Residents won't go away quietly on parking issue

PUBLISHED: 11:56 29 November 2007 | UPDATED: 13:04 04 May 2010

THE intransigence of certain members of the environment and transport committee on East Cambs District Council has forced us, with other affected residents and sympathisers, to draw our dilemma concerning parking permits in Ely to public notice. We shall

THE intransigence of certain members of the environment and transport committee on East Cambs District Council has forced us, with other affected residents and sympathisers, to draw our dilemma concerning parking permits in Ely to public notice.

We shall continue to pursue this course of action until our reasonable request for equal treatment with 'workers' is guaranteed.

At the council's last committee meeting (November 13) the proposal to address the impending problems put by Cllr Petts was defeated by five votes to four. It is unfortunate that this issue appears to have taken on a political bias as protesting residents come from all spectrums of party, or non-party, persuasion.

Before the committee meeting started, the chairman was asked if attending members of the public would be given the opportunity to speak and put their views for consideration. Chairman Cllr Seaman indicated that the 'gallery' would be able to speak; this turned out not to be the case and, although some committee members openly expressed their reservations, the matter was summarily brought to a close following the vote on Cllr Petts' proposal.

What we find provocative is the presumptive dismissal of our concerns. Cllr Seaman refers to 'taxpayers' as if we do not pay taxes, and in his Radio Cambridgeshire broadcast response disingenuously could not place our location, only one day after signing off two letters addressed to us setting out the 'party' line.

In committee, this approach was forcefully supported by Cllr Bradney, who made it clear that the residents were of no relevance in this matter and should, in summary, '... use the commuter car park, buy land to park on or rent a garage...'. The mayor of Ely would do well to remember that it is his citizens who will be affected by his blinkered refusal to consider their position.

Last week, Cllr Goodge was quoted as saying: "We have no intention of giving in"; and, quite staggeringly proclaims: "We can't favour the people of Ely to the detriment of the city"! Well, we, as Ely residents, might well ask why the representative of 'the Downham villages' feels so well qualified to dismiss our concerns without any effort being made to assess our need.

We remind the committee that we do not seek any concession that has not been granted to qualifying workers; to comply with the new regulations, some vehicles will have to be moved from one spot in search for another at the peak period of traffic movement. Surely it is clear that this necessity is contrary to the overall aim of improving the parking regime in the city.

We will continue to press for changes until we have a satisfactory outcome.

CHRISTOPHER and VALERIE BENT

Broad Street

Ely

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