Residents speak out to save Wisbech service

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More than 30 people went along to the Waterlees Residents Forum to speak out about the Community House in Waterlees.

Fenland District Council is considering transferring services provided by the house to the Oasis Centre as part of a cost-cutting proposal.

The council is currently running a 12-week public consultation on the Community House proposal.

The forum meeting, which was held in the Oasis Centre, was attended by cabinet members Mike Cornwell and David Oliver.

Ward member Virginia Bucknor is hoping that the message was received by the cabinet members.

She said: “I was impressed with the passion of the residents who spoke at the meeting.

“One woman had no confidence before she went to one of the courses provided at Community House.

“She was determined to come and speak about how she felt.

“It would have been very difficult for the cabinet members not to have been moved by how people spoke about the service.

“This is not just a service for Waterlees but for the whole of Wisbech.”

Residents are currently running on-line and paper petitions. Hopes are high that these will attract 500 signatures, which will allow a representative to speak at a full council meeting.

The district council gives £50,000 a year to the scheme, which engaged with 850 people last year.

Cabinet member Mr Cornwell has previously stressed that no firm proposal has been made for the Community House, but said the cost-cutting proposals seek to use the council’s resources effectively.