They chose to live in the city
PUBLISHED: 10:39 13 December 2007 | UPDATED: 13:07 04 May 2010
I FEEL I must respond to the comments of several contributors to your Letter s page as some have mentioned me by name. I can understand the dismay of the people who have been unaware or have disregarded the long standing rules of the East Cambs District C
I FEEL I must respond to the comments of several contributors to your Letter's page as some have mentioned me by name. I can understand the dismay of the people who have been unaware or have disregarded the long standing rules of the East Cambs District Council car parks.
The 23-hour rule has not been enforced with consistency, which meant they should have been moving those cars every day, in fact, the new rules mean little change.
These Ely citizens, who are now complaining, have on the whole made a life style decision to live in the city centre and enjoy all the advantages. For example, it is great to be able to walk easily to the shops, bank, restaurants, pubs etc.
However, one of the disadvantages of living in the city centre is that houses are expensive to buy and rent. If you want to buy a drive with your house, in order to park your car, it may mean that you have to spend an extra £40,000 or £50,000.
This is a significant sum, so most people who decide to live without a drive and garage, choose not to own a car, but to use public transport, bicycle, and walk and hire a car when they need one.
It seems that a significant number of people want their cake and to eat it. They seem to expect the district council to provide free car parking for them. Some say they are prepared to pay for the car parking, so why don't they do that?
There is, advertised in the newspaper this week, a garage for sale at £8,000 seems like a bargain to me. They could also find an owner of some parking area and pay them for parking the car. This is what the majority of the residents of East Cambs have done and made proper arrangements.
I do not see the role of the district council or any public body to provide car parking for residents whilst they are at home. I feel it is an individual choice to own a car, and it is up to the individual to make their own arrangements for their car to be serviced, maintained and for it to be safely parked when it is not in use.
However, I do regard that it is the duty of the district council to encourage visitors and workers to come to Ely, to spend money or work in the retail or conventional businesses. I would like to remind everyone that these businesses pay a very hefty amount of business rates (which is considerably more than domestic rates) to the district council.
These businesses deserve consideration, even though they do not have a vote. Now if the district council decide not to charge for the use of the car park that is another discussion.
Mayor of Ely and East Cambs District councillor (North Ward)