We repeat our objection to car parking charges planned for Ely

AS we provide a service for people in the area we feel bound to repeat our objection to East Cambridgeshire District Council’s car park charging proposals, particularly in view of that authority’s rejection of public opinion.

We are a non-profit making organisation and have an obligation to keep charges for use of the facilities at the Paradise Centre as low as possible. To achieve that, will resist any external pressure to increase them.

Charging for car parking will inevitably have an impact on users of the Paradise Centre, many of whom are on a low income, are trying to stay healthy, or have been referred by their GPs. Others will inevitably modify their usage because of the additional cost.

Meanwhile, costs of maintenance and utilities are increasing, in addition to the council’s proposal to demand rates for the centre for the first time.

This has combined to lead to an increase in charges just to stay still financially and may yet mean a reduction in use by people, hardly a desirable outcome for anyone.

The centre supports the Ely Traders Association’s stand against the proposals, clearly endorsed by so many residents and others signing the petition.

Imposing parking charges, inhibiting the future viability of the town centre, is a decision that is likely to echo into the foreseeable future.

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The council’s failure to take public opinion into account, make a coherent financial case or conduct a fair consultation for a second time, highlighted by previous correspondents, is of real concern.

We would encourage all our users, residents and visitors to complete the consultation and express their opinions on this continuing controversy. If you have the time, please send any additional comments to the council by e-mail or letter.

JOHN BLUNT

Chairman, management committee

Paradise Centre

Newnham Street

Ely

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