Magistrate's Court Should Stay in Ely

PUBLISHED: 18:11 11 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:43 04 May 2010

I NEVER thought I would agree with a Tory councillor (!) but I am writing in support of Cllr Bill Hunt s letter last week, about the proposed closure of Ely Magistrates Court. In his letter he sets out very clearly, why the closure is wrong and must be

I NEVER thought I would agree with a Tory councillor (!) but I am writing in support of Cllr Bill Hunt's letter last week, about the proposed closure of Ely Magistrates Court.

In his letter he sets out very clearly, why the closure is wrong and must be stopped. However, he does not say (apart from signing Ely Standard's petition) what the county council is going to do about it.

I am not sure whose responsibility it is to start these discussions, but I would have thought councillors should be discussing this important issue with central government at the highest level.

Apart from the points he makes about serving local justice to an ever growing population, what about the loss to historic Ely?

Could a way be found to turn this impending disaster to Ely's advantage?

Would it be possible to keep the Magistrates' Court open on a part-time basis (as it is now) and combine it with a tourist attraction on other days to be administered by the district council through Ely Museum or Cromwell House?

Could this wonderful building (both inside and out) also be put on a register, so it can be used as a film location when required? Not such a fanciful idea when you see what fame and fortune that has brought to Ely Cathedral, recently.

Talking of the cathedral, would we stand by, if 'the powers that be' ever decided to 'mothball' it because it was surplus to requirements? No; so why should we let this happen to this other important building in Ely's history?

Everyone is asking how they can help the retailers in these difficult times. Well, one way is to make Ely an exciting place to visit (which was why it was so important to get the Babylon Gallery open again) and utilising the Magistrates' Court to its full potential should be part of this.

TED CONEY

Waterside

Ely

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