RARELY seen without a smile, Councillor Tony Parramint, the avuncular chairman of East Cambs District Council, welcomed guests to The Maltings on Friday as he hosted a civic reception.

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Council chairmen, town mayors and civic dignitaries from across Cambridgeshire and beyond were greeted by Cllr Parramint and his wife on arrival at the Ely conference and leisure centre.

“We are all very proud of our Maltings so those of you that don’t live in this area make a note as to how beautiful this is,” he told guests during a short pre supper address.

Cllr Parramint, in his concluding few months as chairman, outlined the many achievements and projects which East Cambs Council was working on.

“We have a very exciting new leisure centre for the district on the Downham Road site and we are looking forward to something a bit special,” he said.

He said the district would give a loud “hooray” once the A142 railway bypass issue was resolved, an improvement “very important to every single person who lives, works or travels through Ely”.

Cllr Parramint said: “Even more exciting is the opportunity of super fast broadband and also we are currently embracing ideas with community land trusts to help people in this area with housing.”

Apprentices would also be helped by the council and he expected a housing boom with 3,000 new homes to the north of the district and 700 in the Soham area.

“We are the place where people want to come and live and work and enjoy,” he said.

“And Cambridge University is thinking of putting a boat house on the Ouse, something of which we can be proud.”

Cllr Parramint also spoke of the council’s provision of £300,000 to parish projects and core funding to voluntary groups such as the CAB.

He also praised officers for their support and work – particularly in helping to secure £5 million worth of Government funding for recycling.

He said East Cambs was blessed with many excellent offers and urged his guests to “go along and talk with them. Many are here tonight and they are unbelievably impressive people.”

He concluded that he and his wife have “loved flying the flag for East Cambridgeshire- we have had a fabulous two years.”

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