January 10, 2024
The Fenlander logo
The Fenlander is a regular bulletin from Fenland District Council updating on council news, events and services.

Great start to 2024 with Council Tax freeze proposed

The year is off to a promising start with news that a year after cutting its portion of the council tax, Fenland District Council is proposing to freeze its element of the Council Tax in 2024.

If its draft Budget for 2024/25 is approved next month, it will be the sixth consecutive year of no rises in Fenland's share of the council tax.
January is also the month to celebrate all the excellent community groups, volunteers and businesses that make Fenland fantastic.

Nominations windows are open for the Pride in Fenland awards - honouring all the people who do wonderful things for others - and Fenland Business Awards.

Also in this edition, there's news of lots of free and low-cost exercise, health and wellbeing sessions available through Active Fenland across the district. Plus, the Fens' community rail project shortlisted for national industry award.

And there's details of the positive impact of the district council supported Christmas events in Wisbech and March. As well as reminders of free upcoming heritage talks and the webinar for businesses on the opportunities available to them created by a push to make social housing more green.

We wish all of our subscribers a great New Year. Please do read on for more details of all of the above.

'Pride in Fenland' and 'Fenland Business Awards' open

The 'Pride in Fenland' awards 2024, honouring the voluntary work our residents do and shining examples of community spirit and selflessness, are now open for nominations.

The awards have launched as the nomination window for the separate Fenland Business Awards also remains open.

Nominations for Pride in Fenland Awards are invited for any individual - young or old - or group who makes a positive difference.

While Fenland Business Award nominations are invited in 12 specific categories including apprentice of the year, business of the year and excellence in agriculture.

See more: 

Council proposes no council tax increase, as draft Budget and Business Plan is published

A year after cutting its portion of the council tax by two per cent, Fenland District Council is now proposing to freeze its element of the council tax over the next 12 months, to further support its residents.

If its draft Budget for 2024/25 is approved next month, it will be the sixth consecutive year of no rises in Fenland's share of the council tax.

Cllr Chris Boden, Leader of Fenland District Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance, said: "Almost every other principal council has raised its council tax over the past six years, and of the few which haven't raised their council tax, none can match Fenland's two per cent reduction in that period. Councillors believe that the burden of providing cost-efficient services should fall on the Council itself, a long way before it falls on our residents."

Residents, businesses and organisations are now being encouraged to have their say on the draft Budget, and the authority's draft Business Plan for 2024/25, which set out its priorities and ambitions for the year ahead, and how it will pay for them.

Find out more and have your say: Council proposes no council tax increase, as draft Budget and Business Plan is published
Looking to start, grow or relocate your business? Our Fenland for Business team can offer free and impartial advice.
Business Premises
Starting or expanding your business? Looking for affordable offices or factory units? We can help! Our Business Premises and Industrial Units are ideal for small and start-up businesses.
  • The Boathouse Business Centre
    The Boathouse overlooks the marina in the vibrant market town of Wisbech in Cambridgeshire. It is just a short walk from the town centre and is easily accessible from the A47.

  • South Fens Business Centre
    South Fens is located in the small market town of Chatteris. It is next to the A141 and A142 - offering easy access to Ely, March, Huntingdon, Cambridge and beyond.

Fens' community rail project shortlisted for national industry award

Fenland's Hereward Community Rail Partnership (CRP) has been shortlisted in the 2024 Community Rail Awards for its free sustainable transport tool.

The online Think Travel Tool has earned the partnership a shortlisting in the 'Influencing Positive Change and Sustainability' category.

Now in their 19th year, the prestigious awards recognise the organisations and volunteers working across Britain's rail network to improve stations and increase rail use. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Swansea on 18 March 2024. 

See more: Fens' community rail project shortlisted for national industry award
Active Fenland promotes and provides informal and fun sport and physical activity sessions in community settings in Fenland.

