Letter: Police wellbeing dog 'a waste of taxpayers' money

Reader Joe Marden says Cambridgeshire police's new wellbeing dog Holly is a waste of taxpayers' money. 

Reader Joe Marden says Cambridgeshire police's new wellbeing dog Holly is a waste of taxpayers' money. - Credit: POLICE

Police 'turn a blind eye' to anti-social behaviour

Well, the keystone cops of Cambridgeshire have really pushed the boat out using taxpayers' money.

As reported in the July 9 edition of the Ely Standard, the Cambridgeshire police can now talk openly about their mental health issues because they have a wellbeing and trauma support dog called Holly.

PC Paul Roe said: "During Holly's training, I have had the pleasure of witnessing how she encourages people to discuss experiences that have impacted their mental wellbeing."

What planet do the people in charge of spending tax payers money live on? We are constantly told there is a shortage of funding for Cambridgeshire police yet they spend money on a "wellbeing dog".

That has costs involved such as the purchase of said dog, the training of said dog, food and lodgings for said dog, vets bills for said dog etc, including taking a live police officer from normal everyday duties.

Whilst I understand there is shortage of taxpayers money for the police, they have had no problem increasing their take from our council tax pot by an extra 6.4 per cent this year. Yet they still deliver an absolute shambles of a police force.

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Oh, one last thing from the July 9 edition, I should mention to ex-servicemen like myself. Go check all your old service gear to ensure you have no live ammunition or explosives in an old jacket pocket.

Because, if you get caught, you will probably go down for a stretch... unlike the ex-police and crime commissioner Jason Ablewhite who, on evidence that was gathered, walked away scot free.

People deserve more from the Cambridgeshire police. 

Winston Churchill told the House of Commons on March 7, 1916, "its no use saying we're doing our best, you have to succeed in doing what's necessary".

Joe Marden, ex-paratrooper

Open studios

Artist Ted Coney is showing his paintings again on Ely’s Waterside as part of the Open Studio scheme.

He first opened his house in Great Shelford to the public back in 1984.

Artist Ted Coney's painting 'Dear Reginald Owen'

Artist Ted Coney's painting 'Dear Reginald Owen' is about an ancestor of his who went on to find fame in the 1930s Hollywood film industry. He was the old admiral on the roof in 'Mary Poppins') - Credit: TED CONEY

He did his own publicity and screen printed all his own posters and flyers.

Since then he has developed a guided tour around the house he shares with his wife Hazel on Ely’s Waterside.

It shows some of the family-themed oil paintings and installations he has made over the last fifty years.

Since Covid struck, Ted has been offering his virtual tour (with proceeds going to NHS charities) but this summer he is also trying Open Studios again for the first time since 1994.

Visitors will be able to wander around his garden, popping into his studio, garage (his Morris Minor, which features in some of the paintings is 90 years old this July) and new gallery.

Admission is free and he is open on the second, third and fourth weekends in July, from 11am-6pm on each day.

Though he doesn’t sell the final paintings, preliminary studies on canvas and postcards are for sale.

Visit www.tedconeysfamilyportraits.co.uk

Ted Coney

From the archives 

Further to Mike Petty's page last week, I feel I should write in and add to his piece about the aircraft salvage theft.

The two lads in the picture are the late Bob Giddings and his brother, not the ones up to mischief.

Bob lived all his life in the cottages at Denny Abbey and was a great aircraft enthusiast and was one very keen to preserve the memories of the airfield's history.

We would get him turn up at uncle's on the Queen's birthday as the BBMF often did a five-minute display on the way to London.

He would be there in case "the Lancs coming" - some years we did get lucky; others just the Fighters. (Uncle's bungalow was in line with the runway).

The Hurricane in the photograph was one of two there that was used to rob parts to keep LF363 flying with the station flight.

This aircraft is still flying with the BBMF and is, as far as I know, the only aircraft that flew from Waterbeach still flying.

The plane they are sitting in actually shot down an aircraft in the Battle of Britain so it's somewhat sad it got scrapped like this.

Mike can verify this as it was covered in an article he did a few years back that is in my archive.

If I remember right, the two that still worked on the camp.

That the place is in the process of vanishing under a new town is very sad but, progress, I suppose.

Graham Murfitt 

Inner Wheel 

Ely Inner Wheel held their annual meeting once again on zoom.

Secretary Constance Heald, taking the post for the 11th year, gave her report and stated we have 29 members.

Other members of the committee gave their reports.

These included the treasurer who stated we had raised a substantial sum even though we were in lockdown for so long.

The results have been sent to several charities including Smile train which had been arranged by our international service officer Mary Rone.

After the business had been completed, the president Susie Sallis-Browne handed the chain of office to the incoming president Julia Smith.

She in turn gave Susie flowers and a card.

Diana Goldstein

Summer fete fundraiser

The Friends of Soham Lodge will be hosting a summer fete to raise much-needed funds for the residents of Soham Lodge Care Centre.

Last year, the summer fete did not take place and, as you can imagine, we are very excited to announce this year's summer fete (from 2-6pm on July 31).

The Friends of Soham Lodge - a group of friends, family, staff and volunteers - is always looking for new members!

The last year has been especially tough. Many residents do not have as many visitors as to what they had previously.

This has a knock-on effect on the residents' wellbeing. 

Fortunately, our volunteers combat this by volunteering their own time to provide companionship and meaningful activities for all residents at Soham Lodge Care Centre. 

The outbreak has also affected fundraising as we could not host a summer fete, Christmas Bazaar, cake sale or coffee mornings - all main sources of income for the residents meaningful activity provision. 

We do have a monthly source of income from the care centre which covers projects like the new sensory bathroom, our beautiful plants and flowers in the gardens and the external covid safe family room.

However, this does not cover all entertainment, takeaways, events and outings. This is funded by the Friends of Soham Lodge.

Unfortunately, we do not have enough money in the pot to take the resident's on a seaside outing this year.

To make the outing inclusive this would require four wheelchair friendly minibuses with lifts plus transport for staff and volunteers.

This would cost over £2,300 for transport alone (this is way more money than we have in our current pot).

Donate via https://bit.ly/36xgcl3

Soham Lodge Care Centre 

Swift Awareness

The City of Ely Council has supported Dick Newell and Bill Murrells from Action for Swifts in installing swift boxes at the cemetery and The Maltings.

There are swift boxes at St Mary's church and these are very successful, as Centre E is close (as the swift flies) perhaps we are benefitting from that as a sort of annexe. 

Centre E has cameras and does a live feed which Matt keeps an eye on especially as we have chicks.

Mike Rouse