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Derek Stebbing is new Mayor of Whittlesey

The chain of council leadership was handed over from Cllr Steve Garratt to Cllr Derek Stebbing at Whittlesey Town Hall.

The chain of council leadership was handed over from Cllr Steve Garratt to Cllr Derek Stebbing at Whittlesey Town Hall.As new mayor of Whittlesey, Cllr Stebbing stated that he is looking to keep Whittlesey alive and try to plug the trend of people heading out of the town for employment and shopping.

The retired driving instructor (who only became a councillor two years ago) will also be fighting to get improvements to the road infrastructure in Whittlesey firmly on the agenda in Fenland and Cambridgeshire.

His appointment came after Cllr Garratt stepped down after a successful year in office, which saw him co-ordinate an incredibly well supported bid to provide help to victims of the bush fires near, Whittlesea, Melbourne, Australia earlier this year.

Cllr Garratt, who has long been involved in community work in the town, was a figurehead in Whittlesey's bid to raise more than 10,000 for the appeal.

Now it is up to Cllr Stebbing to continue his predecessor's work.

Cllr Stebbing feels the town is missing out on both retail and industrial opportunities because of its limited road infrastructure.

He said its small industrial site is poorly served and there are other sites which need opening up.

He also believes small independent town centre businesses can survive and thrive alongside a retail park.

Cllr Stebbing is also keen to see improvements to Whittlesea railway station, which he believes is poorly equipped for passengers and has inadequate parking. He would like to see it used as a site for a park and ride scheme.

He said: "Out of the four market towns in Fenland, Wisbech and March seem to get the cream of things. Wisbech has the new boathouse, it has industrial sites and out of town retail facilities. March has its by-pass and roads opening up its industrial sites. We need to get these things on the agenda for Whittlesey."

Also at last Wednesday's meeting, the outgoing mayor presented a cheque for 331 to 1st Whittlesey Scouts.

It was one of the groups benefitting from the 2009 mayor's charities.

 

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