Free exercise, wellness and social activity sessions for New Year

Free exercise, wellness and social activity sessions including wellness kickboxing, tea dances and specialist dementia-friendly classes are on offer across Fenland in the New Year.

Sessions include 'Kickboxing For Wellbeing' in March for men and women, where there's the chance to hang around after for a hot or soft drink and a chat.

Popular tea dance events are returning across the district, including, as before, free entry and refreshments, with the addition of a free half-an-hour beginners dance tutorial before the main all-ability event. Some dates and venues have been announced and more will be added.

Free dementia friendly 'Love to Move' activity and social sessions have been extended into the New Year to allow the opportunity for people with dementia to exercise and carers to join in or sit back with a hot drink.

New free weekend wellness walks in March and Chatteris have also been added to the district-wide programme.

Plus new additional 'Forever Fit' sessions, which offer a chance to enjoy a variety of sporting activities in one session in a social group. Activities might include things like new age kurling, table tennis, badminton and mini golf.

The sessions are all offered and supported by Fenland District Council's Active Fenland, which secures grant funding to provide opportunities for people to live more active lives.

There are also free wellbeing stretch and breathe and dance classes.

As well as low-cost strength and balance classes designed for people who feel their confidence and mobility is diminishing. Plus, yoga, badminton, walking football and mixed discipline social classes.

See more:

Town centre Christmas events led to increased footfall

Carol singers at Wisbech Christmas Fayre 2023

Town centre footfall figures tripled on the day of Wisbech Christmas Fayre, post-event analysis revealed, despite heavy rain leading to an early finish.

And March was buzzing with visitors on its Christmas market day too.

For more event photos and details see: Town centre footfall tripled on Christmas fayre day
We regularly update our current vacancies page where you can currently find details of opportunities in our planning team.
Ask a question
Got a question about our services you'd like to see covered in The Fenlander? Send it to fenlander@fenland.gov.uk
Have your say to help us improve our services and make more informed decisions at 'Fenland consultations'.

Remember to secure tickets for free heritage talks 

Don't forget to secure your tickets for the free heritage talks taking place across Fenland in the coming weeks.

The events are being held in all four towns in Fenland and have been organised by Cllr Elisabeth Sennitt, Chair of Fenland District Council's Culture, Arts and Heritage Committee.

See more: Tickets open for series of FREE heritage talks across Fenland

Still time to sign up to webinar on business opportunities linked to push to make social housing more eco-friendly 

If you are involved in the net zero supply chain, or looking to get into it, and want to find out more about how your business can fully benefit from this new and developing area of growth, dial in to this free webinar to hear from industry experts.

The webinar is 3.30pm to 5pm, Wednesday, January 17, providing information on how businesses can get involved to support the push to cut emissions from social housing homes - and improve the housing for residents and help them make fuel cost savings.

Get more detail and sign up: Discover business opportunities created by drive to make social housing more energy efficient
Chatteris fundraising quiz night for the midsummer festival 

Why not support the annual quiz night in aid of the Chatteris Midsummer Festival, Friday, January 26, 7pm, at King Edward Community Centre, Chatteris?

Fun and friendly evening testing your knowledge of movies, music, sport and other subjects.

Teams of four to six people, £2 per person entry, bring your own refreshments. No need to book, just turn up!

For queries, please email clerk@chatteristowncouncil.gov.uk 
Discover support and services for over 60s at Golden Age event 

Providers of a wide range of support and services for the over 60s will gather to provide information on current offers at the next Golden Age event.

The event is at Parson Drove Village Hall, in Main Road, 10am to 12.30pm, Friday, February 16.

Everyone is welcome to drop into the event where there will be free goodie bag for all attendees and free refreshments.

For more information about Golden Age events, see: Fenland Golden Age
Don’t forget to Do It Online
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.

Subscribe to The Fenlander
Subscribe now to make sure you get the latest news and updates from Fenland District Council straight to your inbox.