Anna Bailey, leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, updates the public on her 20mph zone petition.

In response to the sheer number of people contacting me about the 20mph zone in Ely, I decided to submit a petition to Cambridgeshire County Council using its e-petition system; the petition calls on the county council to “Reconsider Ely’s 20mph zone”.

Having had my petition accepted by the Democratic Services team, I began promoting it online via social media on May 9 and it has now collected more than 2,500 signatures.

A number of people have contacted me asking if they could sign a hard copy, so I emailed the head of libraries at Cambridgeshire County Council to ask for permission to lodge a paper copy at Ely Library.

Astonishingly my request has been refused by the head of libraries, who states that following advice from Democratic Services and the monitoring officer for the county council he has been informed that he cannot allow the holding of a hard copy of the petition at Ely Library.

What sort of “service to democracy” is that by the Democratic Services team?

And what about the county council’s equalities responsibilities and consideration of those that are digitally excluded?

Why on earth should the very organisation that is hosting the petition online, disallow the hosting of a physical hard copy in one of its publicly owned, publicly accessible buildings?

For anyone wishing to sign a hard copy I am happy to make arrangements – residents can contact me by telephone at: 01353 663253.

For those who can access the petition online, you can find it by going to:

I strongly urge Cambridgeshire County Council to rethink this extraordinary policy which does the very opposite of promoting inclusion, democracy and healthy debate, much like its effort at consulting the people of Ely and East Cambridgeshire in the first place!