St Ives hit the national headlines for the wrong reason last week when racist, anti-immigration stickers were found stuck to doors, lampposts pedestrian crossings and even near schools. This week the Mayor, Tim Drye, issued this statement condemning the action. ‘This year, as Town Mayor, I have had many delightful experiences and broadened my understanding and appreciation of the many contributions to the community life of St Ives.

I have also enjoyed the many ways that St Ives has been publicised further afield and built its reputation, so it was with great sadness and shame that I came across another altogether more disturbing story from our town publicised in the national press. These notices expressed vile attitudes towards some of our friends and neighbours that I refuse to repeat.

I am deeply concerned these have been found and associated with our life in St Ives. I accept that there are a significant number of people within the community that face struggles, hardship and injustice that can lead to frustration and anger. However, I utterly refute the notion that people from different locations, cultures and perspectives are the cause of these difficulties and their removal would do anything other than diminish our thriving social life together.

With this in mind, I visited the Prayer and Education Centre in The Broadway on Sunday Feb 24th and will attend Friday prayers at the Needingworth Road Mosque, Friday March 1st. (See photo above: the Mayor at the Prayer and Education Centre in The Broadway with Juned Ahmed, Chairman; M A Hussain, Secretary; Mokshud Rahman, ex Chairman and Abdul Hal, ex Chairman.) I have arranged this to demonstrate our unreserved support for those communities and give thanks for their dedication and contribution to life within our town. I am confident that the overwhelming population of the town will join me and together we will challenge these seeds of hatred wherever they emerge.’ St Ives new Police Sergeant, Alice Draper, said ‘Police are working on a strategy to address this issue and identify any offenders. Reports from members of the public will assist us in gathering intelligence.’ Incidents can be reported directly to Cambridgeshire Police at www.cambs.police.uk/report or via the 101 service.

Councillor Dr Tim Drye

TOWN MAYOR OF ST IVES