Connect with us

Local Council

3,500 urge Fenland Council to alter ‘unacceptable’ fountain decision

Avatar photo

Published

on

More than 3,500 people signed a petition urging Fenland District Council to find a new home for March fountain.

The petition will debated at Monday’s full council meeting.

It comes as the council announced today that work on dismantling the fountain can resume now nesting doves that halted the removal have “fledged successfully”.

Digital photography used to show March Fountain on the move - computer mock up demonstrates new location Broad Street, March Friday 07 July 2023. Picture by Terry Harris

Digital photography used to show March Fountain on the move – computer mock up demonstrates new location Broad Street, March Friday 07 July 2023. Picture by Terry Harris

The petition, with 3,587 signatures, says the intended location of the fountain in front of Malletts was announced “without any consultation with the proprietors or their near neighbours.

“It is unacceptable to place the fountain in front of a retail unit with a shop window for display and this petition is to ask for your support with the appeal to have it at another location.”

Work to dismantle the fountain and store it for up to 18 months before moving it to a new position is, for now, back under way.

But petitioners hope the council will have a change of heart and find a new location for it once it is returned to the town centre.

The council says the petitioner will be given five minutes to present it.

Councillors will then have 15 minutes to debate it.

The council has outlined its possible responses:

1: Take the action the petition requests.

2: Not take the action requested for the reasons put forward in the debate.

3: Commission a further investigation into the matter e.g. by a relevant committee; or where it is a matter in respect of which the council’s executive are required to make a decision, the council will decide whether to make recommendations to the Cabinet to inform that decision.

But it is not as simple as even that, councillors will be told.

“On this occasion it would not be appropriate for council to take the action the petition requests without a full understanding of the risks/issues/costs and implications of taking such action,” says the report to councillors.

You can’t, of course, beat an old fashioned tape measure to check the measurements of the fountain to Malletts– you know the outline of where the fountain is since the marking was undertaken, officially, by Fenland Council.

You can’t, of course, beat an old fashioned tape measure to check the measurements of the fountain to Malletts– you know the outline of where the fountain is since the marking was undertaken, officially, by Fenland Council.

“Therefore, members should only consider whether to not take the action requested or refer to Cabinet with recommendations.”

Councillors will be told it all boils down to this: reject the petition or refer the matter to Cabinet “and make recommendations to inform Cabinet’s decision”.

The report to councillors reminds them that the Broad Street regeneration project “is about ensuring that the town centre has a sustainable future”.

That includes being “best placed” to respond to the planned housing growth, the need to attract new visitors, and to show it can compete against other towns as a retail and leisure centre.

Total funding of £8.4m has been secured to fund the improvements.

The fourth councillor to vote to move the fountain was Conservative Cllr Meekins, who ironically had fought the 2019 local elections as an independent. He was enticed to re-join the Conservatives in 2021. PHOTO: Rob Murray

March Coronation Fountain

The need to move the fountain is to allow changes to the Broad Street road layout.

Fundamentally the scheme will pedestrianize the northbound carriageway whilst retaining the southbound carriageway.

The traffic lights as the northern end of Broad Street are set to be replaced with a mini roundabout, “increasing the flow, and reducing pollution caused by standing traffic”.

The report adds: “For the investment in the town to be realised and the new road layout to be implemented, the historic fountain must be relocated.”

Work to remove the Grade II listed fountain as part of the ongoing town centre regeneration was due to begin on 26 June but was postponed as soon as the nesting doves were found.

An initial ecological assessment confirmed that a dove had chosen the fountain as its nesting site.

Artist’s impression showing new position of March fountain once work is completed

Artist’s impression showing new position of March fountain once work is completed

A Fenland District Council spokesperson said: “We are pleased to share the positive outcome of a further ecological survey carried out by an independent assessor.

“The survey results confirm that the dove has successfully fledged the nest, marking an important milestone in the preservation of local wildlife.

“As a result, we are now prepared to proceed with the planned works to remove and store the historic structure.

“Over the next few days, members of the public will notice the initial stages of the works taking place to prepare the structure for removal.

“The project team will ensure that all necessary precautions are taken to minimise disruption and to guarantee the safety of both the public and the surrounding environment.

“The council would like to extend its gratitude to Green Willows Associates for their invaluable expertise in conducting the ecological assessments.

Thanks to Colin Arnold for reminding us of 2002 when the fountain was removed – temporarily – for a facelift.

Thanks to Colin Arnold for reminding us of 2002 when the fountain was removed – temporarily – for a facelift.

“This collaborative effort showcases our commitment to maintaining a harmonious balance between urban development and the preservation of local wildlife.”

