Free parking for two to three hours
This would assist local residents, shoppers in the town centre, people using restaurants or attending services or concerts, but mean that all-day tourists would meet the charges they have come to expect elsewhere.
I WAS unable to attend the meeting in the Council Chamber to discuss parking charges in Ely on September 22 and I had serious misgivings about how it would end. As your report on Page 3 of your issue of September 23 states: “leaving residents and traders with more questions than answers”. The Conservative leader of the present council had said in advance that there were not yet specific proposals to discuss, it had been made difficult and expensive for local people to arrange the meeting in what we know is too small a room for truly democratic participation and our leader, cllr Peter Moakes, did not deign to attend. On the matter of the venue, could The Maltings have been available and affordable? I have been there for a Cambridgeshire County Council meeting to discuss the Local Plan, and local people need a good-sized local forum on many occasions. There are also several local churches who make their rooms available at a more modest cost.
A practical suggestion, which may have been made, though I did not see it reported, is that, if charges were to be brought into Ely, (and Frank Lindsell in his letter on page 10 wisely points out, those would bring their own heavy costs in outlay on equipment, not likely to be recouped for many years), free parking should be allowed for two-three hours. This would assist local residents, shoppers in the town centre, people using restaurants or attending services or concerts, but mean that all-day tourists would meet the charges they have come to expect elsewhere.