WHAT an amazing year for St Ives.

The town never wishes to be left out of any party and so preparations to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee started well back in 2011, involving as many groups and organisations as possible in this special occasion. All the jubilee events in St Ives were well supported, despite the wet weather.

I still recall the goose-bumps that came over me when the Lancaster Bomber flew over the crowded town centre.

The Olympic Torch Relay came firing through St Ives one wet and early Sunday morning in July. The route all the way through St Ives was heaving with around 15,000 people to witness a once-in-a-life-time historical moment. St Ives has kept the Olympic spirit alive by hosting a major table tennis tournament in September and we welcomed back Hannah Macleod, bronze Olympic medal winner to St Ives Hockey Club in October where she gave valuable advice and lessons to enthusiastic children.

Local businessman Mike Purchas and the chairman of the Civic Society of St Ives, Peter Baker, were successful in securing £10,000 for St Ives through the Mary Portas bid. I congratulate them on their success and I look forward to working with them during 2013.

I have endeavoured to try to support local businesses in St Ives as best I can. Earlier in the year, concern was expressed at the amount of empty shops in the town centre. So, it was encouraging to see as 2012 progressed, a number of independent retailers opening their doors in St Ives, as well as a number of existing retailers moving into bigger premises.

A new St Ives Retail Group was established this year. With retailers working together, and sharing information, they will endeavour to build a stronger retail community and stronger St Ives. Other St Ives business success stories include Cambridge Sensotec Ltd recently winning The Hunts Post Small Business of the Year Award and Colortrac Ltd receiving the Queen’s Award for Enterprise (International Trade).

I am looking forward to a busy 2013 and I would like to take this opportunity to wish your readers a happy new year.