LETTERS: Climate change emergency, Rotary club update and a socially distanced W.I. get together

Paul Harris award recipient Viv Doji. Picture: ERIC GRANT

Paul Harris award recipient Viv Doji. Picture: ERIC GRANT - Credit: Archant

Here are the letters that we have been sent from readers this week.


Climate change emergency

Dear Councillors Bailey, J Schumann, Every, Dupre, and Austen,

It has been almost a year since ECDC declared a Climate Emergency on 17 October 2019 and over four months since the council published its draft strategy on climate change.

We welcome the council’s recent announcement regarding zero carbon funding (July 23). However, in April the council promised a revised climate change action plan with more specific interim targets, in response to local concern that the original plan was vague and lacking substance.

Five months later, this more detailed plan has yet to materialise, and without this we fear that the council will kick this issue into the long grass once more.

In the meantime, we are disappointed to see ECDC pressing forward with developments which contradict their stated aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions, such as the Lancaster Way Roundabout proposals which will make it harder for people to walk and cycle between Ely and nearby villages such as Witchford.

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This is also in contradiction to the Transport Secretary’s announcements about funding to allow local authorities to incentivise cycling and walking.

This year has been a record-breaking year for extreme weather. We experienced the wettest February on record, the driest May in nearly 150 years, record high temperatures in June and July and flash floods during the recent August bank holiday.

A small group of ladies from Ely Northwold Women's Institute decided to have an open air get togethe

A small group of ladies from Ely Northwold Women's Institute decided to have an open air get together on Wednesday afternoon on Lavender Green in Ely. President Rosemary Green gave everyone a gift of a goodie bag. Picture: CHRISTINE DICKENS - Credit: Archant

Farmers in East Anglia reported some of their worst grain harvests in decades. Without rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the latest research suggests that we are on course for three to four-degree celsius warming by the end of the century.

If this occurs then East Cambs will be inundated by rising sea levels, wiping much of the fens off the map. Fortunately this future is not yet set in stone: if we commit to substantive action today, we can avoid the worst impacts of climate change and create a thriving zero carbon economy in the process.

Declaring a climate emergency was a positive step in acknowledging the role our district must play in solving the global emergencies of climate and ecological breakdown.

We would now like to see ECDC follow through on its pledge to ensure that East Cambs steps up. We therefore request that the council:

Commits to publishing a detailed climate change strategy by 17 October 2020 (the anniversary of the declaration);

Outlines how it plans to use local planning regulations and business rates to incentivise a transition toward zero carbon;

Makes a public commitment to divest from any funds linked to fossil fuels as soon as practically possible;

Reviews all proposed developments in the light of its net-zero commitment, including road expansion proposals such as the A10 (which will increase transport emissions in the region);

Brings forward the zero carbon target date to 2030 (in line with the latest science) and commits in its strategy document to ramp up the pace of positive changes whenever possible;

States what, if any, adaptation plans the council has in place to adapt to climate change of up to 2 degrees celsius.

We hope to build a positive working relationship with the council. owever, if the council continues to delay action on this truly existential issue - the urgency of which cannot be overstated both globally and for local residents - then the only reasonable response is a campaign of non-violent direct action.


TV licence fiasco and BBC bias

I am disgusted at the churlish attitude of the BBC for insisting that pensioners must pay for a licence to watch abysmal programmes, the incessant repeats, the bogotry and prejudices, as well as their inefficiencies.

Popular programmes of yesteryear are continuously being churned out with the nauseous justification that it is an episode you “missed” or “another chance to see” or to “view a classic” or “now see the original” and the biggest whopper of all, “by popular demand” Naturally the great unwashed hoi polloi would never detect their subterfuge, or would they.

Mundane domestic programmes from cooking to house repairs serve just one purpose - to cure insomnia. Their smug attitude on “reality” programmes fools nobody; it is just a way of cheap programme production, thus avoiding paying script writer and possibly others too.

