Let's Focus On The Jewels Of Soham

PUBLISHED: 09:55 15 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:20 04 May 2010

SOHAM is the second largest town in East Cambridgeshire, geographically at the heart of the district, it has a fine school, with close proximity to the A14/A11 and it sits on the doorstep of a major economic engine rooms ie: Cambridge. There are world

SOHAM is the second largest town in East Cambridgeshire, geographically at the heart of the district, it has a fine school, with close proximity to the A14/A11 and it sits on the doorstep of a major economic engine rooms ie: Cambridge. There are world class businesses based here and a number of highly successful entrepreneurs running them.

The town boasts many fine period properties, a beautiful river and expansive green spaces, namely the commons. What's more, hundreds of people are moving to Soham.

So why is there a declining High Street, an increasing level of dormitory status and judging by a recent community meeting, a distinct lack of agreement about a host of issues?

Put another way, where is Soham now and where does it want to be in the coming years?

As a local council representative, these trends and lack of strategic vision have concerned me greatly.

So what is the answer?

Looking locally, what have successful local towns such as Cambridge, Newmarket and Ely done and continue to do? They are majoring on their strengths, deciding what's good for their communities, drawing in enthusiastic people that have help create a culture of aspiration.

I propose that we focus on what jewels Soham has and not just on what is lacking. The soon to be commissioned Soham Master Plan will be an opportunity for the town to contribute to a coherent visionary outline plan for the next 20 years. By highlighting the many attributes, like the commons, in a wider context, Soham has the opportunity to become an increasingly attractive place to live and work, a real thriving community for the 21st Century.

CLLR MARK DUCKWORTH

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