Residents Need To Let Council Know What They Think About Changes To Ely Market

PUBLISHED: 14:45 01 February 2010 | UPDATED: 11:13 04 May 2010

THE Tories have been punctilious in their efforts to consult residents over the Ely Masterplan. Since many of us will be dead before it is implemented, however, a truer picture of how they really consult is demonstrated by the recent handling of ADEC and

THE Tories have been punctilious in their efforts to consult residents over the Ely Masterplan.

Since many of us will be dead before it is implemented, however, a truer picture of how they really consult is demonstrated by the recent handling of ADEC and Ely Markets funding cuts.

Thankfully, The Maltings Cinema and the Babylon Gallery have been saved because of strong opposition by many supporters, but far from consulting with ADEC, there was a strong feeling that a cut was to be made before anyone realised what was happening.

The same is true of the proposed cuts to the funding for the markets. Without proper consultation with the traders and any thought given to how this will affect other shops and tourism in Ely, councillors are proposing to destroy one of the most important institutions in the city. All I can say is, 'thank goodness' they are not responsible for the cathedral as well!

It seems to me, especially in this harsh winter, that it must be very hard being a market trader at the best of times, so the thought of the council removing its support seems both short-sighted and shows a lack of joined-up thinking. It also goes totally against its own officer's plans for increasing the specialist and Christmas markets on Sundays. As I understand it, half the collectors market traders and a third of those who take part in the Farmers Market will be forced to give up.

I very much hope that other residents who believe the markets are an important part of Ely will let their councillors know loud and clear what they think. ADEC was saved partly because councillors were bombarded with letters and e-mails!

How could the council save money? Well, for a start, they should stop putting away thousands of pounds for a new leisure centre outside the city (which a lot of people think is in the wrong place anyway) and sell off the land, to help us through these difficult times.

TED CONEY

Waterside, Ely

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