FROM many of the independent traders in St Ives, may we thank the Lord Lieutenant of the County, Hugh Duberly, Jonathan Djanogly our MP [now Parliamentary candidate], St Ives Town Council, and the councillors from Huntingdonshire District Council for

FROM many of the independent traders in St Ives, may we thank the Lord Lieutenant of the County, Hugh Duberly, Jonathan Djanogly our MP [now Parliamentary candidate], St Ives Town Council, and the councillors from Huntingdonshire District Council for doing their utmost to promote St Ives during the 900th anniversary celebrations.

What did the HDC officers running the Bank Holiday market do to help?

Well at the other end of town from the celebrations they fenced off 23 car parking spaces from Friday night to Monday evening. This meant that during the Saturday's celebration we were 23 car parking spaces down. At its peak on Saturday we counted up to 20 cars a minute leaving the car park because they could not park.

When our customers asked why this was happening they were told that the spaces were needed for the Bank Holiday market. On Monday, two out of the town traders pitched into this area - with so much space to spare they probably thought they were royalty.

So thanks to HDC officials at least 23 St Ivians were denied access to the Saturday celebrations so that two out of town traders could ply their wares on Bank Holiday Monday and take their profits out of the town.

Now 23 lost car parking spaces may not sound like much - but it is. In lost parking fees to HDC it amounts to about £86, in lost spending on refreshments in the town about £700, and in spending on products in town maybe as much as £1,200 - a total loss of perhaps £1,986.

These numbers are very approximate but they do point out one important fact that the HDC officers running the markets in our town do not seem to understand how St Ives retail economy works. And that's not too surprising because in the 10 years we have been here we have never seen a HDC official from the market.

RICHARD WATER and

J McDONALD

Time for Health

St Ives

A spokesman for HDC said: "These spaces were coned off, as is our practice every year, for the Bank Holiday market.