NOW that the dust of the recent elections has settled, may we say thank you to the many Eaton Socon people who have supported us over all the years to help us serve our community as elected councillors.

Lots of people have asked why neither of us stood for election this year.

Quite simply, since 1989 we have, between us, had the privilege of serving Eaton Socon for 12 years on Cambridgeshire County Council, 19 years on Huntingdonshire District Council and 34 years on St Neots Town Council - 65 years is a good age to retire.

While we have now retired from political life, rest assured that we shall continue to be actively involved with our community and charity work.However, now that Eaton Socon is firmly in the hands of the Conservatives, gazing into our crystal ball, the following predictions loom through the mist. After years of striving to maintain a town council budget increase of below inflation, this time next year we will all be hit by a record rise in our local community charge, as the newly-elected Conservative councillors will be told to pander to their 'masters' in Pathfinder House and Shire Hall.

These two higher councils will be asking the new town council to bail them out and subsidise the services that these two councils are responsible for in the first place.

Further predictions are that grant aid given out by the town council to local voluntary organisations will not be anywhere near as generous as in the past and that the town council will be handing over our land to other organisations at little or no financial benefit to us taxpayers.

Finally, we predict that plans to build houses on the Ouse Meadows will once again be presented, but with little or no opposition from Conservative councillors.

Despite this, let's hope St Neots will continue to flourish.

DEREK and SANDIE GILES

Past councillors

and mayors of St Neots

Stratford Place

Eaton Socon