Ely visit for May

THERESA May MP, shadow leader of the House of Commons and well-known shoe enthusiast, met district councillors in Ely on Tuesday to talk about the city s transport issues. Mrs May, wearing leopard-print boots, braved muddy ground at the Cambridgeshire Bus

THERESA May MP, shadow leader of the House of Commons and well-known shoe enthusiast, met district councillors in Ely on Tuesday to talk about the city's transport issues.

Mrs May, wearing leopard-print boots, braved muddy ground at the Cambridgeshire Business Park in Angel Drove to visit the future site of Ely's new commuter car park, which aims to ease congestion in the city centre.

Conservative councillors, including district council Conservative leader Brian Ashton and council chairman Cllr Richard Hobbs, talked Mrs May through the access problems caused by the crossing at Ely Railway Station and mooted plans for Ely's southern bypass.

Mrs May said she had visited Ely before and remembers "it was difficult to park".

She said the problems Ely faces are due to continuing development in the area.

"I think it's very difficult for small towns like Ely because it's about the infrastructure; it's about making sure there are enough doctors' surgeries and schools for the larger population.

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She said the East of England plan - the development framework for the region which includes more than 8,000 new homes for East Cambridgeshire by 2021 - has marginalised local authorities.

"One of the problems with this government is that these decisions are made at government level - more autonomy must be given to local government with more powers for people understand the issues and recognise the pressures."

Mrs May was happy to comment on recent tabloid speculation about Conservative leader David Cameron's use of cannabis during his Eton Schooldays.

"A lot of people come into politics quite late," she said.

"And they don't spend most of their lives thinking 'I better not do this or that in case I become a politician later in life' - if that were the case we would have a lot of boring politicians who don't know much about life."

Cllr Brian Ashton said: "We were very grateful for Mrs May's visit - we found the comments that she made very supportive and she was very appreciative of the needs of an expanding rural community.

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