This is what lockdown now looks like in Ely after social distancing rules flouted and claims of anti social behaviour
- Credit: Archant
This is what lockdown now looks like at Ely Maltings after barriers went up today to stop anti-social behaviour.
City of Ely Council agreed on Monday to erect fencing around the building to prevent crowds gathering during the coronavirus pandemic.
People have been sitting around the Maltings drinking and chatting in recent weeks, but residents have expressed concern about the numbers congregating there.
On Saturday the Ely Standard reported that a group of around 30 people had arrived by taxi with bottles of wine and spirits and began partying there until into the evening.
Some councillors felt it was time for action and on Monday the city council responded. The council leases the Maltings to a private company who run the café/ restaurant.
Although the tenants have maintained strict social distancing rules with customers, the numbers sitting in and around the green prompted concern.
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Mayor Cllr Mike Rouse said the city council wanted to “try and direct people away from the green in front of the Maltings where there are nearby residents”.
Cllr Rouse said that while RBK who operate the Maltings café and restaurant as tenants of the city council had kept within the rules, the problem was caused by too many people congregating in the area at any one time.
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He said it was a “pinch point” with people walking along the towpath, using boats and others bringing drink with them to the area.
“We are trying to do something that helps, and the decision was some fencing and where it will go will be decided on Friday,” said the mayor.
“The city council needs to try and act in everyone’s interest; we are trying do something for everyone in their own interest, it doesn’t always work but we will do our best.”
He added: “People just need to use common sense”.
One resident said today: “Barriers now surround all grass areas outside The Maltings. Erected this morning.
“A barrier has also been put up to section off a footpath in Jubilee Gardens where nearby residents say the area, screened by a hedge, has been used as a toilet.
“An ECDC notice explains: “Ship Lane public toilets are open from 8am-8pm. Please use them. Do not cause a public nuisance.”