East Cambs District Council Should Consider Renaming Itself

I FEEL compelled to write to the Ely Standard concerning the Ely Masterplan but ultimately the actions of East Cambridgeshire District Council as a whole over a considerable number of years. It appears to me that the district council should seriously cons

I FEEL compelled to write to the Ely Standard concerning the Ely Masterplan but ultimately the actions of East Cambridgeshire District Council as a whole over a considerable number of years. It appears to me that the district council should seriously consider renaming itself Ely District Council as it clearly has absolutely no interest in any of the towns or villages south of the Great River Ouse even though these settlements cover around three quarters of the topography of East Cambridgeshire.

The district council seems to take great delight in obtaining taxpayer's money from these areas only to waste it on wish lists, pipe dreams and ill thought-out planning ideas and developments. How much did Ely's Masterplan cost the taxpayer, £50,000? How much did it cost to clean up the contaminated land where houses were built in Littleport, £370,000? Not forgetting the £100,000 spent on some artwork that nobody really liked or wanted in the first place, amounting to almost £500,000 gone from the vaults in a flash. No wonder then that ADeC, The Babylon Gallery and Soham Town Forum lost much-needed financial support.

From reading the Ely Masterplan, it appears the city would like to have absolutely everything and not just once but at least twice, a couple of sewage works, two train stations, two swimming pools, two leisure centres, a couple of by-passes, some more business parks, and not forgetting all the traffic congestion that comes with it. I'm surprised the Masterplan didn't include a second cathedral.

Unlike Ely, and to a degree Littleport, (thanks to the EU), Soham has very rarely had a silver spoon put to its mouth, the majority of community buildings and projects have been paid for and voluntarily run by the community. Soham has lost many of these assets such as: a cathedral, train station, swimming pool and the impending loss of the centrally located church h through no fault of its own, but somehow the community spirit stays strong.


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Soham and the surrounding villages have many varied strengths but these have been constantly ignored by the district council because they would detract from the Narcissus beauty that is called Ely. Maybe if our district councillors and the consultants they use put their heads above the water and its reflective surface instead of admiring or drowning in it, they would be able to see the rest of the district.

I agree, Ely Cathedral is the city's best asset and brings in many tourists and boosts the local economy, but it seems that this is still not enough for Ely and it wants even more of the lion's share.

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This really is a crazy plan without the infrastructure to support it. Yes I did note that the Masterplan included an Ely southern bypass to connect the rest of the district together even though it is already connected rather well already. There is one slight flaw in this part of the plan in the fact that even though it has been declared economically unviable three times by the Government and the initial cost has magically jumped from £15 million to £25 million it is still deemed to be the 'final solution' to all of Ely's problems.

If you do happen to live in the northern quarter of the district I can let you into a well known secret, most people south of the river don't bother visiting Ely anymore because of all the traffic problems.

And if you don't want Lidl's in Ely? We'll gladly have it here in Soham as we could really do with a large employer and it would also allow Tesco some more expansion options.

CHRIS SCURRAH

Soham On-Line Community Website

www.soham.org.uk

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