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Minister boosts hopes for more cash for Wisbech

More government funding could be on the way to Wisbech to help tackle issues surrounding migration.

Lord Bourne at Rosmini

That was the key message from Communities Minister Lord Bourne during a visit to the town last Friday (November 4).

The visit - the second by a Government minister in the past eight months - also indicated serious interest in the proposal for a Wisbech Garden Town.

Lord Bourne arranged the trip to find out more about the key issues facing the area, particularly those related to migration and social cohesion.

He said: "There's nothing like seeing a place for yourself and meeting people there to understand the challenges."

His visit included a tour of the Rosmini Centre, where he met manager Anita Grodkiewicz, staff and volunteers and joined in a game of table tennis.

Lord Bourne - Octavia View He also visited Octavia View for a round-table discussion on some of the main challenges facing the town. Those present included council officers, Thomas Clarkson Academy principal Anne Hill, Detective Inspector Dave Murphy and Keith Smith, director of the Ferry Project.

After dropping in briefly at the Octavia Hill Birthplace Museum, he went on to March for a further meeting at Fenland Hall with Fenland District Council leader Cllr John Clark, Cabinet members Cllr Will Sutton and Cllr David Oliver and senior council officers.

He later described the various talks as "stimulating".

Lord Bourne - Fenland Hall Cllr Clark said: "The Minister was extremely approachable and what he said was very encouraging. He indicated that the Government's door was definitely open to providing more help for Fenland."

Lord Bourne's visit followed one in March by Greg Clark, the then Secretary of State at the Department of Communities and Local Government. Mr Clark had also signalled support for the garden town proposal and in particular for the possible re-opening of the Wisbech-March rail link.

Article added November 8, 2016