Letter: 'Beyond wicked' to take up all of green land

Last stretch of green land going into Soham from the south BP roundabout

Last stretch of green land going into Soham from the south BP roundabout - Credit: DIANA DONALD

Say no more - this is the last stretch of green land going into Soham from the south BP roundabout.  

Last stretch of green land going into Soham from the south BP roundabout

Last stretch of green land going into Soham from the south BP roundabout - Credit: DIANA DONALD

I wonder if anyone from the planning department or the planning committee ever drives through Soham, Fordham, Isleham and Ely and feels some concern about the decisions being taken?

Is this about the income derived from each property? If so, where is it being spent?

Ely Standard reader Diana Donald is concerned that too much of Soham's green land is being built on.

Ely Standard reader Diana Donald is concerned that too much of Soham's green land is being built on. - Credit: DIANA DONALD

Certainly not on infrastructure, as nothing has been done.  

Climate change concerns? What a farce - given more homes, more cars and more flooding?

green land being built on

Ely Standard reader Diana Donald is concerned that too much of Soham's green land is being built on. - Credit: DIANA DONALD

This is all on green site land while brown site land is ignored. To my mind it is beyond wicked.


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Vaccination centre ideas

So many places in and around Ely that are not being used at the moment. 

If somewhere like the Hive is an option, how about people stay in the car and drive to the tent and stick their arm out of the window? Social distancing at its best!


Hive, Maltings, Cathedral, churches, Beet Club, council chambers, Museum, Centre E, cinema, Frankie and Bennies... Ely isn't short of large empty buildings.


I would have thought somewhere like The Maltings, Paradise, The Hive or Centre E would be suitable venues.


My view on crematorium plans

They are missing a trick by not including a cafe/catering kitchen and a room for post-funeral gatherings. 

And the word ‘stunning’ isn’t that applicable in my opinion. Looks cold and clinical, and big. 

More like a conference centre than anything else. I wonder how they are planning to generate electricty on site. Another biodigestor? Solar panels?Wind or water turbines? Ground or water heat source? Will electricity be up to producing the very high temperatures needed? 

As for green burials - I would be very concerned about the high water level. You can’t bury fallen animal carcases near to water or where the water table is too high.

Traffic implications too... need I go on to mention other things like the competition from other nearby crematoria.

It’s also very whiffy around there now because of the anaerobic digester plant next door, which I think is expanding still further. 

MARY HANCOCK, via Facebook 

What a shame!

As churchwarden, an anonymous donor gave me some money to give to the needy in our village.

I contacted all the official bodies and charities I could think of asking them if they could help.

I asked if they could think of who could benefit, ask those people if I may have their contact details and then let me know so that the money could be donated to them.

NONE of the authorities and charities I approached could or would help me.

What is the world coming to?  

There MUST be people who have fallen in between the cracks. They are not earning enough to be able to buy all the food they need, but they are earning just enough to be denied government help.

Many small businesses are suffering and the associated families are finding life difficult. Surely we should do all we can to help them? 

In the meantime, we have set up a ‘Food Swap’ (so that it won’t be confused with the Food Bank.)

On the first Wednesday of the month, villagers are encouraged to leave food (that is in date and sealed) in the porch of St. Andrew Hall’s Witchford.

The food is left overnight for the needy people of the village to take. There is a sanitiser in place so that recipients can maintain ani-Covid precautions.

And why overnight? A friend of mine who has been in the dire situation of being unable to feed her family said she felt ashamed.

Even when a charity offered food, she said ‘no’ because of her pride. She was ashamed that she could not feed her family.

What a terrible state of affairs it is if the poor are made to feel ashamed of their poverty!

Leaving the food overnight makes it possible for people to take the food in the cover of darkness so that no one sees them. 

There is no reason why we should be alone in creating a ‘Food Swap’. Why not try it in your village/street? 


Affordable housing pledge hits a brick wall

I'm afraid Mayor Palmer's plaintiff cry of "the Government's done me wrong!" when explaining away the withdrawal of expected grants to build affordable housing does not really wash.