For further updates on the progress of the Broad Street regeneration project:

Facebook

Read More

Labour group now 10 on Cambridgeshire County Council with the decision by Cllr Keith Prentice to join them. New line up revealed today. PHOTO: Cambridgeshire Labour Party Labour group now 10 on Cambridgeshire County Council with the decision by Cllr Keith Prentice to join them. New line up revealed today. PHOTO: Cambridgeshire Labour Party
News16 hours ago

Former Cambridgeshire Conservative county councillor moves to Labour

Keith Prentice is the county councillor for St Neots Priory Park & Little Paxton

Charles Swift: a city councillor in Peterborough for 62 years. He is thought to have been the longest serving councillor in the country Charles Swift: a city councillor in Peterborough for 62 years. He is thought to have been the longest serving councillor in the country
News17 hours ago

62 years a councillor, Peterborough honours former city mayor Charles Swift

Charles Swift passed away in August 2022 aged 92

Residents are asked to have their say on the Waterbeach to Cambridge transport scheme, that will support thousands of new homes being built in the new town and provide quick and easy options to avoid travelling on the busy A10. Residents are asked to have their say on the Waterbeach to Cambridge transport scheme, that will support thousands of new homes being built in the new town and provide quick and easy options to avoid travelling on the busy A10.
News18 hours ago

Help us shape Waterbeach to Cambridge transport plans says GCP

There are three public events where people can find out more

Rytis Lisauskas, 32, had been turning up at the victim’s home in Peterborough every day since their decade-long relationship ended in July last year. Rytis Lisauskas, 32, had been turning up at the victim’s home in Peterborough every day since their decade-long relationship ended in July last year.
Crime18 hours ago

Huntingdon stalker jailed for ‘violent attacks’ on ex wife in Peterborough

Victim and her family experienced 'traumatic' time

Renaldo Denollari of Elderberry Close, Ely, grew cannabis in 2 bedrooms and his loft in Ely. He has been jailed Renaldo Denollari of Elderberry Close, Ely, grew cannabis in 2 bedrooms and his loft in Ely. He has been jailed
Crime18 hours ago

Jail for Ely man who used 2 bedrooms and a loft to grow cannabis

Police offer reminder on how to spot a cannabis 'farm'

Cllr Marco Cereste, surrounded by family and friends, is believed to be the first person of Italian ethnicity to be elected mayor of a British city. PHOTO: Terry Harris Cllr Marco Cereste, surrounded by family and friends, is believed to be the first person of Italian ethnicity to be elected mayor of a British city. PHOTO: Terry Harris
News22 hours ago

In Peterborough Il nuovo sindaco è italiano – the new mayor is Italian

Cllr Marco Cereste arrived in England in 1953 on Coronation Day

Cllr Dennis Jones, new leader of Peterborough City Council, wants to introduce a ‘true café culture’ into the city centre and ‘make it a place where it is welcoming’ PHOTO: Terry Harris Cllr Dennis Jones, new leader of Peterborough City Council, wants to introduce a ‘true café culture’ into the city centre and ‘make it a place where it is welcoming’ PHOTO: Terry Harris
News22 hours ago

‘Corbynista, tribal Labour’ leader takes the helm at Peterborough City Council

Peterborough First praised for their 'short but remarkable term in administration'

Cllr Mohammed Farooq: “As Peterborough continues to grow and evolve, we anticipate an even stronger relationship with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority particularly in relation to shaping our public transport, cycling, and walking infrastructure”. PHOTO: Terry Harris Cllr Mohammed Farooq: “As Peterborough continues to grow and evolve, we anticipate an even stronger relationship with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority particularly in relation to shaping our public transport, cycling, and walking infrastructure”. PHOTO: Terry Harris
News2 days ago

BREAKING: ‘I am resigning from my position as the leader of Peterborough City Council’

'There remain some very tough and embarrassing decisions to be made'

Sgt Jamie Cooper who has also been nominated for a Royal Humane Society award and Chief Constable Commendation for his brave actions Sgt Jamie Cooper who has also been nominated for a Royal Humane Society award and Chief Constable Commendation for his brave actions
News2 days ago

Police Federation ‘humbled’ by bravery of Peterborough police officer

Cambridgeshire Police Federation chair Liz Groom said: 'We are incredibly proud of Jamie'

Cllr Dennis Jones is keeping his own counsel about Monday’s meeting. PHOTO: Terry Harris Cllr Dennis Jones is keeping his own counsel about Monday’s meeting. PHOTO: Terry Harris
News3 days ago

Going, going…. gone as Farooq paves the way for Labour to take the helm at Peterborough City Council

Labour to form a minority administration at Peterborough City Council