodybuilders, my fingers poised over the nosy keys. What if this malevolent monster should muscle their way round to my gated condominium and force their way past the security guards, and do me to death as I lay in my revolving airbed? Clearly, this is NOT someone to be trifled with. He (or she) is utterly and completely right. Argument won, debate decided. I retire from the field, warmed by the comforting knowledge that when I awake, and the ivory-skinned virgins (shipped in from Chatteris) have done my bidding, I will gaze out of the bay window of Nene Villas to see Constantine House restored, weatherproof and vibrantly part of Wisbech once more.

I end tonight's diatribe with proof (if any were needed) that our elected representatives take the town seriously, and will not rest until the town has been restored to its 12th century splendour.