Always a pleasure never a chore meet with MP, lotto win advice from unlikely source, thief’s liking for Jim Beam and Ronnie’s back, albeit for one day only

YOU have to admire G4S for the way they have isolated the part of the business that fell so spectacularly short stewarding the Olympics.

Fearful that it might jeopardise its lucrative deal to handle work for Cambs police forces a spokesman was at pains to emphasis corporate separation.

“The Olympics contract has been delivered by a completely separate part of the G4S Group, which has no links to our policing business,” says their spokesman,

“G4S Policing Support Services is run by different management, has a large workforce and has consistently provided excellent service to its clients. It is also a completely different kind of contract. “

We are all the wiser I’m sure.

GENERALLY fine tweeting by Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson was surpassed this week even by his most excellent standards.

Commenting on the public spat between MP Nadine Norries and his outgoing neighbouring MP Louise Mensch it was clear whose side Mr Jackson is on.

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“Enjoyed smack down by @NadineDorriesMP of @LouiseMensch on ConHome,” he tweeted. “It had to be said and overdue. Message to Louise: Less is more.”


GREGARIOS presenter Ronnie Barbour was back behind the microphone at BBC Radio Cambridgeshire on Monday for a fleeting appearance as host of the post lunch slot.

It’s been a while since he graced the airwaves locally with his anarchic presentational style and, if I recall, his exit some years ago was remarkably swift.

Still auntie Beeb is a forgiving beast and maybe Ronnie – whose popularity in Wiltshire proved remarkably stoic- may get further gigs.

When Barbour left Three Counties Radio this year a spokesman said that “he goes with a huge amount of affection, with our blessing with our best wishes for whatever the future holds for him.”

But it won’t be on BBC Cambs breakfast where from Monday Paul Stainton hosts a newly created breakfast show covering the whole of the county.

Displaced Cambs presenter Jeremy Sallis is shunted to the afternoon shift where I expect his unctuous style to suit.

MITCH Mitchell writes to vent some comment on the Kevin Eldon programme on Radio 4 entitled “Kevin Eldon Will See You Now” which I mentioned last week.

“I drove back from York the other day and had Radio 4 on in the car,” says Mitch.

“Eldon’s show came on. It was quite the worst, least funny programme I have heard in a long time and that’s saying something given the current state of radio ‘comedy’.”

FROM Louise Stebbing a reminder she will be “taking part in the Art Fair in March and will be taking a big variety of work selling at silly prices to make room for new work in my studio.

“Many prices will be slashed to 20% of (that is of not off) the original prices (for this weekend only).

“There will also be artists from across the UK exhibiting so a chance to see a wide variety of work

“Hope to see you there.”

It’s on this Friday evening and all day Saturday and Sunday at March Town Hall.

NOW to Robert Ground who wrote to me about the ‘Home Groan’ vegetables for sale sign I used in the column a week or so ago.

“After years of raising a chuckle locally I was delighted to see that my produce sign had reached the dizzy heights of notoriety by getting a mention in the local press,” he writes.

“My quandary is now whether I admit that with such dreadful spelling, I am, in fact, a teacher who has been teaching children to read and write locally for the past twenty years!!

“Of course, as you intimated in your article, the wording is actually a pun, a play on words, intended to make you smile and to highlight the hard work I put in to producing the fruit and vegetables I sell.

“Please invite your photographer back to try some more. The carrots are grate and the beetroot is to dye for!!!!”

He signed it

Yours faithfully

E S Grounds

(B.Ed Hons)

FROM Jane Melloy of Tydd St Giles and a letter which, as usual, I treat with the reverence of a royal command.

“Dear Brakespeare,” she enthused.

“I wonder if you would be kind enough to let your readers know that on September 8, as part of the heritage weekend, Wisbech Courthouse will be open for public view for one day only.

“We have fought hard, with the help of the Wisbech Standard, to keep this court open. “Sadly the powers that be thought otherwise and, as you are aware, it was closed in March last year.

“A group of Friends of the Wisbech Courthouse have managed to get permission to open the courthouse for the Heritage weekend so that local people can see this lovely courthouse again for one day only.

“You and the Wisbech Standard have been supportive of this magnificent building and we are very grateful for your support.”

UNLESS it gets withdrawn – again- an auction on September 13 should decide the fate of a former water tower in Welney which has planning consent for conversion to a house.

Permission is one thing (the designs are spectacular) but having the cash and, indeed, the inclination another.

A very modest �15,000 is being touted by the agents as the likely price it will fetch but expect ten times that at least to convert it.

FROM the ‘you really couldn’t make it up’ department come the tale of a burglar who broke into student housing in Cambridge and then spent all night drinking their whisky.

One of the students woke at around 7.30am and found the drunken thief asleep on the kitchen floor.

Andrew Hughes got a suspended sentence but he was not ordered to pay compensation: his victims will have to replace the rather expensive bottle of Jim Beam from their own resources.

REMEMBER Steven Leeman? He’s the estranged son of Euro lotto winner Angie Dawes who with her husband Dave scooped a �101 million jackpot.

The Dawes never spent another night in Wisbech once they collected their winnings and are reported to have splashed out �3.5 million on a penthouse near to Chelsea football ground.

As for Steven he’s been telling national newspapers he is still estranged from his mum and it’s “situation normal, nothing has changed.”

He pointedly told one paper that he hoped the latest Euro winners form Haverhill “enjoy the money and spend it on their family. But I can tell them it doesn’t guarantee happy families.”

Indeed not.

ALWAYS a pleasure never a chore and interesting as ever to catch up with Steve Barclay, the MP for NE Cambs.

As its likely disaffected Lib Dems have seen off boundary re-organisation as the price for Tories refusing to back House of Lords reform, Mr B seems likely to remain our sitting member for some time to come.

He did admit one thing I had been pressing to know by confirming his north of Wisbech home has turned out to be partly in South Holland and part in Fenland.

The previous owner had a business in Spalding and elected to pay council tax to South Holland, a tradition Mr Barclay most likely must follow and, de facto, ensure his vote goes further north too.

He tells me his local village pub used to be half in Lincolnshire and half in Cambridgeshire and could provide fascinating scenarios when closing times in both counties differed up half an hour.