He appears, however, to have learned something from his time in the big(ger) political league: if seen to be under-achieving, blame it on red tape and the civil servants!

I suspect the spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Community & Local Government, when responding to a question about the funding drying up, used very diplomatic language.

Reading between the lines it would indicate to me that the Department has provided a great deal of taxpayer's money to CAPCA and is underwhelmed by what Mr Palmer has achieved with it.

Mr Palmer's quote “being a mayor is not just about being a distributor for government money" would be quite amusing if it was not such a scandalous attempt at diverting attention from the real issue.

Because it would appear to me that he excels at spending large sums of money with little return.

Even in his early days, he was keen to scatter taxpayers' money about; ridding CAPCA of senior staff (and having to recompense them for their speedy exits).  

Then jobs, some of them newly created, were filled by former East Cambridgeshire District Council Councillors and the current Chief Executive.  

Perhaps he thought them a "winning" team. He should know the saying, however, "if you do what you've always done, you get what you've always got".

He is certainly the friend of the Consultant too. How much has been, and will be, spent on consultants fees to get the right answer (the one he needs) in order to push his costly personal flights of fancy, such as rival transport plans and including his uncosted version of a metro service.

A word to the wise Mr Palmer, just repeating endlessly how successful you have been in delivering affordable housing (and all the other projects into which you have dipped your fingers) doesn't necessarily make it so.

Just as it is evident to anyone with half a brain that Donald Trump has not done such a "tremendous" job during his presidency, as he would like the world to believe.

I look forward to hearing more from the other mayoral candidates in the next few months.

It may be that Mr Palmer should take the opportunity during lock-down to clear his desk.


Village halls week

Village Halls Week 2021 will recognise the contribution England’s 10,000+ halls have made to rural communities since the 1920s. 

The national campaign week (now in its fourth year) is set to take place from January 25-29.

It will feature online events, videos, podcasts, and blogs showcasing the history of village halls and the benefits they have derived for rural communities over the years. 

The initiative is being championed locally by Cambridgeshire ACRE, a charity that provides support and advice to 280 village halls found across the county.

Locally, village halls are being encouraged to join an online regional conference for those who run village halls. 

The past year has been one of the most challenging periods for village halls on record.

Many closed due the government’s coronavirus restrictions, yet the volunteers who manage these buildings applied for emergency funding and put in place Covid-secure measures so they could carry on providing a safe space for their community when it was most needed.  

Village Halls Week 2021 is in many ways, a celebration of the fact these halls are true survivors. 

In a survey undertaken by Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) last year, it was found that 60 per cent of village halls provide the only meeting space in their local community.

An estimated 50,000 individuals, too, are reliant on the use of village halls to make a living. 

KIRSTEN BENNETT, Cambridgeshire ACRE chief executive 

Support (or lack of) for ex-prisoners

A short email thanking you for your story re the support or lack of ex-prisoners when they leave prison and the work 50 backpacks does with those that fall through the cracks.

It really is sad that Spike feels unsupported by his district and county councillors as the work he does is vital I feel.  

Often these issues are not the responsibility of one organisation such as the police for instance, but if people and organisations worked together more people would be helped in an individual way.


Timebank thanks

A huge thanks from Littleport and Ely Timebank to all of Littleport, Ely and surrounding villages for all their efforts, gifts and nominations for the gift drive we organised during December.

Also to Littleport Co-ops and Ely Town Costa who were drop-off centres and the Costa also very kindly gifted a hamper of goodies for us to add to our donations.

We gifted widely across the community ensuring anyone nominated received a few gifts.

Reaching out to lots of people who were alone this Christmas or may have been struggling. Selections of toys, and some clothing, going to children.

Gifting also to people nominated for their above and beyond help to others around them.

And we also took a large amount of goodies to the Lighthouse Centre in Ely who continue to gift out to residents across the community who continue to struggle and just need a little love and kindness during these dark difficult months.

Our heartfelt gratitude to all for making this event such a success. Lots of thanks and tears came from recipients of the gifts.

What an amazing community we are. Stay safe all and know TimeBank is here if we can help in any way.