Join Ely Standard Campaign To Fight For Magistrates' Court
PUBLISHED: 18:13 02 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:43 04 May 2010
BEING a local councillor is generally a rewarding task as local members often have the chance to help improve the lives of the people they serve. Of course, different people have different views on various issues and full and frank discussion is part of a
BEING a local councillor is generally a rewarding task as local members
often have the chance to help improve the lives of the people they
Of course, different people have different views on various issues and full
and frank discussion is part of a local democratic government and is
often the way matters are resolved. It is impossible to please all of the
people all of the time, however hard one tries.
Some matters are really upsetting and disappointing and the proposed
closure by Her Majesty's Court Service of the Magistrate's Court in Ely
is one of those issues.
I believe that the Magistrate's Court was designed with the help of Judge
Christian who I understand was the judge who sentenced the Littleport
Rioters to hang. Legend has it that Judge Christian, who was the brother
of Fletcher Christian (Mutiny on The Bounty fame), was so disgusted with
the court facilities on the Market Place that he campaigned for the
building of the new court that exists in Lynn Road. The current building,
with its grand Palladian frontage, has been in my lifetime the police
station and a crown court. It is a building of much beauty and
exceptional historical importance. It is also my understanding that in
the days of the Isle of Ely, the building was also used as Shire
Hall before the one in March was constructed. It must be retained.
The whole basis of British justice is that at magistrates level it is
for local people, by local people and in front of local people. The
magistrates are local people who understand the local area and the
clients who are brought to the court. How can moving the court to
Cambridge serve the local people or local justice?
East Cambridgeshire is one of the fastest growing areas in Europe and the need
for local justice will increase as the population increases, so now is
not the time to take away a local facility. This facility may well be
more in demand as the credit crunch and its impact push people into
The court is an employer and the current climate requires jobs not
Central Government and particularly the Department of Communities keeps
telling local government that we need sustainable communities and we
should be creating jobs and facilities locally. I agree with this goal
and that is one of the reasons why I so much hate the idea of Mereham.
The closure of Ely Magistrates Court is wrong, as is the closure of local
post offices. We do not want even more reasons why people should drive
to Cambridge and block our already overcrowded roads.
The closure is wrong because:
* The building is important historically.
* Justice at the lower level should be local and seen to be done.
* We need more facilities, not less, to meet the needs of an expanding
* The area needs local jobs.
* We need sustainable places for people to live in and work in.
I urge local residents to support the Ely Standard's campaign.
Cambridge Road, Ely
Long time local resident and county councillor
INFO: To sign our petition against the closure of the Magistrate's Court, go to: www.elystandard24.co.uk and sign our petition.