Hunts Post Review of the Year: October - December

First stage of the removal of the Huntingdon viaduct will take place this month.

First stage of the removal of the Huntingdon viaduct will take place this month. - Credit: HUNTS POST

OCTOBER

The pandemic also began to have a knock-on effect for hundreds of care workers who had not been inoculated against Covid-19 and who faced losing their jobs unless they had their jabs. The double vaccine rule also applied to homes visitors.

Cases of fly-tipping underwent a huge increase during the year with 837 cases being reported, often on quiet rural roads. Sofas, beds, refrigerators and tyres were all dumped illegally but there were only 15 prosecutions or fixed penalty fines issued because of difficulties in tracking down the offenders.

The Hunts Post told of the tragic death of Huntingdon father of five Robert Duquemin, 53, after innocently opening his door to drug dealer Yanick Beresford, 25. Beresford was convicted of murder at Peterborough Crown Court where he admitted supplying Class A and B drugs.

Viewers of the 24 Hours in Police Custody TV show saw former Eaton Socon man Robert Parkins claim during an interview that the death of Alex Fitzpatrick, who had been stabbed 15 times was an accident. Parkins was  jailed for 19 years for murder. 

NOVEMBER

The pandemic tightened its grip locally, with Cambridgeshire being declared a Coronavirus Enhanced Response Area following a big increase in cases.

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With Christmas nearing, shoppers were urged to buy locally as a string of festive markets was revealed.

Flooding remained firmly on the agenda as Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly called for action to tackle the problem following a series of "devastating" floods in local communities. He said "little progress" had been made towards addressing the situation.

A report by Cambridgeshire County Council said hundreds of thousands of pounds were being made available in a bid to resolve flooding in Huntingdon, St Neots and St Ives in coming years, but residents were warned to be "mentally prepared" for future problems. 

Plans to improve the road network around Huntingdon and St Ives were being considered by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority with a view to approval in the New Year.

DECEMBER

Tributes came flooding in for Godmanchester mum Lisa Leader after she lost her long battle with brain cancer. The community had rallied round to raise more than £100,000 so she could have special treatment.

More than 60 people turned out in freezing conditions for a charity walk around Grafham Water in support of St Neots businessman John Woods who had been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. The walk raised more than £5,000 for the MND charity.

A three week extension was granted to Cambridgeshire's Enhanced Area status as Covid-19 cases increased. The status, which ran until Christmas Eve, came after 3,790 cases were recorded in the county, the highest for a single week. There were 1,269 in the week to December 6 taking the total to nearly 25,000 cases.

St Neots jeweller Paul Goldstraw to of the devastating effect of an armed robbery at his family business, Goldstraw Goldsmiths, in which a "significant" amount of property was taken, including irreplaceable jewellery belonging to customers. Staff were left traumatised by the attack.

The year ended with civic leaders urging residents to get vaccinated in a bid to ward off a surge of Covid-19 cases as the community faced further restrictions following a surge in cases of the Omicron variant.