Thursday 26th May 1988

A day in the office, as torrential rain floods Park Crescent, working my way through my mail, researching matters ahead of my first Environmental Services Committee meeting in June and dealing with other ward issues until my parents arrived for a visit this afternoon and stayed until early evening but I still took Debbie for her horse-riding lesson in between times. My neighbour Marilyn McGowan is having to leave David according to Chris James opposite, which is sad. Rowntree is now being pursued by Suchard as well, Gorbachev is reforming his party and clearing up Moscow prior to the Reagan summit, Syria is sending 7,000 troops into Southern Beirut and the media are crying ‘foul’ for press freedom as they become subject to a court order to hand over tapes of the Wapping demonstrations

Still very tired when it was time to wake up this morning and opted to come down in my dressing gown for breakfast. Croissants this morning and then I went up to get showered and dressed. Stayed at home today, had quite a bit of mail to deal with and also wrote a few letters as well. Spoke to Mr Coultous of Environmental Health, the Assistant Director, about dog fouling bylaws and got the background to what can be done about it. Lunch of salad and ham and then typed on this afternoon, trying to get more matters before the District Council and my first Environmental Services Committee meeting in June. I am working ahead to ensure I do not miss the boat, as these meetings are so few and far between. Ran out of time later and my parents arrived in mid-afternoon for a visit. Had a nice time and they ended up staying until late evening, even though I had to take Debbie horse riding during this time. Mum bucks up when in company, if Dad manages to persuade her to come out. Bad news today via Chris James. Marilyn has been forced to leave David McGowen opposite and with that her animals, friends and riverside location. I offered my help via Chris, but she broke down in tears as she is very upset about it. These matrimonial problems!

Wednesday 25th May 1988

 Seeing Debbie off alone on the bus this morning as Daniel was taking his Additional Maths GCE a year early and then welcoming my photos back from Colin Howard at last which started a large archiving process. After I had mowed the Games Lawn Debbie caused Diana to panic by hiding in her room when returning from school! The government allows the Nestles takeover of Rowntree to proceed which their Swiss hosts would have not allowed if the tables were reversed and Thatcher was lecturing Tory ladies in Methodist terms as she heard that the Scottish Kirk Assembly would not be inviting her back next year! Southoe PCC invite me to open their church fete in July and this evening’s Huntingdon SLD meeting went well as I implored them to go away and find candidates and circulate leaflets ready for next year’s elections.

A little latish to bed, as usual, and was sound asleep when woken with my morning tea. I made haste and showered and shaved in time for breakfast with the others. Debbie had to go to school (via the bus) on her own this morning, as Daniel and his contemporaries had dispensation to stay at home and study. All except his Set 1 were taking maths GCSE today and his is taking additional maths later on, having already gained ‘O’ level GCE mathematics a year early. This morning I received some mail – a couple of H D Council letters of reply etc. and I also received a packet of photographs from Colin Howard, at long last, with apologies for the delay. He still has some more overdue work of mine to do. I spent the morning sorting out, labelling and trimming these photos; preparing copies + originals to be returned to their owners, filing the referenced negatives safely and sticking the new copies in my album.

Tuesday 24th May 1988

Catching up on the local papers and dealing with local elector’s grievances, including grass cutting and all else but BT have repaired the Southoe Public Call box, which was a minor triumph. The National Union of Seamen failing in their High Court bid to regain control of their sequestrated union funds but doubts remain about the standards of safety on board the cross channel ferries after yesterday’s fire. The NHS lottery had to be cancelled due to illegality and pregnant mothers will now be tested for the AIDS virus

Straight to bed last night and a deep night’s sleep, before I awoke early and went looking for my morning tea. Drank away and chatted to the girls and glanced through the morning paper before breakfast, leaving my wash and shower until afterwards. I read a bit more of the papers and then dealt with more correspondence this morning, photocopying more replies for local residents. A long list of complaints from one elector, to which I replied with a long list of answers and things for him to do as well as me. People think they can burden their local Councillor, but it is for all of us to act together to improve our community. Then I got a good reply from British Telecom and found the Southoe public call box has been fixed. Off to Southoe to deliver my ‘glory copies’ and I stuck one up in the call box itself, to make sure they all realised who had achieved it! Home to write a letter to the Reliant Club, declining to join a rally in Nottingham next month and also a chat with Charles Mawer, Parish Councillor, who is responsible for the grass cutting etc. The District Council arrived today to start on Little Paxton’s grass and were doing a good job, but far too seldom to be effective.

Monday 23rd May 1988

Forwent a Priory ‘DOOM’ committee meeting in order to sit-in on an HDC Planning Committee meeting which dragged on and approved re-development of Huntingdon Bridge Boatyard despite local councillors objecting. News tonight of a serious engine room fire in the Sealink freight ferry, Seafreight Freeway, which killed one officer and critically injured another.

A day in the office, working away at my paperwork and using the photocopier to brief various local residents of my progress on local issues. This took all morning, as I also tried to catch up on the newspapers and cuttings as well. Lunchtime soon came and after, I put my effort into writing a ‘sewage and drainage’ brief for Priory Doom and also penned a letter tendering my apologies for their committee meeting tonight. After tea, I dropped off these notes and drove on to Huntingdon to attend an HDC Planning Committee meeting. Though not actually on this committee, I decided to attend for the information and experience and I found it interesting as well. Key decisions included the refusal of an application for supermarket etc in St Ives/Fenstanton flood plain and approval for an adventurous building on the site of the Huntingdon Bridge Boatyard, where the development will include 4-storey flats, a hotel, restaurant and yacht chandlery/marina. Quite a site this will be, but the local Godmanchester Councillors were not happy with the idea, but were out voted.