Hunts Post Review of the Year: July - September

Ryan Fuller and Cllr Keith Prentice at Old Falcon in St Neots.

Cllrs Ryan Fuller and Keith Prentice launch the survey - Credit: HDC

JULY

Parents complained about the council bringing back fines starting at £60 for unauthorised term time holidays. They said said the cost of holidays had rocketed.

Damage of £3.8m was caused to 20 Huntingdonshire firms in a single day at the end of last year when storms struck, a report revealed. It included damage to St Ives Industrial Estate and the Abbey Retail Park.

Huntingdonshire residents were warned by leaders at the district and county councils that "the pandemic was not over" with a third wave getting under way after the earlier easing of restrictions. They urged people to act carefully and remain vigilant.

Little Paxton's Paxfest and dog show brought some joy to the area with music and entertainment, with Gilberts, the St Neots butchers, providing sausages for the dog show's sausage catching contest.

The human cost of the pandemic was revealed in a Care Quality Commission report which said there had been 362 deaths in Cambridgeshire care homes. The CQC said the figures did not indicate poor quality care.

AUGUST

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Flooding was in the news again with work about to start on a £635,000 scheme to upgrade 200m of sewer pipe in Cemetery Road, St Neots, nearly a year after the town was hit by flash floods. Anglian Water said the pipe carried a "substantial amount" of the town's waste water.

Patients across Huntingdonshire were avoiding making medical appointments because they were worried about catching Covid-19 or putting pressure on the NHS. A survey showed more than a third had not made appointments.

Warm-hearted members of the public raised more than £6,000 to provide a specialist wheelchair for St Neots youngster Ellamae Coy, 10, who has an extremely rare chromosomal disorder.

Scores of people enjoyed a fun day in Huntingdon put on by the town's BID organisation to bring a bid of summer enjoyment back. Attractions included free rides, face painting and a giant elephant. BID said it was the busiest fun day they had organised. 

People in St Neots had a chance to contribute to a survey on £12.8m plans to improve the town centre.

The Hunts Post supported an awards scheme launched by Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly to recognise outstanding work by people during the pandemic.

Consultations on the proposed new rail link between Cambridge and Oxford passing close to St Neots attracted nearly 10,000 comments - with nearly 200,000 for the whole scheme by the East West Railway Company.

Concerns were being raised about plans by waste firm Envar to build a hospital waste burning plant at Woodhurst. The plans were for a healthcare waste energy recovery system.

The popular Buckfest music festival at Buckden was a sellout, attracting more than 2,000 people after a break last year caused by Covid.

SEPTEMBER

County councillors voted unanimously to install traffic lights at the Wheatsheaf crossroads on the B1040 near St Ives which has been the scene of numerous fatal accidents.

A director of the Dolphin Hotel apologised for an " arrogant and pompous" sign which said they were short of staff who were doing their best. It said: "If you can't wait or can't afford to drink here don't go on social media to complain...go elsewhere."

Long-running protests outside a unit near Huntingdon where dogs are bred for use in scientific tests have continued with the bill for one day of policing alone coming to £46,000.

A bid by Lidl to cut down or trim six horse chestnut trees at its Cambridge Street store in St Neots because it considered dropping from roosting pigeons was a health hazard was rejected by Huntingdonshire District Council which said it would affect the appearance of the mainly residential area.

The high-tech iMET training centre at Alconbury Weald collapsed within two years of opening with expected losses of £8m. Travel problems for students getting to the site were said to have contributed to the problem.

Residents of a mobile home park at Eynesbury were angry over water bill, saying they were being charged a disproportionate amount.

Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly has told the Government that Hinchingbrooke Hospital needs replacing by 2030 because of structural problems, including concrete sections which are breaking down.

Cancer patient Kat Cordiner, whose family home is in St Neots, unveiled plans for a 3,000 mile row across the Atlantic which could put her in the record books. Kat, 40, is part of a three-woman crew.