Cash for environmental projects

Letters from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter
Letters from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter

I am a member of the Whitemill Environment Fund.

I would like to make others aware of it and recent projects it funded – as, being a relatively new fund, many groups may not have heard of it or realise they can apply to it.

The Whitemill Fund was established in 2013 and £7,000 is added to it every year.

Groups within the catchment of the turbines at Coldham, Friday Bridge, Elm, and Rings End, can apply in relation to projects which have an environmental and educational benefit.

The committee met at Fenland District Council’s offices on February 26 to judge bids received.

The committee approved two applications – from the Friends of Rings End Nature Reserve and from Coldham Residents Action Group.

The Friends of Rings End Nature Reserve’s Project will include a programme of butterfly walks, butterfly surveying, design of leaflets and interpretation boards and training for volunteers to use tools.

The Coldham Residents Action Group also received funds to install a park bench and picnic table, made from recycled materials, adjacent to the children’s play equipment.

Should any voluntary groups have an environmental project with education benefit that requires funding then the Whitemill Fund may be able to help.

Please contact the Environmental Projects team at Fenland District Council for more information.

The next round of applications closes on July 31.

Brian Arling,

Coldham.

MP SALARIES

Give them a pay cut

In response to the latest Westminster scandal, I checked out Fenland’s MP Stephen Barclay on the TheyWorkForYou website which, as of February 9, showed that he has ‘Nil’ entries in the Register of Members’ Interests.

Mr Barclay should therefore be commended for being a full-time MP with no paid outside interests.

This contrasts with the involvement, once again, of MPs from both Labour and the Tories in the ‘Cash for Access’ debacle who were for hire at £5,000 a day.

What is urgently needed is a party of a completely different type. MPs for such a party would only take the average wage of a skilled worker, instead of the current bloated MPs’ salary of £1,280 a week.

As a Coventry MP in 1983-1992, Dave Nellist, like socialist MPs Terry Fields and Pat Wall, only took the average wage of a skilled worker.

Dave saw being an MP like that of a convenor in a factory, who had the time to do the job but not three times the wage or holidays.

The engineering union used to work out the returns of all the factories in Coventry and averaged their wages – equivalent to £540 a week nowadays – so that was what Dave took home before deductions for tax and national insurance.

While real earnings have fallen by almost 10% since 2008, MPs are insulated from our day-to-day problems like soaring rents.

The average home now costs seven times what a 24-35 year old can normally earn. MPs should share that pain – so they are ready to fight for change.

The election of a Fenland MP on a skilled worker’s wage of £540 a week would be a step forward.

John Smithee,

Member, Unite the Union,

Wisbech.

UKIP MINIBUS

Animosity political?

I can’t help but think some of the animosity in people’s comments about the minibus provided by UKIP to take Chatteris shoppers to the Co-operative and Tesco stores in Ramsey are politically motivated.

May I also remind you that Tesco is a private business that our government has no lawful control over and thus their despicable behaviour in mothballing their new store is beyond reproach.

Although it has caused great resentment from local people there is nothing whatsoever you can do about it – not even our MP Steven Barclay has any lawful right to make them do anything, but appeal to their conscience and voluntarily make a gesture of goodwill to the local community.

Shops and taxi cabs in any town or city are also subject to competition and there is nothing in law you can do to stop competition. I don’t feel that the UKIP minibus is any threat to the local taxi firms or FACT or HACT as it is not being set up as a commercial operation, but a gesture of goodwill to help our community and will only last until a new supermarket opens in Chatteris.

As regards people’s comments that UKIP are simply jumping on the publicity bandwagon for votes, you only have to look at our local MP who is in the newspapers every day looking for votes – publicity is the basis of all political parties.

Mark Burton,

Chatteris.