Chairman's Chat

13th October 2017
Dear Colleague
As I announced to Council upon taking office as Chairman, the charity I will be supporting
during my term of office will be the Alzheimer’s Society. It seems that nearly everyone we
come into contact with has either a family member, a friend or they know someone who
suffers from this awful illness.
I was therefore very grateful to Liz Knoz, our Environmental Services Manager, who drew
my attention to the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme. This initiative
aims to change people’s perception of dementia. It plans to transform the way the nation
thinks, acts and talks about the condition. Stigma and lack of understanding cause many
people with the illness to experience loneliness and social exclusion. Dementia Friends
hope to tackle this by creating more communities and businesses that are dementiafriendly
and more inclusive of people affected by dementia.
Liz and her colleagues, Sarah Burton and Helen Sarkies, have recently undertaken
training to become Dementia Friends Champions, which has enabled them to carry out
training of frontline staff at the Council during team meetings. If you are interested in
organising a dementia information session, please get in touch with
On Tuesday I was pleased to accept an invitation to the East Cambs Careers & Skills Fair.
The event was organised to help inform and engage with students from across the district,
and to raise their aspirations, whilst highlighting their post-16 choices. Over 800 year 11
students attended. The Fair was supported by a variety of local businesses, who offered a
fantastic networking opportunity to the students who attended. It was a very worthwhile
and impressive event.
The same afternoon I attended the Parish Conference at the new Littleport Leisure Centre.
There were six presentations, including an inspiring talk on devolution by James Palmer,
Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority.
I came across an article recently in which a report from the think tank IPPR revealed that
only 33% of councillors are women. Here at East Cambs, 13 out of our 39 Members are
female, precisely one third. Average is not a word I would use to describe our Council, but
in this case it does apply. I am bound to wonder whether the percentage will change after
the 2019 elections.
Earlier in the week I sent you details of the next visit to a local business that been
arranged for ECDC Councillors. We look forward to our tour of CP Foods on Friday 27th
October. If you would like to join us and have not yet advised me, or my PA Lynne Smart,
I would be grateful if you would do so within the next week.
People sometimes ask me what I do in my spare time. I still retain a keen interest in the
theatre world and on Wednesday of this week I had a day off from Council business.
Roslyn and I went down to London to see “42nd Street” at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
It is a brilliant production. If you like musicals, I can highly recommend this show. I will be
away tomorrow to celebrate my birthday in my hometown, but will be back to attend the
Harvest Festival and City of Ely Civic Service, in the Cathedral, on Sunday afternoon.
The weather is set fair for the weekend, with temperatures forecast to be over 20 degrees.
Whatever you decide to do, I hope you have an enjoyable time.
There are no meetings scheduled for the week commencing 16th October 2017.

With Kind Regards

Yours sincerely

Councillor Peter Cresswell

Chairman of the Council