Masterpland Hi-jacked By The Politically Correct

PUBLISHED: 13:35 27 May 2008 | UPDATED: 10:23 04 May 2010

THERE is an old adage - if you want to get a job well done, ask a busy man . Well ain t that the truth in local local politics, especially in Ely where, in the last year, Brian Ashton above all others has done so much to put the city on course towards a

THERE is an old adage - 'if you want to get a job well done, ask a busy man'. Well ain't that the truth in local local politics, especially in Ely where, in the last year, Brian Ashton above all others has done so much to put the city on course towards a bright and exciting future.

But all men are flawed and Brian is no exception. He has courage, vision, financial acumen and a highly developed sense of duty and public service - none of which counts for anything if you're not good at nit picking bureaucracy and mind numbing protocol as well. It is in this minefield that lesser men than he flourish.

As Brian's fellow ward councillor in Ely East I have found malicious rumours calling his integrity into question deeply upsetting. I know them to be entirely without foundation and that Brian's motivation has always been for the greater good of Ely even when it has been to the detriment of his own and his family's best interests. Note for one, his support for housing development in preference to retail in Lisle Lane where it is common knowledge that he also owns the Travis Perkins site. Housing is a far less profitable proposition than retail for land owners - ask any developer.

Without doubt, it is thanks to Brian's drive and enthusiasm that Ely has a Masterplan, albeit temporarily hijacked by the politically correct. Rejecting it will not stop house building - Government will see to that. Do it their way and we won't be in control and the best interests of the wider community will not be served.

Hence the desperate need for a plan to capitalize on the good things a larger more diversely skilled population attracts such as more business and quality employment, better shops, improved sport and leisure and upgraded roads, for instance. All these things, and more, are possible if we tackle the problem proactively.

If and when the Masterplan is in circulation again - please read it with an open mind and, if you are of retirement age, with proper regard for the responsibility you have for the welfare of future generations. We mustn't take Ely to the grave with us.

JACKIE PETTS

District councillor (Ely East)

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