FREE open-air band concerts will continue in Huntingdon, St Neots, St Ives and Ramsey this summer despite funding for the musical performances being axed by Huntingdonshire District Council.

FREE open-air band concerts will continue in Huntingdon, St Neots, St Ives and Ramsey this summer despite funding for the musical performances being axed by Huntingdonshire District Council.

Last month, The Hunts Post reported that HDC had scrapped its arts services to save money.

This has led to the axing of the Riverside Concerts, Hinchingbrooke Spring Music Festival and, from October, the children's Art Attack workshops.

A spokesman for HDC said "prudent financial management" was required until public sector budgets were more balanced.

However, to ensure residents do not miss out, town councils and other arts organisations are staging the events.

In St Neots, Mayor Councillor Gordon Thorpe said the concerts were an important part of the town's social calendar and helped forge community spirit. "We used to share the costs of the concerts with the district council so we had some money and decided to keep it going.

"It's a great platform for local bands and it is also good for tourism and helps spread a bit of joy."

Taking place at Riverside Park throughout the summer, the first concert will be held on Sunday featuring Somersham Town Band.

In St Ives, an organisation called Fest (Festival Events St Ives) is planning to hold six summer concerts from 2.30pm to 4pm at The Waits with sponsorship from St Ives Rotary Club, St Ives Civic Society and the town council. Spokesman Paula Luter said the costs would be about £8,000. The first concert is on Sunday July 11 with St Neots Big Band.

In Ramsey, the concerts on the Abbey Green start on Sunday with the Freddie and Fred New Orleans Jazz Band, with concerts every Sunday until August 1.

In Huntingdon, the concerts (from noon to 2pm in Huntingdon Town Park) started last Sunday and continue each week until August 28.

INFORMATION: Details of concerts will be published in The Hunts Post's Posted section in future editions.