COMMENT: Griggs of Soham by Geoff Griggs

Dog bin

Dog bin - Credit: Archant

TO JOIN OR NOT TO JOIN? There is a lot of heartsearching and debate at the moment over what sort of federation we should be part of. Would we be stronger and more prosperous as part of a larger unit or better off independent?

Apparently central government is investigating the possibility of devolving more powers to the regions and one of the options for Cambridgeshire is to be associated with Norfolk and Suffolk.

Unsurprisingly this has not gone down too well with the powers that be in Cambridge. No doubt they are wary that Norfolk and Suffolk may not roll over and give way to the voracious appetites of the county town as the four counties that were amalgamated into the new Cambridgeshire a number of years ago did.

Really the only way it could work fairly would be if Cambridge became a unitary authority like Peterborough. We keep being told that it is such a powerhouse of almost everything that you wonder why they need the resources of the rest of us.

It makes you wonder what the good people of Norfolk think about it. What would they reckon to a guided bus along the Acle straight or punts across the Broads?

If the association should come about then we would have to make sure our interests were well protected and cutting the number of county councillors as is currently proposed might not be the surest way to ensure this. And associating half of Soham with Littleport in one of two new county council wards for the town doesn’t give you much faith.

There might be a plus to the federation, however. If the new Cambs, Norfolk, Suffolk authority was established then we may be able to get the fascinating news from Northampton and Luton replaced with the goings on in places that we may even care about.

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Jake the spaniel is quite proud that all the people he takes for walks are good citizens and always clear up any unfortunate occurrences that may happen en-route. He’s pleased to see the number of green bins attached to various pieces of street furniture around town so that his companions can dispose of their bags.

However all is not peaceful on the bin front. When the new streetlights were installed on the Butts a bin was relocated.

Unfortunately the chap whose garden the bin was placed in front of wasn’t impressed. Not least because the emptying is, to say the least, sporadic often leading to the overflow ending up on the ground complete with the associated aromas.

Since then the bin has moved up and down a bit before ending up on a post at the top of the drove that leads to Cherry Tree Lane beside the allotments.

Jake hopes that the bin has now stopped moving about as there is nothing more annoying than trying to calm down a frustrated walker who has become bored with the latest bout of “hunt the bin.”


Usually the wheely bin guys sweep through our part of town bright and early so one of the first jobs on a Wednesday is to drag that week’s container back to its usual resting place.

Last week, however, they were a little later on the scene which wasn’t a problem, they still provided their usual excellent service.

However, when I mounted my trusty mobility scooter for a trip into town I noticed that there were still quite a number of bins still on the path which was understandable.

It did give me the chance to participate in a new game of judgement and skill, though. Piloting an electric trolley between a wheely bin and the kerb calls for not a little concentration.

It does give you a certain feeling of satisfaction when you reach your destination without any scratches, bumps or unexpected drops into the gutter, though. One bin did catch my eye. Many have large stickers displaying the house number but this one carried the instruction to “Slow Down.” When you are negotiating an obstacle course you have no option!


It was announced this week that the controller of the Archers on Radio 4 is soon to move on to Eastenders. So what has this to do with Soham? It struck me that the prevailing atmosphere in Archers Close, which is now, presumably, idylically rural will become miserable and combative.


If you get frustrated at the apparent lack of knowledge of some of the contestants on various TV quiz shows then there is a chance to prove your worth on Saturday.

There is a quiz night at the Sports Hall from 7pm for the excellent Macmillan Cancer Support. Teams of up to six will be asked to contribute £5 per head. If you would like to enter then call 01353 722604 and show them what you’re made of.


On Monday I shall be feeling a bit younger for a while. It is the birthday of the chap I sat next to at the Shade School for a couple of years.

Why the youthful delusion? Well this bloke, one of Soham’s leading businessmen will, on the 29th, celebrate his seventeenth birthday while the rest of us are pushing sixty-eight. Not to worry, Colin, only four more years before you can have a legal drink!