August 9th 2023
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The Fenlander is a regular bulletin from Fenland District Council updating on council news, events and services.

Call for help to find breeders of abandoned dogs

Three sets of young dogs have been abandoned in Fenland in recent months, leading to fears puppies are being bred and dumped when owners fail to sell them.

Most of the puppies were in good condition, but the coats of four spaniel / poodle cross puppies dumped in Wisbech St Mary were badly matted and needed attention. Fenland District Council's appointed stray dog service cared for all the dumped animals and was able to place them with rehoming organisations.
The council is urging anyone who finds themselves with animals they can't rehome to get in touch to access help available rather than leaving animals at risk of harm. And is calling for information on the breeders of the abandoned puppies.

One of March's oldest buildings gets a facelift with grant support - and more bids for £25k empty shop fund welcome

Owners of empty shops in March town centre are being reminded about a grant scheme that will help them to develop and refurbish premises - and bring them back into use.

Fenland District Council launched the Vacant Unit Activation Scheme last year as part of the town's ongoing regeneration project, to help reduce the number of empty shops in town.

One of March's oldest Conservation Area buildings is getting a new lease of life with support from the fund.

Work on the previously vacant and partially derelict 26 Market Place, opposite March Town Hall and close to the Grade II Listed Ye Olde Griffin Hotel, is expected to be complete by September.

Discover more:

Event highlights free help available to innovative Fenland businesses

Around a dozen Fenland business leaders attended an event to learn about the help available to firms capable of growing the district's economy through innovation.

And other firms are invited to find out more about the support on offer, which includes grants and free specialist support to explore and test new product ideas, find technical expertise and get advice on regulation and patents.

See: Event highlights free help available to innovative Fenland businesses 

Council maintains gold standard in customer services

Fenland District Council has once again been reaccredited with the Cabinet Office's prestigious Customer Service Excellence (CSE) Standard following an annual inspection.
The Customer Service Excellence Standard serves as a national quality mark, recognising organisations in both the public and private sectors that embody a genuine customer-centric culture and strive for continuous improvement.
See: Council maintains gold standard in customer services
Our current vacancies include senior planning officer roles and a position for an IT support officer.

We're also looking for a volunteer to help scrutinise and make recommendations about councillor allowances and expenses.

Come along to free tea dances in Fenland towns

Popular free tea dance events are being held in Fenland towns again - and a call has been made for people to sign up soon to avoid disappointment.

Everyone is welcome to the events including absolute beginners, those who'd label themselves as having two left feet, to avid dancers and those who just fancy an afternoon of tea and nibbles with music and entertainment.

The next event is in Chatteris on Friday, August 18. It will be followed by events in Wisbech and Whittlesey.

See: Free tea dances in Fenland towns

Fenland artists will get chance to shine in new railway art competition

Local artists will get the chance to have their work go on show in railway stations and exhibitions in a new art competition celebrating Fenland's historic railway line.

The Hereward Community Rail Partnership (CRP), which champions the Hereward Line between Peterborough and Ely and its stations at March, Manea and Whittlesey, has launched an art competition as part of its ten-year anniversary celebrations.

See: Fenland artists will get chance to shine in new railway art competition

'Get Activated' summer activities campaign

There’s still time to get involved with Cambridgeshire County Council’s Get Activated campaign of free and low-cost summer family fun and a photographic competition with cash prizes.

Find out more: Get Activated campaign

Have your say to help us improve our services and make more informed decisions. 

Apply for £5k community project funding

Applications for grants of up to £5,000 can be made to the Ransonmoor Community Fund for projects with an environmental benefit.

The fund supports projects in Benwick, Doddington and Wimblington.

The current round of bids closes on Sunday, September 10.  

See: Ransonmoor Community Fund

Friday Bridge residents: Get £5k towards home heat pump installation 

If you live in Friday Bridge you could be able to access a trial scheme that is designed to enable residents to save energy in their homes.

Friday Bridge residents can get a free assessment to see if their home would benefit from a heat pump and access a £5k contribution to installation. 

See: Heat Pumps for Friday Bridge

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Work to dismantle March's historic fountain begins

Work to carefully dismantle March's Coronation Fountain as part of the town centre regeneration has begun this week (8 August).

A specialist heritage contractor is carrying out the work which will take approximately two weeks to complete.

The removal of the fountain was due to start in June but was postponed after doves were found nesting at the top of the structure. The doves have now fledged.

After the Grade II listed fountain has been dismantled the historic structure will be wrapped and safely transported for storage, before being reinstated in a new location towards the end of the Broad Street regeneration project.

See more: Work to dismantle March's historic fountain begins

Community Coffee Mornings: Join Octavius for updates on March Broad Street Regeneration

Residents are invited to attend weekly Coffee Mornings with Broad Street regeneration contractors, Octavius.

The coffee mornings offer members of the public the chance to pop in and speak to representatives, who will be on hand to answer any questions residents may have regarding the ongoing town centre regeneration scheme.

The sessions take place every Thursday from 11am to 1pm at 2 Broad Street (formerly Barclays Bank), March.

See: Community Coffee Mornings: Join Octavius for updates on Broad Street Regeneration

Whittlesey Festival - Sunday, September 10

Whittlesey Festival takes place in the town centre on Sunday, September 10, and promises to be a varied and fun event.

It'll be packed with stalls, a car show, marching bands and other music and rides. Among the event's many attractions will be Black Eagles Acrobatic Dance Group.

We'll have more details soon at: News and Events - Fenland District Council

See also: Whittlesey Festival 2023 on Facebook and Whittlesey Festival - Fenland District Council

Wisbech welcomes exciting new play area

Children and families are invited to come and enjoy Wisbech Park this summer after renovations to a much-loved play area were unveiled.

The new and improved Wisbech Park play area officially opened on Monday, 31 July, following a £135k investment.

See: Wisbech welcomes exciting new play area

Summer activities in Wisbech Park

Don’t miss the remaining free summer activities in Wisbech Park.

The programme includes an open-to-all drop-in art project, wild play session for families, dance fitness and kickboxing and a Victorian themed theatre show and circus workshop to celebrate the park's Victorian roots.

 See: Enjoy free summer activities in Wisbech Park

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The quickest and easiest way to apply, report, find or pay via Fenland District Council is usually our website. Available 24 hours a day whenever it’s most convenient for you.

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