Eagled-eyed officers spot drug deal

A drug dealer has been sentenced to more than two years in prison after officers spotted a drug deal at the War Memorial Parade in St Ives on 12 November 2017 when they witnessed suspicious activity in a grey BMW.

Officers pulled it over, discovering the driver, 22-year-old Daniel Currell, to be in possession of several bags of cocaine. Currell, of Fairfields Crescent, St Ives, was arrested and admitted the drugs were his, but claimed they were for personal use. A police drugs expert examined Currell’s mobile phone, along with other seized items, and found conversations which indicated the stash was not for personal consumption. Earlier this month, Currell admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine, possession with intent to supply cocaine, possession of cocaine and possession of cannabis and on Tuesday 28 May was jailed for two years and five months at Peterborough Crown Court.

Anyone with information about drug dealing in Cambridgeshire is urged to report online at www.cambs.police.uk/report or call 101.

Well Dressing

On the weekend of 21-23 June Holywell will celebrate its Well Dressing and Flower Festival. The theme this year is Open the Book (stories from the Bible).

Friday 21st is the well blessing service at 6.30pm followed by refreshments. Saturday 22nd the church is open all day and from 12pm there is a fete with stalls, games, plants and teas.

Sunday the morning the service will be at 9.30am and at 3pm there is a family friendly concert followed a Big Tea. Donations are appreciated for charity no tickets needed.

Update on Fake News

Four issues ago we reported on a good news story from the District Council which said The Council is pleased to announce plans to expand its existing loyalty reward schemes for regular market stall holders.

The report went on ‘The Council has worked successfully with St Ives Town Initiative (SITI) and the Town Council to run events to encourage visitors.’ We tried to find out what the scheme was and what events had been run but could get no answer from the Council or the councillor in charge, a Mrs Marge Beutell.

So we asked the market traders, who said they knew of no scheme, but suggested we talk to HDC’s man in charge on the ground. This proved more fruitful as he told us that the scheme was still being decided, although an incentive was offered in January – market traders who booked stalls in January got February free.

Still no one could tell us of any events that had been run to encourage visitors. Fake news?

A Skiffing good weekend

The Riverporter was on hand to welcome the members of The Skiff Club from Teddington who spent May Bank Holiday weekend skiffing the Great Ouse.

Skiffing is sculling with an oar in each hand, rowing is one oar in both hands. We asked one of their members, Gordon Wuest, for a comment about their Meander. The conclusion was that the Great Ouse was a wonderful choice, with variety and beauty on its banks and charming towns and villages along the way. That’s high praise, given that they’ve rowed the Thames and the Severn and Avon from Worcester to Stratford, and Bristol to Devizes.

‘There was regret that we couldn’t see more of the places we passed, and a longer trip with more stops along the way would be great.’ said Gordon. ‘The most scenic section was Bedford to St Ives. A delight round every corner. Some ventured into St Ives after dark: they had fun, but I turned round when I realised I wouldn’t be able to hear myself think in any of the bars we passed! But the charms of the town are apparent, certainly more so than when I was last there 50 years ago! Definitely a trip we recommend to future meanderers’.

Can it be a coincidence?

The Riverporter has been going 18 months now and judging from the comments the editors have had it has been well received.

As we said from the outset we wanted to give publicity to all those worthwhile voluntary groups that contribute to the community of St Ives and once again this issue has details of events being put on by these organisations.

The Editors also said that they wanted to give readers the latest news with a touch of humour where possible but also in some detail.

This approach has sometimes resulted in the paper delving into the details behind the headlines. Such an approach means that we try our best to ensure that we are accurate in our reporting and therefore we offer the opportunity to all parties to get their point of view over in their own words.

Worrying trend In this regard The Riverporter hasn’t been quite as successful with some councillors refusing to engage with us despite our assurance that we will print their comments verbatim. Of course that is their prerogative and we accept that entirely, but we do still try to accurately reflect their views on issues when known.

Sadly of late that indifference has changed and The Riverporter’s Editor has now been threatened in what seems as an attempt to stop the newspaper from asking questions about Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) matters and the views of it’s controlling councillors. Coincidence?

At the same time The Riverporter has learned that a leading member of the opposition in HDC, Labour Councillor Dr Nik Johnson, has also been subject to comments and actions designed to threaten his ability to scrutinise and offer an alternative point of view of HDC. Details of these feature on P3 in the article: Is democracy under threat in Huntingdonshire?

Fun in the sun

Last weekend’s warm weather brought out the crowds in St Ives and throughout Huntingdonshire as ‘flaming’ June heralded the start of the summers activities as our pictures show.
unday, in particular, was busy with an International Children’s Day in Warner’s Park, described as an outdoor family party by the Polish organisers.
Meanwhile in the town centre the Town Team’s Day of Dance provided music, dance and laughter to large numbers of visitors. See right and on page 2.
The weekend was also busy for cyclists with the increasingly popular Tour of Cambridge taking place (see below). Although the event didn’t reach St Ives this year it did engage 11,000 riders around the quiet lanes in the north of Huntingdonshire, starting and ending at the East of England Showground.
The Riverporter seems to be one of the few newspapers to mention this colossal event, probably because it went past the Editors house! The next two events to take place are the Regatta at Nobles Field on Saturday 22 June and Picnic in the Park on Sunday 23 June in Warner’s Park.

Who thinks this is a good idea?

The Riverporter has learned that BT is offering communities the chance to adopt their local phone box for £1.Community groups across the East of England are being encouraged to do something inspirational with their phone boxes that are no longer used or have fallen into disrepair.

BT say they will continue to provide electricity (if already in place), free of charge. Where electricity is available, adopted boxes can be used for defibrillators. Communities can adopt a kiosk if they are a recognised public body, such as a town council. Comment… So, if any of our town councillors are reading this, how about adopting the awful phone box near W H Smith in Market Hill? . . . A prime site we would have thought!

Erik’s favourite tree to be felled

Huntingdon District Council plan to fell the Horse Chestnut tree in Warners Park. Work was scheduled to start in the week beginning 20th May.

A report by the Arboricultural Officer in 2011 stated it was a fine tree of great stature with no obvious defects of a very good quality for its age. Two recent reports have both confirmed that the trunk is decaying and it now poses a risk to park users.

Summer Concert

St Ives Choral Society’s summer concert on 8th June is inspired by America. Copland’s Old American Songs are settings of American folk tunes collected in the 19th and early 20th centuries, including the famous Shaker melody ‘Tis the gift to be simple’.
The songs sung by African American slaves have inspired many composers in Britain and further afield. Rutter’s ‘Feel the Spirit’ brings together seven of those spirituals including ‘When the Saints’ and ‘Joshua fit the Battle of Jericho’, with the choir being joined by a soprano soloist.
Tickets £12 (£10 concessions) accompanied children under-16 free. Available online from www.ticketsource.co.uk/st-iveschoral- society and from the Fair Trade Shop in the Free Church.