Check the facts

PUBLISHED: 12:19 16 November 2006 | UPDATED: 13:36 04 May 2010

IN February, the district council agreed to find a car park site near to Ely Railway Station. I, as then local Liberal Democrat leader, co-wrote a motion with the local Conservative leader; he and I jointly proposed it. I included the idea of having a Sat

IN February, the district council agreed to find a car park site near to Ely Railway Station. I, as then local Liberal Democrat leader, co-wrote a motion with the local Conservative leader; he and I jointly proposed it.

I included the idea of having a Saturday park-and-ride service and to use compulsory purchase powers to improve more direct links to the station. There was no vote on a particular site at that time and the Lib Dems continue to prioritise the use of planning-gain monies to get the railway to develop car parking plans as part of a transport interchange. However, the railway continues to drag its feet. This has not been the only car park the Lib Dems have proposed at council.

Councillors were right to ask a second committee to scrutinise the site suddenly chosen at last month's Environment and Transport Committee meeting. Do the public expect a committee to jump suddenly to spend £1 million of its money without advance work by council staff preparing details and councillors having time to scrutinise and debate? The risk of the scheme will fall on the council tax payer. Extra unconsidered changes would be needed to parking rules to the length of stay in the free Barton Road Car Park which is only a further four-minute walk from the station ticket office than the proposed new charged parking site at Angel Drove/Bartholomews Walk.

It was for these reasons that ALL the Scrutiny Committee, including the four Conservatives and the Independent councillors, voted unanimously to refer the decision back for careful reconsideration.

I suggest that the Ely Traders' Association and former Conservative candidates such as Ron Bradney should halt their use of immoderate language and spin and check their facts about council business before sounding off in the future.

SIMON HIGGINSON

Liberal Democrat district councillor

(Ely North)

Deacons Lane

Ely

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