It also makes me wonder why BBC1 and BBC2 often record the same sporting event simultaneous. Do they expect each version to have conflicting results ?

Sports pundits are paid huge sums merely due to their celebrity status; it could also be a means of avoiding or reducing costs of corporation tax, which occurs with some large businesses.

This could also explain the numerous number of non-jobs they create. If they addressed this situation with elacrity it could go a long way to being unnecessary to fleece older vulnerable victims.

The whole problem could be solved by adjusting technology to prevent BBC signals reaching TV sets, so that folk can just watch ITV without being blackmailed. Already I can hear the howls of protests. I do not believe that.

After all it must have taken a certain degree of inginuity to send men to the moon, perform organ transplants and create a global pandemic. In my opinion, the objections are political, not impractibility.

The BBC is rife with bigotry and prejudice; the departing director, Tony Hall, deleted some lines from two patriotic songs, but thankfully, his replacement, Tim Davie, has hinted he will reverse that decision.

They are biased against all Tory voters and they loathe Brexiteers. Their hypocrisy is demonstrated by the fact that not a single presenter is non-white on BBC Newsnight.

Their inefficiency is highlighted by their latest faux pas when they sent a letter for license renewal to “the current occupier” Kew Palace, but the last resident there was King George III.

He died 200 years ago. Computer error? The pandemic? Human error? You decide.

Maybe the BBC should stand for something else like Bigoted Bloated Curmudgeons, or maybe Bombastic Biased Cartel, because all those definitions are aforementioned.


Women’s Institute get together

A small group of ladies from Ely Northwold Women’s Institute decided to have an open air get-together on Lavender Green in Ely (right).

President Rosemary Green gave everyone a gift of a goodie bag.


Have your say on land at rear of hospital

I was appalled to learn that a greedy property developer has applied for permission to build on the land adjacent to the Princess Of Wales hospital in Ely.

This land is popular with existing residents, as well as visitors including dog walkers and should be left as one of the few open spaces in the area that people can enjoy.

I would urge all those affected and/or keen to protect our open spaces to write to our MP – lucy.frazer.mp@parliament.uk - in order to stop this nonsense.


My response

I am responding to a recent letter from Teresa Ely, representing ‘The Ely Amnesty Group’.

Many of her comments are valid and I acknowledge that this well meaning group knows more about this subject that I do.

However, I have to dispute her criticism about one thing and which was the whole point of my letter.

I accept her argument that I should not have grouped migrants, refugees and asylum seekers all together and under normal circustances that would be true. However, these are not normal circustances.

When they conspired to illegally cross the channel headed for England, they all became tarred with the same brush and therefore they relinguished their original individual status Some could even be covid 19 carriers or criminals.

They should have been aware of the repercussions when they purchased their passage, having not applied for asylum at the first safe country they came to, and that most definitely was not the UK. Ignorance is no excuse. They should be sent back.

I daresay some clever lawyer could could tear my argument to shreds but his efforts could be better spent trying to track down the real criminals like the people traffickers and sites like facebook who advertise their henious services for passages. But then, that will nevert happen because its not as lucrative.


Rotary club is ‘still alive and active’

A socially-distanced presentation recently took place (below) when rotarian Viv Doji was awarded Rotary’s highest honour, The Paul Harris Fellowship.

The award comes both for Viv’s continued dedication to Rotary, plus other charity work she is involved with, as well as her time in education.

The devastating explosion in Beirut has left many thousands of people homeless.

The Rotary Club of Ely, through their international team, are in touch with Rotary club in Beirut, and a donation of £300 has been sent to help those in greatest need.

You will have seen through media channels the good news Africa is now completely free of wild polio.

Rotary clubs throughout the world have for decades been involved in the eradication of polio, so this is a great success story, with only two countries in the world still fighting this dreadful disease.

ROBERT BARNES, Rotary Club of Ely president