GRIGGS OF SOHAM: You need a licence to put up ‘road closed’ signs - what kind of test do you take for that?

JAKE the spaniel also shares his thoughts on the possibility of wheelie bins being introduced across East Cambridgeshire.

GOOD VALUE?

WE know that times are hard and that we are all in it together but does that really give Cambridgeshire County Council’s highways department an excuse to try to spread the misery as far as it can?

When the hard-working committee that organises the annual street fair on the run-up to Christmas wants to close the high street for a few hours it, not unreasonably, has to apply for the closure.

Once permission is given the committee hires some “road closed” signs and are ready to go.

An interesting hitch here is that the person who puts up the signs needs a licence to do so.

I don’t know if there is a test before a licence is issued; if the candidate has to know which way up the signs need to go and if they need to face the approaching traffic.

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If a licensed person cannot be found then the council will do the job for a mere �850 which seems a little steep for a few minutes’ work.

Luckily the street fair committee found a local contractor with some community spirit and saved a packet.

It makes you wonder how we would get on if some of these people with a bit of power stopped helping us.

The committee has already applied to close the road for this year’s fair on December 6.

NOT KEEN

JAKE the spaniel is not keen on the proposal to equip the households in East Cambs with wheelie bins.

For a start he can’t see where there is room for them on a lot of the streets around town. For example, the path in front of the new terrace between the chip shop on the market place and Chatterbox has very little width - and there are plenty of other examples.

Bins strewn about would make it difficult enough for a dog to get along let alone anyone on an electric scooter or a mum with a double buggy.

Also, Jake much prefers the old black bag because when a bag splits there are so many fascinating smells about - things you don’t get from a plastic bin.

WELL DONE

IF you dropped a coin or two in the buckets of the Rotarians stationed at Soham and Fordham Co-ops, Budgens or Scampers during December when they were holding their annual collection for Magpas then you might be interested to know that you helped to raise �1,509 for this vital volunteer service.

One chap came up to me and said that he thought that we shouldn’t be doing the collection as the government should finance it.

He’s right of course, but can you see it happening?

If money wasn’t donated then Magpas wouldn’t get any funds and the service wouldn’t happen, so thank you everyone who donated, your contribution is almost certain to save lives during 2013.

ONE IN, ONE OUT

THE butcher’s shop that has been standing empty and unloved for a while in High Street opened again on Saturday as a delicatessen specialising in Portuguese products.

For a while it looked as if that part of the street was back to full strength, but, unfortunately, not. The lady opposite who took in ironing and sold odds and ends has shut up shop.

Still, the centre of town is looking healthier now than it has for quite a time, let’s hope this is a good omen for the rest of 2013.

While not exactly a new business, the Blue Shed Studios in Regal Drive has added an extra string to its bow. As well as rehearsal rooms for music and dance and a recording facility, it can now offer a photography studio with all the lighting and other equipment a snapper could wish for.

Good luck to anyone willing to have a go in these astringent times!

FOLLOW JAKE

JAKE hasn’t been wandering about for a few weeks, but he had a roam recently.

Behind the business that cuts its price twice a week Jake found a road that might have been named after Mr Butcher or Mr Clark or even both of them.

On December 6 Jake walked past the houses that used to be occupied by Soham’s policemen (remember them?) and made his way along White Hart Lane.

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