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Heartbreak over death of Liam, Britain’s kindest kid

The nearby community where my sons went to school is in mourning today following the death of its bravest little lad, Liam Fairhurst aged 14. He passed away quietly at home in Soham  with his family and close friends present after battling cancer. My son James has been reading the tearful messages left on the Liam Fairhurst fan club Facebook site, where he is described as “a true...
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James’ school prom and other news

From horse carriage to fire engine, and limo to pushbike, these  were some of the eye catching ways in which my son James’ friends arrived for their school prom this evening. One novel set of wheels which drew up was this dingy recycling  bin – and two grinning guys leapt out of it; I’m not surprised the lads didn’t have dates! It’s not a very romantic way...
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Congratulations Allan Brigham

Congratulations to Cambridge’s most illustrious road sweeper Allan Brigham, who is to collect an honorary master’s degree from Cambridge University for his services to the community as a tour guide. I’m hoping to join him on one of his hidden history city tours – “town, not gown” – next Monday evening. Allan, who has a degree in history, is a well known...
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Humiliated MP asks, "Why were my expenses blacked-out?"

MP Richard Spring has described the publication of blacked-out expenses as a “mockery”. He was shocked to find that his expenses were censored this way, even though he made no requests to have any items removed from publication. The Suffolk MP has told his local paper, the East Anglian Daily Times, that it came as “a massive surprise” to see details of his expenses list...
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The recession and sprucing up on public speaking

I was at the 10th anniversary dinner of Cambridge Speakers’ Club a few days ago and asked our area governor Graham Frost whether the recession had seen a decline of membership. I wondered if Toastmaster clubs were closing due to lack of support. On the contrary, he told me, the recession was making them more popular. He told me that Toastmasters International, the world’s largest...
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Our Headway Big Lottery grant

It’s incredibly difficult to succeed in a Lottery grant bid – but we managed it at Headway Cambridgeshire, thanks to our brilliant Chief Executive Andrew Gardner. It has just been announced that we have secured £372,579 from the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme for five years, enabling Headway Cambridgeshire to expand its project to support brain injury...
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Our future digital world

I called into the Apple Store in Cambridge today where the staff are very excited about the new iPhone which will be launched in the UK on Friday. It has voice control and a compass and I am lusting after one – surely every Rambler like me should have one! And, at long last, it includes a video and improved camera. Unfortunately, the contract on my iPhone runs for another year, in which...
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Sir Alan’s first task should be ….

Sir Alan Sugar’s first task as the government’s new enterprise tsar should be to help secure jobs for our newly unemployed graduates with large debts around their necks. They are not alone as the former Bank of England policy maker David Blanchflower has warned that 1 million people under 25 will be unemployed by September. The National Union of Students is very concerned how many of...
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Have your say on the EP’s agenda

The European Parliament is seeking views about what you would like your newly elected MEPs to concentrate on. It has published an agenda of some of the issues it will shortly be dealing with, from working hours and food labelling, to immigration and a European advisory body for banks. But it is also inviting comments regarding other issues you feel should be dealt with. The list below shows that...
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My boys

I would like to say a big thank you to the superb medical staff at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge who treated David’s broken bone in his thumb. He tripped up on some steps in Hull last week at 2.30am after a night out with his uni friends and returned to his Cambridgeshire home plastered – literally. Within days, he had miraculously mastered texting with his left hand....
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Getting back to normal

There is no such thing as a routine day in my house. After the whirl of the last few weeks working with Conservative candidates on the Euro election, I was looking forward to catching my breath again. However, I shall be spending the next two days with David at Addenbrooke’s Hospital where he has to have surgery on a broken bone in his hand caused by a fall at 2.30 am after a night out...
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A terrific night for Conservatives

It was a terrific night for Conservative Euro candidates in the Eastern Region – as well as the United Kingdom – as voters gave Labour the bashing they were expecting. The result in our region remained unchanged with 3 Conservative, 2 UKIP, 1 Liberal Democrat and 1 Labour being re-elected. Our MEPs Geoffrey Van Orden and Robert Sturdy have been joined by newly elected Vicky Ford, who...
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Labour fourth after Loony Party

I think I have now heard it all. The election result just published for St Ives in Huntingdonshire has Labour coming a humiliating fourth after the Official Monster Raving Loony Party candidate Lord Toby Jug. Lord Jug clearly impressed the electorate in ways which the two Labour candidates couldn’t. The two council seats were won by Conservatives in a sweeping victory, with Lib Dems...
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Vicky’s Election Day

By the time I caught up with our inspirational candidate Vicky Ford this morning, she had already visited two villages near her home to encourage as many voters as possible to get to the polls. Among the people she met was an elderly lady in her village who was very distressed about a mobility problem which made her a prisoner in her own home – and Vicky straight away picked up her phone...
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The eve of the election

I was feeling half elated and half deflated at news of Gordon Brown’s Cabinet meltdown; my delight was measured by concern that it would alienate voters even more on the eve of the Euro and council elections. The mass resignations were surely a cunning plan on the part of Blears, Smith et al, knowing it would heap maximum humiliation on Brown. In a way, he is the Conservative’s best...
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