The basic tenant of democracy is that we get to vote for who we want to represent us, at a local and national level. With the South Wisbech by-election now decided (congratulations Samantha Hoy, Con), there was only a 20% turn out of voters and this bodes ill for democracy.
It would appear that 4 out every 5 voters don’t care in which political direction our society travels, what priorities are chosen above others, or how our money is spent.
If I were to suggest to you that the council had decided to turn off all streets lights after 9.30pm, there would be a 50% reduction in policing, libraries were to be closed for 5 out of every 7 days and the bins would be emptied on a monthly basis, would you care enough to vote then? No?
What if councils decided to stop building (affordable) new homes, maintaining the Fens drainage system, repairing pot holes (already a reality), reduce bus services and close down care homes, would you care enough then? No ?
What if they doubled their expenses to £14,000 a year and, to pay for this, were going to double your council tax? Would you care then? YES you would!
To the 4 out of 5 people that don’t care enough to get off their backsides and vote, I only have one thing to say. Shame on you!
Sue Dockett’s letter (We could lose all our bees, Citizen, October 14) unfortunately contains a number of inaccuracies about bees and the use of pesticides on Cambs farms. Like Ms Dockett farmers want to safeguard Britain’s bees. The agricultural importance of bees is well known and their pollination activity is valued at £510 million per year.
Farmers are working hard to encourage pollinators onto farms, including planting thousands of hectares of flower-rich habitat through the Campaign for the Farmed Environment. They also have to control pests if they are to grow our food, including cabbage stem flea beetle, which attacks oilseed rape crops.
Many farmers were denied the ability to grow healthy oilseed rape crops when the EU Commission introduced restrictions on neonicotinoid seed treatments, despite a lack of consensus among Member States about the effects of neonicotinoids on bees.
It was the high risk to these crops that led the NFU to apply for emergency use of neonicotinoid treatments in the four hardest-hit counties, including Cambridgeshire. This relates to treated seed and not the sprays Ms Dockett blames for bee deaths suffered by her neighbour.
She is also wrong to link neonicotinoids to “mass bee die-offs”. In fact the dramatic declines in pollinator biodiversity happened in Britain between the 1950s and 1980s, decades before neonicotinoids were introduced.
During the last 25 years (during which neonicotinoids were introduced and their use taken off) declines in bumblebee biodiversity have slowed significantly in Britain, and the biodiversity of 90% of our wild bees – the solitary bees – has actually increased.
NFU Cambridgeshire Council Delegate.
village housing bid
I urge you to attend event
I received – as I imagine other residents of Henry Warby Avenue, Elm, did – a letter from Peter Humphrey Associates (Architects), advising that there will be a public community consultation event to be held at The Elm Centre on November 5 (4pm-7pm).
This is in connection with a proposed development of land between Henry Warby Avenue and Abington Grove.
Objections to this proposed development had to be submitted to FDC planning by the middle of August. This land is to the rear of the Elm cemetery.
A development for land west of Cedar Way in Elm was rejected last month by both the Parish and District councils. This was for 20 houses originally but has been re-submitted, however, for 11 4-bedroom houses now. I hope that this is again rejected for the same reasons.
For a proposed development to the north of Henry Warby Avenue (some 30 houses on 0.7 hectares) the access for development traffic and machinery is via Henry Warby Avenue – a meandering road, to say the least.
I hope that this consultation event will be attended by as many as possible, though the cynic in me thinks that, as it is being held on Bonfire Night, the organisers are hoping for a poor turn-out.
If residents wish to object on line just log on to www.fenland.gov.uk /publicaccess or at the Fenland Service shop in Bridge Street,Wisbech.